Presidents Newsletter

Dear Diplomates, dear Residents,

I am very delighted to greet you with this letter just a few days before the end of the year and its festive time, to give a summary of the activities of the College in the past months and to anticipate the work in progress for 2017.

In 2016 the 8th edition of the ESPHM was held in conjunction with the IPVS in Dublin. It was a big success in term of attendance and of scientific feedback. In that occasion we also had our Annual General Meeting with the election of new board members in the position of ordinary member (Margit Andreasen) and Vice-President (Heiko Nathues) replacing Carlos Piñeiro and myself, respectively. Joaquim Segalés is now Past-President and Domineik Maes has left the board after years of fruitful involvement in the board, keeping different key positions. Thank you so much to all the board members, to those that has left their position and to those that are keeping position. 

The examination was held in Utrecht in April and 4 out of 5 Candidates successfully passed their challenge. The Examination Committee, now chaired by Diana Meemken, is strongly committed to preparing a fair and efficient exam, also by updating the essays and the questions that will be included in the exam. One of the primary and most strategic objects of our College at the moment, is the need to increase the number of Diplomates by examination. This is clearly mentioned in the Strategic Plan of the ECPHM for the following years that was published few months ago and that is available on the website. In fact, the board of the College is putting all its efforts into supporting and facilitating all the Residents to become prepared for sitting the exam. Twenty Resident Mobility Grants of 1,000 € each are aimed at facilitating the exchange of Residents among the Residency Programmes and also to other Institutions in order to increase their competencies and skills. In the meantime, a common educational path based on a series of lectures to be attended on-line by the Resident will be offered in 2017.

In 2016, the Education Committee has organized the Resident Workshop held in Dublin before the IPVS/ESPHM based on the presentation and discussion of clinical cases by the Resident. The Examination and the Education Committees have identified the presentation of clinical cases as a critical point of attention on which the Residents have to invest and learn as much as possible. In fact, the oral part (the discussion of the clinical case) is the most challenging part of the exam, where the Candidates have to be trained as good as possible. For this reason, the structure of the Resident Workshop as changed over the years. Formerly based on lectures and on short clinical case presentations from the Residents, the 2017 Resident Workshop, that will be held in Prague before the 9th ESPHM, will be mainly devoted to the clinical case presentations, with much longer time left for discussion. Moreover, the third edition of the Summer School will be organized in Copenhagen thanks to the organizational support of Ken Pedersen, member of the Education Committee, in close collaboration with the whole Education Committee chaired by Elisabeth grosse Beilage.

Since October 2016, the ECPHM has the support of a professional Secretariat (MV Congressi) that cooperates with the Secretary for technical and organizational issues. This is another step forward for our College to becoming a complete and structured organization, able to efficiently serve the Diplomates.

The Credential Committee has supported the activities of the other Committees by evaluating the credential of the new Residents, the Candidate to the examination and mainly the Diplomates and Residency Institutions needing re-evaluation.

As mentioned above, our major event in 2017 is the 9th ESPHM that will be hosted in Prague. Almost 400 abstracts are waiting for the review process before being presented as oral or poster presentations in Prague. It is a great number of contributions that shapes a successful event both from a scientific and from a participation point of view. I invite you to visit the website of the 9th ESPHM ( and stay tuned on it.

During the conference, on the 3rd of May at noon, a meeting of the Supervisors/Advisors of the Residency Programs is planned for discussing several matters related to the residency program and the residents’ training. At least one representative from each Institution is kindly requested to attend. In the meantime, I take the opportunity to remember you that the Annual General Meeting 2017 is called on Wednesday the 3rd of May in the afternoon.

In this end-of-the year address, a brief update is also needed about the finances of the College. The finances of the College are solid and year-by-year they increase thanks to the income from the positive final account of the Annual Symposium. So, the investments on the Education of the Residents will be implemented proportionally to availability of the College’s budget.

Our Journal, “Porcine Health Management” edited by BMC, also deserves some comments and your particular attention. First of all, Prof. Dominiek Maes and Prof. Joaquim Segalés have replaced the two former Editors in Chief, Professor Maurice Pensaert and Professor Guy-Pierre Martineau, last June. This turnover was planned since the foundation of the Journal and this message is a great opportunity for me, also on behalf of whole College, to publically thank the Colleagues, Maurice and Guy-Pierre, who have served the College by taking care of the “new-born” journal in the most difficult period of its life. Now the Journal has regular publications but, to consolidate the efforts done up until now, it needs and deserves the attention and the devotion of all Colleagues involved in porcine health management (Diplomates and non-diplomates) through submission of manuscripts in order to achieve the proper indexing within PubMed Central and the inclusion in Scopus and to obtain an impact factor. We all are committed to keeping Porcine Health Management in mind for our publications!

Some updates about the European Board of Veterinary Specialization (EBVS). The current year was a very busy year. The recognition of the European Veterinary Specialist, our title as practising Diplomates, by the European Union is the most important and demanding action characterising the activity of the EBVS in 2016. We hope that all the action taken by the Executive Committee of the EBVS, led by Dominiek Maes, will succeed so that our Diploma and title of Specialist will have a full and legal recognition all over Europe. Thanks to the EBVS Executive Committee for the excellent job.

Special thanks go to the Members of the different Committees and to the Board Members for the excellent collaboration in the College; without your dedication all actions taken and successes achieved in 2016 would not have been possible.

At the very end of this message, I wish you and your families a happy festive time and a healthy and fruitful 2017.


Parma, 21st December 2016

The President of the ECPHM

Paolo Martelli 

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