International Affiliate Societies
In 2001, the ACG Board of Trustees approved an International Affiliate Society program. The goals of the program include:
- Raising international awareness of College activities and ACG awareness of international educational activities
- Increasing international attendance and contributions to the ACG Annual Meeting
- Increasing awareness and participation in the ACG International GI Training Grant program
- Assisting our Affiliate Partners in their educational mission to their members
- Where appropriate, assisting International Affiliates in adapting US / ACG public health outreach programs to their local medical community and patients
- Increasing readership and international contributions to the American Journal of Gastroenterology
Currently, there are three international GI societies that have met the requirements and been approved for ACG Affiliate status:
Federação Brasileira de Gastroenterologia
The Brazilian Federation of Gastroenterology – FBG is a non-profit organization that promotes and represents the overall area of gastroenterology in Brazil. FBG congregates 4,300 professionals that perform gastroenterology. FBG integrates, together with another 64 renowned medical specializations, the Scientific Council of the Brazilian Medical Association (AMB-Associação Médica Brasileira).
FBG was founded in 1949 to support and develop the scientific knowledge of gastroenterology in Brazil, and it currently represents 22 regional federates throughout the country. Every year, FBG grants a title known as the “Gastroenterology Specialist”.
FBG is an affiliate of AIGE – Associação Interamericana de Gastroenterologia (Interamerican Gastroenterology Association), and OMGE – Organzação Mundial de Gastroenterologia (World Gastroenterology Organization). FBG has two scientific publications, GED and the Gastroenterology Archives Magazine (Revista Arquivos de Gastroenterologia), besides other programs that focus on the scientific updating of FBG’s associated entities.
FBG hosts the Brazilian Week of the Digestive Track, a biannual event of international magnitude, considered as the major gastroenterology event in Brazil.
Associazione Italiana Gastroenterologi & Endoscopisti Ospedalieri
AIGO (Italian Society for Hospital Gastroenterologists and Endoscopists) was founded in 1969 and encompasses, as the name suggests, gastroenterologists and endoscopists who work in hospitals, therefore with similar aims of the American College of Gastroenterology. Presently there are approximately one thousand members who work primarily in the clinical and endoscopic field, but do not overlook clinical research and teachings within their single departments.
Since 1969 the main objective of the Society has been that of forming its members, primarily through conventions, and also working with other Italian Gastroenterology Societies.
In the last few years, in addition to various conventions, many monothematic courses have been organized (Hepatic Cirrhosis, Alimentary Disorders, Clinical Government, Digestive Bleeding, Rare Pathologies of the Digestive Tract, Non Viral Hepatic Illnesses).
The aims of the Society are to develop the knowledge of pathologies and gastroenterological techniques, to promote progress in the field of prevention, treatment and cure of digestive diseases, to develop clinical research and to improve professional and scientific standards.
During the last years, the Society united with SIED (Society of Endoscopists) and with SIGE (University Gastroenterologists) in order to reach its goals and above all to improve and intensify the specialization with the public and within the political field. (It must be noted that in Italy the health system is based on social medicine and that all organizational decisions are taken by each Region that are in turn governed by authorities that are democratically elected).
During the last years the Society has done its best to reach its main goals (formation and clinical research) by organizing multicentric studies. The first of these was published in the Journal of Hepatology and consisted of the use of hepato-biopsy in liver diseases; others regarded the quality indicators in colonoscopy (to be published), clinical effectiveness in the therapy of Virus C Hepatitis and prospectus on digestive bleeding (to identify prognostic factors).
A website is available to the members of the society in order to assess any updates and to keep abreast of procedures and documents that are necessary for their activities.
Together with the other societies, an annual national congress is held that includes approximately 2000 physicians who are interested in updates within their specializations. The next 2007 congress will be held in Palermo and in 2008 will be held in Rimini. A project on “Clinical Governance” is in the making. A study will be completed on a multicentric research on the use of albumin in liver diseases.
The Japanese Gastroenterological Association
The Japanese Gastroenterological Association (JGA) was founded in 2004 with the aim to concentrate only on topics related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. One of the major associations related to GI issues in Japan is the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology (JSGE), which covers not only the GI tract but also the liver, biliary tract, and pancreas. Apart from the JSGE, there are individual associations that focus on a single organ. The JGA is one such association in Japan that features detailed research on the GI tract and clinical cases.
The JGA holds an annual meeting during which educational and clinical programs are discussed and an international program focusing on a single topic is conducted. The 6 annual meetings and the 9 educational courses to date involved highly sophisticated presentations and active discussions, showing the remarkable enthusiasm of more than 3,800 current members across Japan to strengthen this association. The participation of members from not only gastroenterology but also a wide range of academic fields, including internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, pathology, and pharmacology, is in line with the aim of the JGA of being a “comprehensive academic society for GI diseases.”