37th International
Gastrointestinal Surgery Workshop

Saturday, April 4 - April 9, 2020
Congress Center Davos, Switzerland

GI Foundation & History

The AO Davos practical postgraduate training course in orthopedic surgery came into being in 1978. It soon became the prototype of modern practical operative training courses. The so-called “hands-on” courses met the demands of young surgeons and became very popular indeed. Gastrointestinal surgeons greatly envied their colleagues having access to these training courses, which evolved into a perfect mode of training in the course over the following years due to the creation of artificial bones and other training models. A small group of GI-surgeons from seven different surgical schools in Switzerland and Germany under the leadership of Professor Martin Allgöwer who later became the Founding Faculty of the GI-courses and the Davos Course Foundation took the initiative and started the first course in gastrointestinal surgery in 1984

To successfully guide a group of renowned and autonomous surgeons into a “Unité de Doctrine” is this other outstanding achievement of Professor Martin Allgöwer. It has to be mentioned that the “all layer” and “one row” suture technique, which then became the Davos Suture Technique, was so compelling, simple, safe, that not only the personality of Martin Allgöwer, but the issue itself slowly convinced all members of the Founding Faculty, resulting eventually in a “Unité de Doctrine”. Thus the Davos Suture Courses were born. They grew and expanded continually not only by an increase at each course from initially 80 to presently 260 participants but also by drawing up new training programmes, automatic suture devices included in the training range and eventually the course was extended to include the newly developing laparoscopic techniques. Having celebrated its 25th anniversary - the quarter century of existence - in 2008, the GI-Courses have reached an important milestone. The organisers and successors of the founders are very keen to continue this ambiguous project into the second quarter century by improving the standards continuously in accordance with the latest standards of education in GI-surgery. In this respect the virtual reality training (VRT) has been implemented successfully in the regular course program and most recently the new advanced course was introduced with great success.

foundation for
gastrointestinal surgery

On December 11, 1989 the Foundation for Gastrointestinal Surgery, Davos (GI-Foundation) was founded in accordance with the Swiss law. The Foundation is registered with its address in Davos at the AO-Education Center. Since June 2009, the Foundation has become a member of the “Academia Raetica”.

aim and affiliations

The aim of the Foundation is to support and promote education in gastrointestinal surgery, in the production of adequate teaching aids as well as in the organization of international exchange of surgeons in training. The Foundation may organize postgraduate courses and intensify scientific exchange between various institutions.

The Foundation for Gastroenterological Surgery is a not-for-profit organization that aims to provide practical education to young surgeons in training. Each year, the foundation organises an internationally renowned course where abdominal surgical techniques are taught with lectures and skills workshops. 

Since its inauguration in 1989, the Foundation for Gastroenterological Surgery has been seated at the Research Institute of the AO-Foundation in Davos, Switzerland, which is an institution accredited and controlled by the Swiss government. 

In June 2009, the Foundation for Gastroenterological Surgery has become affiliated to the Academia Raetica. This academy acts as an umbrella organisation for several highly qualified research institutes and public hospitals within the Canton of Grisons, Switzerland. The academy supports and coaches postgraduate education and fosters interdisciplinary research and networking within the associated institutions. The academy may promote doctorates.

Members of the Board of Directors, the Course Faculty, and the Instructors group respectively, are independent and active surgeons who have leadership functions in different European hospitals. These surgeons contribute to the annual course with their presence and experience and do not receive any honorarium for their work.

The annual practical course is held in the Davos Convention Centre. Davos is known to be the highest located congress town in Europe and repeatedly hosts famous international congresses. The population of the Davos community is the owner of the Convention Centre. Therefore, the Convention Centre business is run in a not-for-profit manner and is able to offer a very low rental fee to the Foundation for Gastroentero- logical Surgery. Hotels and other housing facilities in Davos are offering quite low rates compared with other congress cities in Switzerland.

The committee organizing the course (e.g. the Faculty and Board of Directors) has freedom in designing the scientific program and the practical exercises. The committee does not have any commitments to the industry partners at the course.

The course faculty is promoting surgical skills training, surgical research and academic development. In this respect, several peer-reviewed manuscripts, written by members of the faculty have been published in the medical literature so far.

The annual course provides a fully scheduled and structured education throughout the whole six days. Besides practical exercises, theoretical lectures and interactive case- based discussions are provided.

All finances of the course are freely available to the sponsoring companies. Accounts, balances and projected budgets are transparently discussed with the industry partners. Financial statements are reviewed and approved by a trust company and all records of the course organization are freely available on request.

Presidents and founding members


Registration and Administration Office
Telephone: +41 62 873 10 10

Registration and administration office

GI-Course Secretariat
c/o ak-medizin
Hübel 14
4333 Münchwilen

Telephone: +41 62 873 10 10
E-Mail: davoscourse@ak-medizin.com

Congress center davos

Congress Center Davos Platz, entrance Promenade
Tel. +41 81 414 62 15
Fax +41 81 414 62 29
E-Mail during Course: davoscourse@ak-medizin.com

Opening hours of the secretariat in davos

Saturday, April 7, 2018
 09.00 -19.30

Sunday, April 8 , to Thursday, April 12, 2018
07.30 - 12.30 and 14.00 - 20.00


Without the tremendous support of the sponsoring companies who are not only providing all needed laparoscopic equipment, suturing material and one way material but also bearing part of the infrastructural costs, the courses would not be possible. 

Johnson & Johnson
Applied Medical
KLS Martin
IVF Hartmann

Future Dates

37th International