WFVS seeks to help shape future of global vascular training through technology and collaboration

Palma Shaw during a recent video interview covering the latest developments at the WFVS

The World Federation of Vascular Societies (WFVS) recently entered a new era of governance with the aim of better disseminating science and best practices for vascular surgeons operating in every corner of the globe. Palma Shaw, MD, WFVS secretary-general, spoke to Vascular Specialist in a recent video interview about some of the strides made so far and what plans are in store for future progress in vascular training— including collaborative efforts and the potential use of simulation. This is an abridged outtake from the video.

Shaw, a professor or surgery at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, details that the WFVS identified a need to focus on education and training following discussions with council representatives from various societies across the world. This will involve leveraging digital strategies, she explains: “We are working on developing access for a virtual education program, like the Society for Vascular Surgery [SVS] has already developed.”

Simulation, or virtual learning, will also be used for the purposes of education and training, Shaw adds. In fact, the WFVS has been exploring opportunities with different companies to try to see what is available and what might work for its purposes. “We will try to increase access, especially in those countries that are underserved, and we would like to really get ultimately all vascular surgeons to a minimum level of training,” Shaw outlines.

Collaboration will also be key to attaining the WFVS’ education and training goals. The secretary-general communicates that the new webpage and portal, currently in its design phase, “will serve as a hub for scientific exchange, collaboration and networking between members of the global vascular community” once completed. In this vein, the WFVS also intends to identify societies across the world that it might be able to connect with in order to help augment training in various locations.

Looking to the future

Considering what lies ahead for the WFVS, Shaw sketches a future plan to reach out to various quality initiatives—including the Clinical Practice Project or the Vascular Registry Project of the SVS, the Vascular Surgery COVID-19 Collaborative (VASCC) started by Max Wohlauer, MD, of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado, or the International Consortium of Vascular Registries—in order to help disseminate the work of the WFVS and “reach further out into the globe and expand our knowledge base.” Shaw also mentions the future involvement of the WFVS in global guidelines being developed for diabetic foot management. “That will be a several-year project.”

Finally, Shaw highlights that the federation would like to offer mentorship in the coming years. This may involve not only a web-based platform for education, but also hands-on learning. “We can be a connector for those countries that need more on-site training, and those that are able to offer that to them.”

Watch the full-length video interview with Shaw on the rebooted WFVS here.


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