On behalf of the Polish Gastroenterological Society I would like to express my gratitude to the congress presidents Markus Lerch, Albrecht Stier and Albin Lütke and to their respective councils for choosing Poland as the partner country in this prestigious meeting. We feel honored to be invited to attend this congress in Dresden and to present our research to German colleagues.
The motto of the congress this year is “Patienten ändern sich – wir uns auch”: Patients are changing, medicine is changing and doctors have to change as well. In this spirit we look forward to discuss the most important clinical developments in gastroenterology, gastrointestinal surgery and endoscopy with you.
The cooperation and friendship between German and Polish gastroenterologists has a very long tradition. In 1998 Professor Peter Malfertheiner started the initiative of ‘Bridging Meetings’ with the mission to set up a discussion forum for young clinical investigators from Eastern and Western Europe. These meetings are continuing under the motto “Fit for the Future in Gastroenterology”.
In the context of this and other international meetings the Polish Society of Gastroenterology developed cooperations and friendships with prominent German gastroenterologists. Professor Markus Lerch, current president of the congress, has always been perceived as a friend of Polish pancreatologists, promoting the interchange of ideas and collaboration between pancreatologists throughout the world.
Let me also tell you something about the site of “Viszeralmedizin 2017” – the beautiful Saxonian city of Dresden because this place seems to be symbolic for our partner countries. The Polish king and Elector of Saxony, August II (der Starke) died in Cracow and found his royal tomb in the Wawel cathedral. His heart, however, was returned to Dresden and is buried in the Hofkirche.
The Polish Gastroenterology Society has a long tradition. It was established in 1909 when Poland was still divided, and has brought together doctors interested in gastrointestinal tract diseases ever since. The vicissitudes of history have much impeded the activities of our society until it was reestablished in 1977. With recent integration into the European Union international cooperation and exchanging scientific ideas has become much more fruitful and comprehensive.
On behalf of the Polish Gastroenterological Society I would like to congratulate you on the idea of a combined congress integrating gastroenterologist, endoscopists, surgeons and others with an interest in gastrointestinal disorders, together with invited gastroenterologists from partner countries. This is a marvelous example how to build bridges in a United Europe and model for the future – not only in Gastroenterology. Thank you once again for the opportunity to actively participate in this congress. I cordially wish you fruitful debates and that they may bring progress to the care of our patients.
Prof. Dr. hab. n. med. Grażyna Rydzewska
PRESIDENT of the Polish Society of Gastoenterology