Royal Belgian Society

Prof S. Monstrey

Prof. Dr. Stan Monstrey - Universitair Hospital Gent

It will be an honour and a pleasure for me ‘to serve’ as the President of the Royal Belgian’s Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery in the coming two years.

Although no President of the RBSPS has ever wanted nor has ever been able to ‘change the world’ in the two year period, it has always been a tradition that each incoming RBSPS President selects one specific topic or issue to focus on during this presidency.

My special interest in the next two years will be the training and the teaching of plastic surgeons in Belgium.

In the past five to ten years, a lot has changed as to the formation of residents in plastic surgery in our country, all by with some slight differences or specific accents in each of the linguistic parts of our country:

  1. first of all, the number of medical students has been restricted through an entrance exam and also the number of last year medical students that were allowed to continue in the specialty training, was restricted for almost every specialty through the formation of contingence;
  2. the theoretical formation of a specialist training has become increasingly important under the auspices of the academic senders, through theoretical training was started initially for the first two years of the residency. This so called academization included teaching sessions, as well specific examinations;
  3. from this year on, the training will further be optimized with the so called master after master or second master training. Instead of the simple master/learner relationship (only checked through the stageboekjes/carnets de stage at the recognition committee’s), there is now the acquisition of competences through increasing knowledge, capacities and attitudes, not only in the role of the medical specialist but also as a scientist, a communicator and a manager. A more structured inventarisation of the acquisition of these competences will be possible through a so called ‘portfolio’ which can be described as a daily report of the practical and theoretical aspects of the training as a specialist. This portfolio also includes several moments of reflections and especially of feedback from the supervisors in charge of the resident’s training. Although initially this second master teaching program was considered as an additional administration burden to the already stressful agenda of the people involved in plastic surgery training in Belgium, it is on the other hand an unique opportunity to improve the quality of the training and even more the quality of the plastic surgery clinical practice. The specialty of plastic surgery is privileged to already have set up a yearly program of teaching sessions and examination system through the Collegium Chirurgicum Plasticum. In the future, the collaboration between the different training centres will become even more intense and important.

Last but not least, this optimalization of the training of residents could also have an influence on the continuous training which is required for all established plastic surgeons in Belgium.

Hopefully in the summer of 2011, some substantial progress will have been made to finalize this project.

Prof dr Stan Monstrey