In March 2010, in Gothenburg, Sweden, orthopaedic surgeon Margareta Berg took the initiative to make a scientific literature search on the keywords ”Surgical Training” and about 200 high quality articles were found on PubMed. Using her network of international contacts, she invited key leaders in different surgical specialties around the globe to join. Contact was established with the American College of Surgeons, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and different European surgical societies. In response, several leaders expressed their own concerns about the lack of structure and quality controls in surgical education, especially regarding manual skills training. 

The initiative resulted in a core group of engaged colleagues. Dr Berg organised the first group meeting at the Deer Park Hotel in Howth outside Dublin on Ireland in September 2010. During two days the topic of manual skills training was discussed in a profound way from many different angles, and the decision was taken by the group to create a new medical congress focused on surgical training.

The 1st Surgicon Congress 8-9 September 2011 at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg was created with the purpose to meet the highest levels of quality regarding the program content, the organisation and the social exchange between colleagues with a common interest in the topic. In addition, a congress summary book with abstracts was printed. The faculty get-together with a so-called ”Räkfrossa” on board the old steam ship ”Bohuslän” came to a quick end due to a gale of 18 m/s. The first lesson of the Congress was given onboard with the title ”How to peel shrimps”.

The meeting was characterised by a friendly and intelligent atmosphere. It served as a forum for open discussions about how to find solutions to create more standardised ways to educate new surgeons. More than 30 leading surgeons from different countries and different specialties showed their engagement as speakers, and the meeting attracted several hundred delegates from 30 countries on 6 continents. Some of the conclusions were that we needed to shift from so-called ”Time-based training” to ”Competency-based training” meaning step-wise training with included stepwise examinations, and that the methods of surgical skills training should be scientifically validated. To reach these goals we realised that interdisciplinary scientific research was needed, including from experts in Education, Engineering and Economics, and that they should work together with Surgeons. A mutual and open collaboration with the surgical device industry was also seen as a priority, as there is a continuous liaison between innovative surgeons and the industry. The first congress ended with the decision to repeat the same congress in 2013.

To prepare the 2nd Surgicon Congress in Gothenburg 17-19 May 2013, ten working groups were appointed to create their respective section in the congress program. The groups included 3-5 surgeons from different continents and different surgical specialties, making up the base of a global international network.

In addition, a book was written by 24 authors from 11 countries and released at the congress: ”Cutting Edges in Surgical Training”. The book can still be ordered.

At the congress 2013, 43 speakers from the highest level were engaged for 3 days. Examples of speakers are several past-presidents and the president-elect of the American College of Surgeons, a delegation from Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, a delegation from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland an many more. The concentration of surgical leaders for 3 days at the same site made the delegates call the Surgicon Congress for ”Davos for Surgeons”. New scientific research groups were formed during the congress, resulting in multiple scientific publications on surgical training afterwards.

After some years of silence and a lot of lobby-work including meetings with the CEO of MedTech Europe in Brussels and representatives for the Swedish government and healthcare authorities, the decision was made to reactivate the congress.

The 3d Surgicon Congress was held 5-7 May 2021, and due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation it was transformed to a live online event. However, the quality and structure of the congress program was upheld.

Under the button ”ARCHIVE” the congress programs and the congress books with abstracts from 2011 and 2013 are available. Some of the lectures 2021 are available by video links included in the Event Schedule.