MEMBER FOCUS

Mentoring support from ESMO and the wider ESMO network can improve cancer management in developing nations


Hampig Raphaël Kourie

Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon; ESMO Membership Committee

MEMBER FOCUS

Mentoring support from ESMO and the wider ESMO network can improve cancer management in developing nations

Hampig Raphaël Kourie

Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon; Member of the ESMO Membership Committee

Hampig Kourie, an ESMO member based in the Middle East, talks to us about the positive impact ESMO has had on his career as a practising medical oncologist, and the valuable support it can offer, especially to oncologists in developing countries.

“After obtaining my medical degree in 2010, I started my fellowship in haematology/oncology at the Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon, before moving in 2014 to the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, Belgium. It was while working there as a medical oncology fellow that I was encouraged to become an ESMO member in order to benefit from the wide range of educational materials the society has to offer. I also participated in a number of ESMO Preceptorships, where I met many influential oncology experts. I was very fortunate to be mentored by ESMO Past President, Rolf Stahel, who encouraged my further involvement with the society and I subsequently applied for and became a member of the ESMO Membership Committee in 2016. Since returning to Lebanon last year, I have continued my work with ESMO, becoming involved with regional ESMO events in the Middle East.


The practice of oncology is still evolving in many regions of the Middle East and there is a huge unmet need for more effective care; the incidence of cancer is rapidly rising here and improved access to educational materials is crucial if oncologists are to keep up-to-date in this rapidly changing field. I believe this is where ESMO can really help. As many oncologists in these regions do not have the financial support to attend the ESMO Congress or other international meetings, they can benefit greatly from the ESMO Summits, a series of regional meetings that not only bring state-of-the-art education to those unable to attend other ESMO events, but put this education into context, making it relevant to local needs. In April 2018, ESMO held the first Middle East Summit in Dubai. Many local oncologists were invited to share their thoughts, and information was tailored to meet the needs of participants from low- and middle-income countries, including discussions on the practicalities of providing quality cancer care at affordable prices in the face of limited resources. We also encouraged participants to become ESMO members in order to benefit from educational materials available on the ESMO OncologyPRO® portal, including ESMO meeting resources, E-Learning modules, latest publications and Clinical Practice Guidelines. It was a very successful and enjoyable event, and I’m convinced that, over time, it will help to make a difference to cancer management in the region.

“Through my involvement with ESMO, I have met many leading oncology experts, and there is always someone I can turn to for support and guidance.”

Looking back, ESMO has had an extremely positive impact on my career as a practising medical oncologist. Through my involvement with the society I have had the opportunity to publish in ESMO Open and to present at ESMO congresses. Importantly, I also feel supported by the wider ESMO network; there is always an expert I can turn to for advice, for example, when I encounter challenging clinical cases. Looking to the future, I would certainly like to continue my work with ESMO to raise awareness of the vital support the society can provide, particularly among oncologists working in developing nations whose patients are in greatest need.”


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