Klaus MatzelKlaus Matzel is ESCP's Past President and Chair of ESCP's European School of Coloproctology and Head of Coloproctology at the Department of Surgery, University Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany.

Current position and hospital: Head of Coloproctology, Department of Surgery, University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

ESCP Executive role: President Elect

Main clinical and research interests: Functional Disorders & Proctology

What made you want to specialise in colorectal surgery?

Exposure to pathological colorectal conditions early in my surgical career and the opportunity to be involved in clinical research from the beginning of my training sparked my interest in this wide, constantly growing field.

What is the best part of the job?

There is no one best part! It is the combination of being able to offer help to patients in need, to be part of the development of new treatment modalities, share your knowledge with younger colleagues and the opportunity to work with interesting people from different professions in and outside the medical world.

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

I've been involved with ESCP since its foundation in 2005. My main motivation was to build up an educational platform. The ESCP has become the Society for for educational and research activities in colorectal surgery. The society started small but evolved and still is evolving rapidly. In its early years activities of ESCP were limited to one annual meeting but now it has become an active society throughout the year.

What do you value most about being involved in ESCP?

The involvement of active, interested, engaged colleagues at every stage of their career from various countries offers a unique opportunity to understand and meet the needs of both patients and colleagues. ESCP is carried by the spirit, friendship and collaboration of those shaping the colorectal field.

Tell us your best ESCP conference anecdote?

Not just an anecdonte, more a repeating theme - often happening at meetings: sticking heads together with colleagues and friends, having an idea and then making it happen.

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

Look for good teachers, actively engage with colleagues outside your home territory, don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone and think outside the box.

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