Jenny King
Jenny KingMD, Australia

Unfortunately, in 2022 there was still sufficient hangover from COVID-19 to frustrate a complete return to normal. However, we are all very good with online meetings now. So the regular work of deciding on Workshops and Meet the Expert activities for our Annual Meeting, producing monthly E-lectures, and assessing applications for the Observership grants continued at full pace.

Not surprisingly, the last few years have really impacted our ability to run the usual educational activities, particularly Regional Symposia and eXchange programs. Attendance by visiting IUGA speakers was not possible and we instead had to switch our focus to webinar type activities. While we haven’t worked out how to run a satisfactory practical workshop over Zoom, these webinars have been hugely successful. Many have been joint activities with other international societies including the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, American Society of Colorectal Surgeons and the Pre-Vocational Obstetrics & Gynaecology Society of Australia and New Zealand. Already this year we have held or are planning a second webinar with some of these societies.

There have also been seven webinars organised in Africa with the assistance of the Regional Advisory Board plus two for Eastern and Central Asia. In 2022, there were 27 individual webinars with over 8,000 registrants and more than 3,000 attendees joining in real time.

We have also put a lot of effort into expanding and promoting IUGA endorsements for other meetings which advance education in urogynecology. The program content and involved speakers are carefully reviewed by members of the Education Committee and this is proving very effective in increasing knowledge of and interest in IUGA.

Another first for 2023 is the planned reciprocal workshops at the IUGA and ICS annual scientific meetings. Several of our IUGA members in Canada will be running a workshop on prolapse at the ICS meeting in Toronto and we are really hopeful this collaboration will continue.

The big focus for the Education Committee through 2023 is on developing a new format for providing educational activities in those countries less well resourced with urogynecologists. This Fundamentals of Urogynecology course will replace the previous eXchange meetings. We hope to make this an effective combination of lectures, workshops and other activities with topics determined by each local organizing committee. Much of these will be pre-recorded but we plan to have an IUGA moderator ‘live online’ throughout and where financially possible, some in person attendance. This will be a huge task but we are hopeful these resources may also be useful for other IUGA committees.

My thanks to all Education Committee members and most of all to our wonderful IUGA liaison, Marlies Grent (who really does all the work!).