The 1st COMEDS Military Surgeon Ad Hoc Expert Team Meeting
The 1st founding meeting of the COMEDS Military Surgeon Ad Hoc Expert Team (MSET) took place on 1-2 March 2012 in Budapest, organized by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine (MILMED COE). The meeting was led by its chairman, Col. Dr. Teun van Egmond (NLD).
Representatives from 13 nations (AUT, BEL, CRO, CZE, DNK, FRA, HUN, ITA, NLD, NZL, ROM, SGP, USA) attended the meeting. Besides organizing the event and supporting the activities of MSET, MILMED COE fulfils secretary functions as well.
The purpose of the meeting was to create a formal pool of senior military surgeons of NATO and NATO Partner Nations in accordance with decisions of the 35th Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services in NATO (COMEDS) Plenary. The objectives of the meeting were to frame common working procedures for the Ad Hoc Expert Team, as well as to lay down guiding principles and schedule for a common minimal military surgical skills and competences set development project.
The MSET is a recent temporary substructure within the NATO Standardization network created in reaction to financial, technical and medical specialist shortages across NATO nations. Its task is to develop common core of skills and knowledge for military surgeons deploying to NATO operations and to survey the respective multinational competency-based training options. Based on national caveats MSET will not touch war surgery competency certification issues, this will remain a national responsibility.
The establishment of MSET was done as an interim process of a typical bottom-up standardization effort. Representatives of 6 nations, AUT, CHE, DEU, FRA, NLD, USA and the MILMED COE had a first roundtable discussion in Frankfurt, Germany on 18 March 2011 on this topic, and by assessing the current situation and needs identified that a minimum common agreed skill and competency standard in regards of Damage Control Surgery/Role 2 surgical duties would be essential. Findings were reported at the 35th COMEDS plenary, Budapest, Hungary. COMEDS considered the report, found the need to be valid and agreed to create an Ad-Hoc expert team of military surgeons, under the auspices of the Emergency Medicine Expert Panel (EM-EP).
The group is supposed to report this year to the COMEDS Steering Group (CSG) on the results of a skill-set development, in close coordination with the Emergency Medicine Expert Panel (EM-EP) and the Military Health Care Working Group (MHC-WG). These results should then be coordinated with the Military Medical Training Expert Panel (MMT-EP).