Controversies in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Infertility

Article Conference CoverageFrom the ESHRE 2001 Conference - Lausanne, Switzerland

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Roberta Speyer: “Hello, this is Roberta Speyer, and I’m reporting for from Lausanne in Switzerland. It’s July 2, 2001, and we’re here at the ESHRE meeting. I have the pleasure of interviewing the two doctors who are organizing the Controversies in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Infertility meeting in Paris. This is Professor Zeev Shoham and Professor Zion Ben-Raphael, and I’d like to get a little bit of news about what’s going into the preparations for this Congress. I had the pleasure of being at the one in Prague, which was an exceptional Congress. We had a much larger turnout than had been expected, did we not?”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “Yes, we had approximately 1,200 people.”

Roberta Speyer: “Every time you do this Congress you end up producing a whole book, isn’t that correct?”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “Yes, it’s the Proceedings of the Congress. All the invited speakers will submit chapters of their talk which will be arranged in the book and distributed to the people who come to the Congress.”

Roberta Speyer: “We have the pleasure of having that at; we have many chapters from that book published which is an excellent resource, thank you very much. What’s special about this particular meeting compared to last time?”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “We’re talking about state of the art lectures on quite controversial issues, we’re talking about new details state of the art procedure. Basically we’re doing a whole day, two days of discussion with only the burning, most deep questions that we are discussing.”

Roberta Speyer: “So that’s where the controversies come in or controversies depending on what side of the pond we’re on here, right? Am I correct that what you’re looking at is issues where there may be very widely divergent viewpoints in how to treat or manage individual situations and you’re really delving into it and maybe getting a little bit of excitement going on here about how two different opinion leaders might look at the same issue?”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “Yes, that’s true and actually we will have very interesting sessions. We’re going to deal with the use of the Internet in medicine - a controversial issue in using the Internet versus the hard copy.”

Roberta Speyer: “Yes, I had the pleasure of being a Co-Chair with David Bloomer from Parthenon. I intend to wipe the floor up with him personally; we’re going to prove that the Internet is far better than print. David seems to think there’s some other opinions there that he’s going to be sharing, but forget it, we’re going to slay him.”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “We will also have a session about evidence-based medicine, how we should approach the study we are doing, and how this should be interpreted. Then we will have sessions about the controversial issue on menopause - HRT treatment. We’ll have sessions about infertility, how to treat the patients, and what’s the best way to treat the patient today. We will deal with gynecology/oncology with the top leader in the field.”

Roberta Speyer: “Who’s that?”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “Peter Schwartz.”

Roberta Speyer: “Give us some names of some of the speakers.”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “Ian Jacobs and Whitehead.”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “We’ll do laparoscopy. The whole program will be on the Internet so people can zip in and see it but I would like to say something about the degree for organization. Chair-people were invited to this Congress, and chair-people have a special job to do. Each session has three chair-people and they will get the lecture beforehand. They will have to prepare questions for the speakers. They know exactly what the speaker is going to say so the chair-people are part of this debate and prepare questions for these speakers.”

Roberta Speyer: “Will there be lots of opportunities for the participants to ask questions?”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “Forty-percent of the time is dedicated for discussion.”

Roberta Speyer: “Very good.”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “So sixty-percent is lecture but forty-percent is discussion.”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “We want the audience to be very active during the time of the session, and we actually want the interaction between the audience and the speakers.”

Roberta Speyer: “Very good, so what do we have planned for fun over there in Paris? All work and no play makes Roberta a dull doll.”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “I think some of the fun is one of the sessions that was organized by Steve Corson. He came up with a special session; he got five or six of the leading companies who have new high-tech pieces for endometrial ablation and he gave them guidelines.”

Roberta Speyer: “Who are we probably talking about here?”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “Novacept, Microsulis, Gynecare, and laser ablation - all of them. He gave them guidelines on how to present their results; each one has to comply with the guidelines, and each one has to present the results in the same way. The audience, him, the chairman, and everybody together will be able to judge which one has really made the most impact in the last year or two.”

Roberta Speyer: “That sounds very interesting and very clever of Dr. Corson because now he’s got them doing all the work and he gets to sit out in the audience and ask questions. I think I should have done mine that way; I’m very envious. So which presentation do you think is really interesting and you’re looking forward to seeing?”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “I think most of the sessions are very important and are very interesting.”

Roberta Speyer: “Yes, but come on, you got to have one you like.”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “No, no, I tell you the main issue of this Congress is that the whole issue of our field will be discussed within the meeting so people who are dealing with infertility will have for the first time the opportunity to go just to listen for one or two sessions in oncology or perinatology to gain knowledge about what’s going on with the fields that they are not doing or interacting in their daily life. So people will have the possibility to interact and to listen to other kinds of sessions or lectures that they are not used to hearing in their daily life…”

Roberta Speyer: “All the time.”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “All the time and that will...”

Roberta Speyer: “Broaden their horizons.”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “Right.”

Roberta Speyer: “What about the social program?”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “Socially, I can tell you at least one thing and that is lunch is free.”

Roberta Speyer: “We’ll all be there - the entire viewership of will show up at least for lunch but we want to make sure you register for this Congress because this is a great Congress. You can register right on right under where you click to see this interview. Just click and go sign up because if you don’t and you miss this - be there or be square. You miss an event.”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “Usually they will have to wait a full year.”

Roberta Speyer: “A full year. Where is it going to be - in Washington?”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “Yes, in Washington.”

Roberta Speyer: “With Professor Alan DeCherney?”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “DeCherney and Lobo.”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “It will be Roger Lobo and he will be the Chairman. Then we will have half sessions which are Professor Alan DeCherney and Professor Mary D’Alton.”

Roberta Speyer: “But I want to know are we going to do anything in Paris; are we going to have any little rides on the Seine or French fries or something?”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “We’re probably going to surprise you.”

Roberta Speyer: “He wants to surprise us but there will be some good stuff, right – social events?”

Professor Zeev Shoham: “Yes.”

Roberta Speyer: “I know we had some fun in Prague. I’m really looking forward to this event and we’re going to be doing some broadcasts from it afterwards but you certainly want to make sure you’re there. Don’t just watch it later because I go to a lot of conferences in my job and I have to tell you the last one I went to that was in Prague was an excellent conference. Everyone that goes to it really gets a lot out of it. It’s an excellent clinical conference so please come to the conference, we’ll see you in Paris.”

Professor Zion Ben-Raphael: “We agree on that.”

Roberta Speyer: “Thank you, doctors.”

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