Saturday, September 26, 2009

ESH Summer School

I am just back from the Summer School of the European Society of Hypertension, and this time it will be a timely post. The summer school was held in Smolenice in Slovakia quite close to the Austrian border.

It was graced by some 60 school children (mostly cardiologists around 30 years of age) and some very well prepared speakers (there were some of the other kind of speakers as well, but that is a secret). The main clinical questions in hypertension were very well handled, with presentations of overwhelming evidence. As is usual at any scientific meeting, very few of the presenters showed us any remorse and the coffee breaks were often quite a bit shorter than planned.

The physiology of hypertension was not as thoroughly covered, but the most important bases were at least touched upon. Among those, the crucial role of the kidney in hypertension (it being the most important organ and all that) was quite adequately presented. Micro vascular disease was one of the few areas that was well covered both from a clinical and an experimental perspective.

As with all schools there was an ample supply of suggested reading. Some 60 articles, and some books. Having learned nothing from my previous 25 years of schooling, I obviously thought that everyone would have printed and read all these beforehand. Consequently I felt a little bad that I had not. Need I say that there was no need for worry.

In the end we were 60 doctors and scientist locked away in a castle that would have made Disney (or Dracula) proud. The social program was quite intensive. Luckily the beer at the local pizzeria was maybe the cheapest in all of Europe and it was quite strong as well. In combination with a too long trip home, I was hung over jet lagged for three days.

I can only recommend you to go to the ESH summer school if you are in any way interested in hypertension and have the opportunity (your national hypertension society is the way in). It will be in Rovinj, Croatia in 2010 (the beer should be cheap), and in Barcelona 2011.


Michael Hultström

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