Presidential address 2024 by Mirko Petrovic

After dedicating four years to serving as the Academic Director and two years as the President-elect, starting from January 1st, 2024, I am delighted to embark on my journey as the President of the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) for the next two years.

This appointment fills me not only with privilege and honour but also a deep sense of gratitude towards the numerous colleagues with whom I have had the opportunity to work closely over the past years. Together, we have tirelessly worked to elevate EuGMS profile, positioning it as a valuable partner for various scientific societies and organizations addressing the challenges of an aging population.

Our accomplishments stem from the effective collaboration between the Executive and Academic boards, as well as the unwavering support of our secretariat and the professional congress organizer, Aristea. This collaborative effort has enabled us to establish a well-organized and transparent society structure. This foundation promises further growth, nurturing a significant societal impact aimed at advancing geriatric medicine across Europe and enhancing medical services for older citizens.

Throughout my presidency, I am committed to upholding the exemplary practices set by esteemed colleagues who have come before me—individuals like Stefania Maggi, Finbarr Martin, Athanase Benetos, Cornel Sieber, and their predecessors—all of whom have left an indelible mark on our society's structure and character.

In addition to promoting diligence, open-mindedness, interactivity, and collaboration among my fellow Executive board members, some of whom were recently elected, my central focus will be agile leadership. This entails establishing clear tasks and objectives for all Executive board members, fostering autonomy, loyalty, transparency, and advancing the professionalization of our society in accordance with the recently revised bylaws.

Looking ahead, our primary goal is to enhance education and promote continuous professional development, particularly through the annual congress. The Academic Board will continue its unwavering commitment to maintaining a high level of scientific and educational activity within our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Task & Finish Groups. These groups have recently undergone thoughtful restructuring, now focusing on main geriatric syndromes and relevant topics from both medical and societal perspectives. Each SIG will have the freedom to shape its activities effectively while collaborating seamlessly with the Academic Board. Our aim is to foster dynamic collaboration and interaction among different SIGs, boosting the scientific output and visibility of our society.

Within our diverse society, each member country possesses a wealth of insights to share and learn from. The European Geriatric Medicine journal, serving as our society's gateway to the scientific world, will play a crucial role in disseminating our high professional and scientific standards across Europe.

Our collective aspiration, driven by scientific curiosity, open-mindedness, and solidarity, is to achieve the highest levels of professionalism and scientific excellence. Our goal includes expanding not only the number of congress participants, website visitors, and readers of our journal, European Geriatric Medicine, but also fostering increased interactions and collaborations among our members. In doing so, we aim to create a robust network of professionals and academics in the field of geriatric medicine, transcending geographical distances and borders.

In the upcoming period, our goal is to attract not only young and promising members from countries with well-established traditions in geriatric medicine but also to further support and strengthen our Global Europe Initiative. This initiative aims to involve members from regions where geriatric medicine is still emerging as an independent specialty. This effort aligns seamlessly with the recently launched four-year project, "PROmoting GeRiAtric Medicine IN countries where it is still eMerGing (PROGRAMMING)," funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST). As a scientific grant holder, EuGMS aims to enhance education and training in Geriatric Medicine for healthcare professionals in these emerging regions.

Underlying all our efforts is an unwavering sense of enthusiasm, goodwill, and energy, bound by a shared objective: to promote and disseminate professional and academic excellence within the field of geriatric medicine across Europe. In unity, we strive for swifter progress, loftier ambitions, and greater strength in all our endeavours.