World Gastroenterology Organisation

Global Guardian of Digestive Health. Serving the World.


WGO San José Training Center

Director: Dr. Herbert Burgos


The San José Training Center was inaugurated in March 2010. The Center is located in the Gastro Clinica, where work in Gastroenterology began about 15 years ago through the development of therapeutic techniques. Over the last five years focus has also been given to research in order to improve the accuracy and sensitivity in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease. The current development of new technology in diagnostic and therapeutic Endoscopy increasingly challenges the practice of Gastroenterology. Advances in therapeutic Endoscopy have created a new approach to diseases that previously had only a surgical approach. Added to this aspect, the latest developments in diagnostic Endoscopy related to the use of High Resolution - Magnification Endoscopy and the application of Spectral Image Processing have taken diagnosis to a new era of histo-morphological interpretation of endoscopic findings.

This development creates an important knowledge gap between conventional Endoscopy and the new paradigms. The Endoscopy industry competes for better systems and new applications which drives the need to create a new language for interpretation and therapy.

Through research, the Center seeks to disseminate the application of new techniques in the diagnosis of diseases of the GI tract, mainly related to detection of premalignant disease, inflammatory and infectious disease and immunologic disease. In addition, the center seeks to improve the classifications of premalignant and malignant disease. The Center has a special interest in inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease, as these diseases are common in the local population. The Center has also recently developed interest in the documentation and implementation of monitoring in sedation, mostly those related to cerebral activity monitoring as a method to decrease sedation complications.

Main Objectives / Goals:

The main goals of the Center are the development of the histo-morphological interpretation date related mainly to the diagnosis of premalignant diseases and early cancer in the GI tract as well as the improvement of early detection of malignant disease mostly as premalignant condition in order to reduce the severe impact of this disease on patients and community and to reduce the economical impact that generates the treatment of advanced disease.

The main objective of the Center is the promotion of the highest standards in the practice of gastrointestinal Endoscopy with the implementation of new diagnostic technology, in developing countries on areas where access to high-quality training in gastroenterology is poorly developed.

The specific objectives are

  • The teaching of application of High Resolution - Magnification Endoscopy at the GI tract
  • The application of Spectral imaging in Upper and Lower GI Endoscopy
  • The training on interpretation of histo-morphological images
  • The development of programs and strategies for screening of premalignant disease at the GI tract
  • The creation of protocols in the therapeutic approach to findings
  • The development of cohort screening programs to reduce the impact of the cost of treatment by preventative measures
  • To tailor the screening programs based in the accuracy and sensitivity of these techniques
  • The application of Spectral imaging in Enteroscopy
  • The teaching of newer techniques in Trans-Nasal Endoscopy
  • The teaching of practice of sedation by non-anesthesiologists
  • Research in anesthesia patient monitoring
  • The application of Endosonography in the GI tract
  • Capsule Endoscopy
  • Research based activities to improve knowledge in these areas


The WGO San José Training Center is located within Gastro Clinica in San José, Costa Rica. A new gastrointestinal Endoscopy center has recently been opened. The new facilities measure 500 square meters, composed of five endoscopy suites, a recovery area, an endoscope processing area, radiological unit, and conference rooms with live transmission in high definition from the Endoscopy suites.

The entire center measures some 4,000 square meters and is designed as an ambulatory center for outpatient and ambulatory surgery, with other medical services such as a pharmacy, laboratory, radiological unit, and other specialties.

The faculty includes seven GI specialists, five of which are dedicated mainly to Endoscopy, four GI nurse assistants, two secretaries and administration.

The actual annual workload at the center is approximately 5,000 endscopic procedures, but this number is expected to increase with the opening of the further five simultaneous Endoscopy suites.

The Center activities are part of the projection of the Universidad Autónoma de Centro América (known as UACA) with the academic recognition of the Center’s teaching activities for credentialing purposes. Research carried out within the Center is done according to the Good Medical Practice protocols and supported mainly by the Center’s own funds.

Areas of Training:

The training is based in independent modules, with assisted live endoscopic procedures and video practices. Every module has a duration of one week for a total duration of three months. The one week modules can be adapted to the needs of the participant. The main advantage of the modules is that the participant can choose the desired area of development. The main modules are:

  • Basic concepts in High Resolution magnification and Spectral images
  • Application in esophageal disease
  • Application in both Upper and Lower GI diseases
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Detection of premalignant disease
  • Pathology applied in GI Diseases
  • Design of cohort protocols related to Endoscopy in GI disease
  • Endosonography in GI disease; Basic application (Auxiliary)
  • Sedation by non-anaesthesiologist; Applications (Auxiliary)
  • Trans-Nasal Upper GI Endoscopy (Auxiliary)
  • Double Balloon Enteroscopy (Auxiliary)
  • Capsule Endoscopy (Auxiliary)

These areas of development will be covered through a variety of academic activities, such as specific workshops, and the training of doctors, nurses, and health care workers according to specific requirements. Master Classes and Seminars in Endoscopy will introduce new techniques to places where they have not previously existed and will support the ongoing training of physicians and surgeons who have been trained in gastroenterology.


Center Director: Dr. Herbert Burgos

125m Norte del Cruce a Llorente de Tibás
Centro Médico Sirius
Segundo Pisa
Tibás, San José, Costa Rica
Fax: +506-22258018

Further Information:

For more comprehensive information on the San José Training Center, including the trainee application process, course offerings, and other details, please refer to the downloadable pdf:
> San José Training Center Information Packet (Downloadable PDF)

WGO San José Training Center

Richard Kozarek (then WGO President) and Herbert Burgos (Costa Rica Training Center Director) at the inauguration of the Center.

WGO San José Training Center

Bryan Friedler (Fujifilm Latin America), Hisashi Kishimoto (Deputy General Manager Medical System Business Fujifilm), Herbert Burgos, Richard Kozarek, Henry Cohen (WGO Past President), and Eamonn Quigley (then WGO Foundation Chair).

WGO San José Training Center

Facilities at the WGO Training Center in Costa Rica.

The WGO would like to give special thanks to the Gastro Clinica and Fujinon Latin America for their support and Sponsorship of the WGO San José Training Center.

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