As the phlebology specialty grows and more docs become interested, meetings for physicians and their support staff become more popular. New meetings are offered within the United States and internationally. Attendees include those physicians who are interested to become phlebologists, and those who wish to keep up-dated on modern methods and new developments.
This brief report is about two of my favorite meetings each year, one sponsored by myself and colleagues, and the other one in Australia, which I am privileged to attend nearly annually as a guest speaker among international guests.
Phlebology Colorado is a different type meeting patterned somewhat after the famous Colorado vascular surgery meetings sponsored by Dr. Robert B. Rutherford, MD, FACS, FRCS, and emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
We meet in the beautiful mountain setting of Telluride at the Peaks Resort. Meeting time is two hours in the morning and three hours in the evening for two days, and the third day in the morning only. Ski and snow events are arranged at a premium price for all attendees. Friday evening we convene at Allred’s mountain top restaurant for dinner. Our agenda is simple. There are no speakers, for we have all heard the same speakers many times. Each attendee brings one or more cases to present and he or she is allowed 5 to 10 minutes on the podium.
The main topics are suggested for each time session, but the discussions are informal and every attendee is encouraged to comment and participate. This year we met from Jan 27-29, the snow and skiing were spectacular, and the meeting was priceless.
Each attendee leaves with rejuvenation and with more pearls than from any meeting we attend. To some degree this is a “bare your soul” meeting. Tell all among friends, get advice in return, and give advice to your colleague.
Dr. Jim Ingram and I began to train doctors in the phlebology specialty nearly 10 years ago, and the meeting has been one of our goals. We receive colleague questions on the Internet and by phone almost every day, and this meeting is a means to share all of the issues which come up during the year.
Paul McNeil is always a tremendous contributor to our meeting, and he has agreed to co-sponsor with us for 2012. Most all educational meetings in the industry now require a heavy registration fee. My cowboy response is to charge no registration fee.
CME requirements do not allow the support business to “mingle” with the doctors. My cowboy response is to forget CME except perhaps for an after-meeting question-and-answer CME option once we return home. Our sponsors pay good money and frequently have good advice, and do not need penalized. We are not being bribed, we appreciate the support and the opportunity. The meeting is for true collegial comraderie, a share of knowledge and experience, with friendships fashioned for a lifetime.
Phlebology Colorado 2012 meets at the Peaks Resort Jan. 26- 28, 2012. Information and registration are available at phlebologycolorado.com.
Australasian College of Phlebology
The Australasian College of Phlebology convened in Melbourne, Australia, this year at the Sofitel Hotel, from March 30 to April 3. This meeting is by far my favorite phlebology meeting in the world, for the guest speakers are tremendous and internationally famous. Each year new speakers and participants attend with tremendous vein pedigrees.
I do believe that Australia is a preferred site to visit, for such widely known, gracious and knowledgeable staff are convened each year by the president, Dr. Kurosh Parsi.
This meeting is a practical one for there are few esoteric topics, and most are to the core of phlebology. When I return to Alabama from Australia each year, inevitably I bring home a new trick of the trade.
The same is true this year, for the founders of foam sclerotherapy and the inventors of scientifically-based new treatments were all present. We participated in formal and informal discussions and became international colleagues and friends.
Dr. Paolo Zamboni, a vascular surgeon from Italy with a most unorthodox theory about multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Zamboni believes that the disease, which damages the nervous system, may be caused by narrowed veins in the neck and chest that block the drainage of blood from the brain.
Dr. Lorenzo Tessari and Dr. Attilio Cavezzi from Italy, and Dr. Kurosh Parsi of Australia, are perhaps some of the most knowledgeable physicians in the world regarding sclerotherapy. Dr. Albert-Adrien Ramelet of Switzerland presented additional information regarding his experience, I use his hooks for micro-phlebectomy and was most interested to learn from him. Dr. Paolo Zamboni, a vascular surgeon from Italy presented a side symposium of his work with chronic cerebral venous insufficiency and its relationship to multiple sclerosis, a very fascinating topic.
Drs. Ken Myers, Neil Pillar and Paul Thibault of Australia and Dr. Andre van Rij of New Zealand are very thoughtful and with much experience, and are a delight to hear each year. Dr. Thibault may join us in Colorado in January, which would be a very special treat.
Dr. Alum Davies of Great Britain and the editor of the “Phlebology Journal” provided interesting and thought-provoking discussions, especially during the audience participation sessions. Dr. Nicos Lobropoulos and myself represented the United States, and Dr. Lobropoulos ,as always, was dynamic and exciting with his presentations. I represented the endovenous laser world, while Dr. Jens Alms of Germany represented the VNUS ClosureFast world, and we participated on the same panel.
We too became fast professional friends, and plan to visit with one another in the future. Dr. Hugo Partsch was presented a lifetime achievement photo award at the black tie Cap and Gown ceremony on Friday evening. This most impressive event takes place each year always at a spectacular location, this year at the famous Melbourne Theater.
This was my fourth year to participate with the Australasian College of Phlebology, and I am forever indebted to this wonderful country and my colleagues for the opportunity. - VTN
Founder and CEO of the Alabama and Atlanta Vascular & Vein Centers, John Kingsley, MD, FACS, RVT, is board-certified in vascular surgery and phlebology, and is certified as a registered vascular technologist. He and his colleagues perform more than 2,500 endovenous laser ablation procedures and more than 5,000 total vein procedures annually. Dr. Kingsley is founder and CEO of Alabama Phlebology Training Institute, where more than 250 physicians and staff have been trained in the fine art and surgery of phlebology.