Presidential address

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Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Pediatric Neurosurgery has gained increasing interest among young neurosurgeons during the past years. Beside a general trend towards subspecialization, Pediatric Neurosurgery seems to have certain supplementary attractions: it refers to broad spectrum neurosurgical practice, whilst specific skills (such us microsurgery and neuroendoscopy), as well as familiarization with functional techniques is required.

On the other hand, birth rates are decreasing in most European countries, which results in a limited number of pediatric patients across the continent. In this context, additional efforts are required and special educational demands are raised, in order for our subspecialty to maintain its independence.

This is where the European Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery (ESPN) steps up, to promote education and independency of Pediatric Neurosurgery in each associated country, for the benefit of the pediatric patient. ESPN organizes annual postgraduate courses of the highest level, as well as refresher courses and consensus conferences, supporting education inside and outside Europe for a growing number of countries where there is an increasing number of young colleagues requiring technical and educational support, as well as significant needs for neurosurgical practices in children and adolescents. Furthermore, the Society’s biennial Congress offers the opportunity of updating on the latest developments and networking between young and more experienced neurosurgeons active in the pediatric subspecialty.

Furthermore, the ESPN offers support to national groups of colleagues who seek to improve local standards for Pediatric Neurosurgery. Each country has its own requirements and existing structures play a decisive role. Establishing and further on maintaining a sustainable environment for our subspecialty in any nation inside and outside Europe is important, in order to ensure the best possible treatment for children with neurosurgical conditions, as well as scientific progress in our field.

These ambitious tasks could not be realized without the active educational and communicational contribution of enthusiastic colleagues. Our Society is living from its members and for its members, in favor of a functioning Pediatric Neurosurgery subspecialty and practice. In my power as the acting President of ESPN for the years 2016-2018, I cordially invite all our young colleagues to join forces with us and work for the future of Pediatric Neurosurgery by becoming part of our Society.

I also take this opportunity to thank all my friends in ESPN for being more than just colleagues: for being a family one can trust in.

Kindest wishes,
Martina Messing-Jünger
ESPN President 2016-2018