October 07, 2019
3 min read

Harmonization and diversity to be main theme for EFORT 2020 Congress

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EFORT has featured at every annual meeting for the past 5 years a specific congress main theme that has always aligned with the EFORT mission of improving patient care. This selected overarching topic is broadly reflected in the scientific program for the meeting and is used as the driving statement for the core discussions in all the planned sessions and scientific exchanges onsite. For the upcoming 2020 edition of the Congress in Vienna, EFORT will highlight harmonization and diversity in the orthopaedic and traumatology practice as the congress main theme.

With 41 National Member Societies, EFORT is a diverse organization looking for good role models to adhere to and to accept diversity. However, as harmonization means discussing and finding agreement, this seems to be the obvious role of EFORT as the largest European orthopaedic platform.

If the definition of harmonization is applied to a medical discipline, such as orthopaedics and traumatology (O&T), we can affirm that it is the main principle to build guidelines that apply on local, national and international levels and allow practitioners to agree upon treatments in patients.

On the other hand, according to the United Nations, “Diversity enriches an organization by bringing together different ideas and life experiences to generate a robust outcome. It provides an organization with the credibility and legitimacy it needs to engage its stakeholders.”

In this context, connecting diversity to a physician’s practice implies that although we have the same total amount of evidence, this will not necessarily achieve the same guideline. This is what evidence-based medicine (EBM) is, as described by Professor David Sackett in the 1990s. According to Sackett, EBM is the common part of best external evidence, the patient values and expectations, and the individual clinical expertise of the profession.

In this context, despite that diversity constantly challenges harmonization, EFORT builds up a framework in which harmonization respects diversity, making both concepts go hand-in-hand.

Among the congress highlights, which link important components within the scientific program, are safety in implants and treatments, prophylaxis and treatment of infections, artificial intelligence, robotic-assisted and computer-assisted surgery, European diversity, outcome research in the diversity, registries and harmonization, and risk management that draw attention to the EFORT 2020 Congress main theme. The scientific program for Vienna will, of course, include a variety of high-quality educational sessions that ensure not only the learning of the best techniques and experiences for O&T diagnosis and treatment, but also how to apply both harmonization and diversity to the everyday O&T practice.


Among these, we encourage delegates to the congress to include attendance at the following sessions in their agenda for the meeting:

Global Diversity in Bearing in Primary THA
EBM Session – Johan Kärrholm (Sweden)

Diversity in Clinical Outcome Assessment
Symposium – Bernd Grimm (The Netherlands)

Distal Femoral Fractures: Diversity of Treatment
Symposium – François Loubignac (France)

Diverse Approaches to Scoliosis in Young Children
Symposium – Alpaslan Senköylu (Turkey)

Women in Orthopaedic and Traumatology Surgery
Symposium – Deborah Eastwood (United Kingdom)

Harmonising Mass Injuries in Children
Symposium – Pierre Journeau (France)

EFORT is convinced that “Harmonization and Diversity” will bring fruitful discussions in areas where harmonization is needed to increase the treatment quality and bridge important components that affect members of the O&T community, leading to long-term delivery of better health care and improvement in patients’ quality of life.

Harmonization and diversity will also be featured during our Erwin Morscher and Michael Freeman Honorary Lectures where Gilles Walch, MD, and Freddie Fu, MD, DSc(Hon), DPs(Hon), two world-renowned speakers, will give a summary of their surgical practice, worldwide experience, and remarkable exchange with colleagues and fellows over the years with the main theme in mind.

Finally, but just as important, during the 2020 Vienna Congress, EFORT will present for the first time a Best National Paper session as part of its scientific program. This initiative focuses on the presentation of one selected paper from each member country. This new session aims to increase the involvement of all the EFORT National Societies and stimulate a greater focus on high-quality science. By promoting the networking between these EFORT National Society representatives, EFORT wishes to create a research culture within the EFORT community and showcase the best available research of the O&T surgeons in Europe.

Although diversity is shown through different practices from one country to another in Europe, harmonization becomes necessary for the standards of knowledge (curricula and syllabus). Therefore, EFORT seeks to advocate the safety of patients as the absolute priority of harmonization and diversity, a trend that will be reflected through the scientific program for the congress in Vienna.

EFORT looks forward to delivering an extremely diverse congress program in a charming city where music is the ultimate expression of harmonization.