When I was a medical student, "uremia" was a dreadful word predicting imminent death. In just a few decades, it turned out to be just the beginning of a challenge through which physicians are able to sustain life for many years. Along with the almost legendary improvement in the management of end-stage renal disease, there have been major developments in our understanding of the clinical patterns, pathogenesis and management of most renal diseases, hypertension, electrolyte disorders and many other related disorders.
The specialty expanded like an explosion, that could be hardly accommodated into millions of printed pages and billions of hours of lectures, symposia, workshops and congresses all over the globe. But who can cope to catch up with all this ?
Fortunately, we are in the Internet Age. Today, one can easily browse the net to survey many journals, read categorized abstracts or full text articles, make a quick search, or interact with colleagues in discussion groups or chat rooms. One gets almost instantly alerted to new treatment guidelines, consensus conferences, or scientific breakthroughs.
A "Congress on the Internet" is yet another shining ring in this chain of e-knowledge. Like a physical congress, it provides a format to encompass education, research and interaction, all in one package. Yet, it is much less demanding in terms of time, travel and cost. Any physician having access to a modest computer can participate in such a virtual congress without leaving his or her office or living room. All displayed material is documented and downloadable for future reference or teaching.
Congratulations to the Congress president, Dr. Gerardo Torres, and his instrumental assistant, Dra. Maria Jesus Coma, as well as all those who worked hard to make of this idea a reality, for their outstanding previous success and the expected even greater achievement this year.