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The ESDE Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy Fellowship

Following the ESDE 2018, The ESDE educational committee has decided to offer a Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy fellowship-program for European surgeons for a period of 1 year in 1-2 accredited expert centers in Europe to provide opportunities for training and research in the field.


This fellowship is an initiative of European minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) surgeons that are part of the European MIE Think Tank initiative

  • The fellowship is endorsed by the ESDE to enable training in MIE and to offer the opportunity of working with Europe’s frontline leaders in Minimally Invasive Esophageal surgery.
  • The focus of the fellowship is minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE). Dedicated MIE centers throughout Europe are selected by ESDE to offer this fellowship (see selected MIE training centers).
  • By combining the clinical strengths of 1-2 renowned MIE training centers, we expect the candidate to learn to work as an MIE esophageal surgeon in a professional and safe way.
  • By offering a one-on-one teaching plan, the aim is to offer a hands on experience in MIE.
  • By offering a broad clinical experience and a focused research project, the fellow will be able to continue MIE surgery and research throughout his/her career.
  • The fellowship is organized in close collaboration with the home institute of the fellow.
  • Financial support will be provided to the fellows who are selected by the educational committee of the ESDE in close collaboration with the home institution .The fellowship is hosted during 1 year in 1-2 centers of the selected MIE training centers.
  • The fellowship is only applicable to European surgeons who are current members of the ESDE

A Structured training program for minimally invasive esophagectomy for esophageal cancer- a Delphi consensus study in Europe. DisEsophagus. 2018 Mar 1;31(3)                                      Visser E, van Rossum PSN, van Veer H, Al-Naimi K, Chaudry MA, Cuesta MA,
Gisbertz SS, Gutschow CA, Hölscher AH, Luyer MDP, Mariette C, Moorthy K,
Nieuwenhuijzen GAP, Nilsson M, Räsänen JV, Schneider PM, Schröder W, Cheong E,van Hillegersberg R.

Aims and Objectives

Overall Objective
To train the fellow in MIE surgery and research.

 Main Clinical Goal
To offer a training program for minimally invasive esophagectomy surgical procedures. At the end of the fellowship the candidate should be able to participate in or start his/her own general MIE surgery program.
 Main research Goal:
To evaluate the clinical applications of MIE surgery.
The fellow will evaluate the host center’s experience (European center database).
The fellow’s own learning curve will be analysed systematically.


A hands on training course, such as provided in Stockholm and Utrecht is the starting point for the fellowship as a first introduction to minimally invasive esophagectomy. (see a list of accredited courses on the ESDE site).

Esso Course on minimally invasive esophagectomy:


To work 1 year in 1-2 high volume Upper GI selected centres in Europe with expertise in MIE.

  • To learn/assist and aim to perform surgical procedures and learn the clinical pathways on MIE.
    1 day per week is reserved for will research activities.
  •  3 full days per week in are spend in theatre.
  • A typical week will offer the fellow 3-6 Upper GI procedures.
  • The fellow will be trained to assist/aim to perform thoracolaparoscopic esophagectomies. Benign Upper GI surgery may be part of the start of the training program. The fellow will be scrubbed in over 60 surgical procedures in this fellowship.

Evaluation and assessment

  • Pre and post fellowship tests. Simulator rides.
  • Database to evaluate the learning curve.
  • The fellowship aims to work towards UEMS OesophagoGastric certification in cooperation with the home institute of the fellow. The UEMS requirements can be found on the website It is clear that this should include the experience in upper GI obtained in the home institute. The one year fellowship is an addition to the previous experience.


The ESDE educational committee governs the fellowship.
2 fellowships are provided yearly

The fellowship provides EU 20,000 to be used to support the recipient’s own salary in conducting the fellowship over 1 year in a host department and country outside the applicant’s own department and country. The fellowship may commence at any time after the award but no later than 6 months after it has been awarded.

Financial support:

Industrial partners support the ESDE educational activity with an unrestricted educational grant of  20,000  Euros per fellow for housing and travel.

The Expert MIE centers should apply through the ESDE website. Expert Centers will be selected by ESDE educational committee and presented on the website.

Fellowship candidates may choose 1-2 centers and will be allocated to a center by the ESDE educational committee. The fellow must be supported by the home institute.

Selection will be based on the CV , experience and reference of the home institute

Applying for the Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy (MIE) fellowship

The Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy (MIE) Fellowship is for European surgical fellows planning a career in Esophagogastric surgery and seeking additional training in the with a mentor. Applicants should be supported by their home institute and willing to travel to the MIE expert center to follow the MIE fellowship. They should confirm their intention to return to their home country after completion of their fellowship.

  • Applicants should have experience with minimally invasive surgery and esophageal surgery.
  • Applicants should be willing to be involved in research and preferably write one scientific paper during the fellowship
  • The applicant and the home sponsor must be members of the ESDE at the time of the application. An applicant may apply for ESDE membership at the time of the application, but the home sponsor must have been an active ESDE member for one year immediately prior to the application.
  • The fellowship is only applicable to European surgeons who are current members of the ESDE

The application should include:

  • A covering letter
  • The applicant’s curriculum vitae with photograph.
  • Letter of reference from the applicant’s home institution

The application pack to be sent to:

Professor. Richard van Hillegersberg, Chair of the ESDE educational committee
Email ID -R.
Professor of Surgery, Head Department of Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology,G04.228 |University Medical Center Utrecht| Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CXUtrecht,The Netherlands

Telephone:+31 (0)88-7558074                    Fax: +31 (0)30-2541944

ESDE 2025
11-13 May 2025
The Netherlands