Gabriela MosleinGabriela Möslein is ESCP's Assistant Programme Committee Chair and Director of the Center for Hereditary Tumors at BETHESDA Khs. Duisburg in Germany.

Name: Gabriela Möslein

Current position and hospital: Director, Center for Hereditary Tumors, BETHESDA Khs. Duisburg, Germany.

ESCP Executive position: Assistant Programme Chair

Main clinical and research interests: Hereditary gastrointestinal tumors, prophylactic surgery, cancer surgery, especially rectum and gastric, ileoanal pouch, continent ileostomies (Kock pouch), polyposis syndromes, Lynch syndrome, hereditary gastric tumors, Peutz-Jeghers-Syndrome etc. Desmoid Tumors, Guidelines, networking, registries.

Twitter handle: @GabrielaMoslein

What made you want to specialise in colorectal surgery?

It was coincidence! In the late 80’s during my surgical residency, I bumped into Prof Joji Utsunomiya when the ileoanal pouch was still in its infancy. He established the ileoanal J-pouch that has since become the standard pouch design. During my six-months in Japan, I became involved with polyposis patients. This was before the identification of the underlying genetic alteration located in the APC gene. Since then I have focussed on optimizing indications and techniques for patients with hereditary colorectal disease. As such, taTME has come into my radar as well as other technicalities related to pouches that may improve functional and oncological outcome for patients.

What is the best part of the job?

Teamwork and the immediate involvement with patient outcomes are key to this profession. In my specific field of interest, knowing patients and their families for decades is, of course, helpful in judging situations and potential outcomes. Providing individualized expertise and offering patients’ confidence over their lifetimes and seeing young patients grow and gaining their confidence is great. It relates to one of my teaching objectives for trainees: know your patients and listen carefully to them! Ultimately it is satisfying to perform surgeries with a focus on functional and oncological outcome and it is key to develop these skills in your entire team. It is also hugely fulfilling to be part of exciting progress in this field in relation to both genetics and surgery.

How long have you been involved in ESCP and what made you want to become involved?

I first became involved in specialist international groups in the field when I was focused on hereditary disease. The development of ESCP into a very innovative and future-oriented society embracing all of the European countries and addressing the issues that are important in the day-to-day life of surgeons sparked my interest in the group. Research, education, new technologies and nice people (friends) have made it feel like something I wanted to be actively involved in and to help shape the future.

What do you value most about being involved in ESCP?

The ESCP membership includes a range of areas of interest in the field of Coloproctology and boasts vastly competent experts, who are willing to exchange ideas and experience. It provides an open community that discusses success and also pitfalls openly. Most importantly, being a long-term member of Executive, the exchange of thoughts, ideas and very open discussions has changed my perspective and I have experienced how rewarding and relevant the international perspective is.

Tell us your best ESCP conference anecdote?

Together with Willem Bemelman remodelling the stiff conference dinner to a real party was challenging in the light of some fairly conservative members of Exec and trustees 😉 Overall the beach party in Nice and the party in Vienna were worth the effort!  I really hope to revisit this in Dublin!! The change from dinner to party was a real success. Some of the perceived reactions to the party were hilarious, such as a wife of a very renowned professor getting really upset about the format and saying: “this is not our style, let`s leave immediately and go to a nice restaurant” and, of course, they left!

What would your one bit of advice for younger surgeons starting their career in colorectal surgery be?

Find what you really enjoy doing and you will be good at it! Always look for mentors in this field. Always raise questions and make your own decisions, if you encounter discrepancies. Never say: “I learned it this way from my chief…” without serious reflection on what you are doing. Always check the newest evidence around!

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