New year, New Opportunities

live case
Attendees at a recent conference watching live surgery

Welcome to 2020! 

Update! 4/8/2020: Editor’s note:

– 2020 is cancelled… well, maybe 2020 isn’t but it certainly feels like it with a large part of the world on lockdown as we fight this pandemic.  So – roll forward to 2021 for conferences..and stay safe everyone!

In answer to some of the most frequent inquiries on, we have compiled a list of this year’s recommended thoracic surgery conferences.

Recommendations are based on multiple factors:

Timely content and topics (let’s not rehash the indications for  3 port VATS anymore, it’s not a novel technique)

Utility of content (is it practice-changing information?  Is there a hands-on skills lab? Is it relevant?  Or is half the conference a group of pulmonologists showing off their toys and talking about making inappropriate referrals for SBAR?)

International content/ International participation – Is there a good mix of speakers?  Where are they from?  Are the experts actually the experts in that area?  Or is it just a bunch of North Americans talking to hear themselves talk?  What about audience participation?  

What about the topics themselves?  Do they represent a variety of practice settings and conditions?  Is there any discussion of relevant regional diseases or conditions (like XDR/ MDR TB cases and other regionally-based thoracic diseases)

Same old speakers on the thoracic surgery circuit? Or someone with something new to say? recommends:  (in date order)

March 5th – 7th, 2020  – 4th Vienna -ESTS Laryngotracheal course  in Vienna, Austria.  The course includes a cadaver lab to practice hands-on skills.  The full program is here, and includes a wide range of topics in laryngeal surgery, as well as presentation of data from several large centers.

April 6th – April 8th, 2020 –  2nd ESTS-ERS Collaborative Course on Thoracic Oncology: Pleura, Mediastinum, Rare Tumours in Hamburg, Germany.  Click here for full program.  (The website is clunky, so the links are set up to take readers directly to registration and program information).

November 13th – November 14th, 2020 – STS/ EACTS/ ESTS Latin American Thoracic Surgery– Rio de Janiero, Brazil.  There isn’t a lot of information published yet on this year’s conference, but STS has made a huge effort in the last few years to push this conference and be more inclusive of Latin America, so it’s probably worth a go.  (note: staff has attended the Latin American cardiac surgery conference in the past).

VATS International is always on the recommended list – once we have final date and program information, we will add it here.


Author: K Eckland

World of Thoracic Surgery is a blog about the work, research, and practices of thoracic surgeons around the world. It includes case studies, [sometimes] dry research, interviews with thoracic surgeons along with patient perspectives, and feedback.

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