Gabriel M. Gurman | Chief Editor
People used to ask this kind of question any time new leaders take in their own hands the fate of any organization.
Every democratic system is built on the principle of regular elections. Terms are limited, men and women decide to compete for the available positions, and thus the healthy life of the organization is assured.
Political leadership changes too, but in most countries (if not in all of them!) there is no transitional period of one leadership to the other. Former leaders leave, new ones take over, and respect for the principle of continuity becomes just optional.
The European Society of Anaesthesiologists has, starting January 1, 2016, a new President. Dr. Zeev Goldik replaces Prof. Dr. Daniela Filipescu. It happens every second year; the election of the new leader is performed 18 months earlier, at the highest level of transparency and according to the most basic democratic rules.
But the founding fathers of ESA, as well as those who have led the destiny of the organization in the last years, took care to assure and respect the principle of continuity.
The President-Elect becomes a member of the Board following his/her election. The immediate Past President continues to be a member of the Board for one year after he/she has stepped down.
So, one can easily decide that the title of this editorial does not apply to our organization.
It might be true …
In the last decades ESA had the chance to be led by very dedicated personalities, and its fate stood in very good hands.
Each of them defended the organization, and our profession and interests, and at the same time he/she personally contributed to the development of ESA’s various activities, keeping pace with a reality that changes very quickly.
Also, the transitional periods have passed smoothly, and everyone who had a chance to follow the routine activity of the Board and other ESA bodies must admit that due to the cleverness and good intentions of its officers, this Society was exempted from serious earthquakes.
So, at least theoretically, one cannot expect in the next couple of years any dramatic change in the direction ESA would take, from the organizational and professional points of view.
But there is also another aspect, at least as important, the personal one.
I am referring here to both ESA officers, Daniela and Zeev. From this point of view, one can be confident that these two persons will continue to cooperate at the same level they did in the last couple of years. But personality also plays a role, so we will soon see Zeev’s footprints on many ESA activities.
Nevertheless, I am confident that things will move quietly and efficiently, and I say it since I was lucky enough to work with both of them, at the national level as well as in the framework of ESA.
More than 10 years ago Daniela started acting in the framework of European Anaesthesia, first as a member in the Council of the Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia Association, then as a member of the National Anaesthesia Societies Council (NASC) and, last but not least, as an elected member of the ESA Council in 2008.
In all these functions she acted as a person well acquainted with the organizational aspects of our profession, due to – among other things – acquired knowledge and expertise, with a master’s degree in social and health services management obtained in 2005 at the University of Bucharest, Romania.
During the years Daniela Filipescu proved to be a dedicated professional, a person with a vision and, at the same time, with a lot of common sense and patience. One cannot forget that during her term many things changed in the Society at the organizational level. She led the process of changes with care to not create difficult situations and assuring the Society a smooth transition. I am pretty sure that most of our members did not even feel any change at the ESA headquarters during her term.
I found in Daniela a very efficient adviser and a person with solutions for even the most difficult questions related to the routine activities of the Newsletter. She never gave me an answer on the spot. She took her time, analysed the situation, asked for other people’s opinions, and finally came back with the best idea for solving the problem.
I have known Zeev Goldik since his term as a President of the Israel Society of Anaesthesiologists (ISA), some 15 years ago. As a perennial observer of the evolution of this national body, I must witness that his term has been one of the most prolific in the life of the ISA. Step by step Zeev accumulated experience and led the life of the Society in the right directions. Here are just a few examples. The number of courses and scientific events almost doubled. During his term ISA became well known abroad, mainly in Europe. He first started the FEEA (currently CEEA) courses in Israel. An annual winter convention was added to the traditional tri-annual international congress of ISA.
So, nobody was surprised when Zeev was elected in 2006 as Chair Examinations Committee, in charge of the European Diploma of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (EDAIC). During these last 10 years EDAIC became known all over the continent and also in other countries outside Europe. More than this, other medical specialties took the anaesthesia example and started organizing similar examinations.
Regarding the European ‘affairs’, he got a lot of experience during those years when he was a member of CENSA (Council of European National Societies of Anaesthesiology) and also a senator of the European Academy of Anaesthesiology. He is the current Chairman of the Council of European Specialty Medical Assessments (CESMA).
All the above predict the continuation of fruitful cooperation. Both of them, Daniela and Zeev, will bring new ideas to the organization and will know how to keep its principles intact by working together.
Daniela is well involved in the scientific affairs of the Romanian Society (SRATI). Zeev accumulated tremendous experience in the domain of diploma examination. Scientific activity and examinations are needed in every country and in every Society. But special help needs to be provided to those Societies that still fight for improving the status of our specialty in their own countries.
Many years ago ESA was created by a number of visionary and dedicated Western European Anaesthesiologists, but soon it became an organization of all Europe. It integrated professionals from all the countries, encouraged the activity of NASC and enlarged its educational projects by assisting those national bodies interested in organizing congresses and courses. I am sure that ESA Board will continue in this direction.
With the continuous help of the other Board members, of chairpersons and members of ESA committees and subcommittees, Zeev and Daniela will continue to develop the domains of interest of our profession in Europe.
I would like to take this opportunity and in the name of the Newsletter readers, editorial staff, and in my own name to wish Dr. Zeev Goldik, the new President, a fruitful term, new initiatives, and recruitment of many new members to our Society.
And to both Daniela and Zeev we all wish a continuous fruitful cooperation, for the sake of our profession in this continent, of all ESA members, and our readers.