Report of 12th annual EFCS tutorial
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 12th annual EFCS Tutorial scheduled on June 7th-11th 2021 in Trieste had to be canceled. Instead, a digital edition was held on June 10th-11th. The event was chaired by Giovanni Negri and co-chaired by Arrigo Capitanio.
This digital edition of the annual tutorial was based on the use of virtual slides which were uploaded on the Eurocytology site and made available in advance to the participants who could study the cases before the live event. Overall, 91 different virtual slides were uploaded for the participants. The live event included short lectures followed by the discussion of the virtual cases, while participants could ask questions in real-time via chat. Overall, one hundred and ten questions and comments were made via chat.
Nine tutors from Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Norway, France, Croatia, and Finland were involved in the lectures, which included eleven different topics among urine, breast, thyroid, pancreatic, serous effusions, salivary gland, soft tissue and gynecological cytology.
One hundred and twenty-two participants (cytotechnologists, residents, biologists and pathologists) coming from 24 different European and extra-European countries, including Austria, Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, Malta, New Zeland, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland took part in the courses. Up to 11000 connections before the live event were recorded by the Eurocytology servers, which did their job flawlessly also during the live sessions.
The participants’ feedback has been highly positive. Ninety-five percent of the participants found the virtual platform easy to use and would recommend a future tutorial to a colleague. One of the most asked features was keeping the slides and lectures online for some time after the event. In fact, slides and lectures have been made available to the participants for three weeks after the tutorial.
Overall, despite the forced virtualization, it was another successful EFCS annual tutorial, in the best tradition of these events. We are already working on the next annual tutorial, scheduled in 2022, and we will try to resume the classic tutorial formulation based on microscopy work. We believe that working together, face-to-face with the tutors, is an excellent opportunity not only to learn cytology, but also to create new professional contacts and friendships between cytologists. However, encouraged by the success of this digital edition, we are already planning further digital events which will allow broader participation and a peek into the future of digital cytology. Stay tuned on the EFCS website!
Giovanni Negri and Arrigo Capitanio