Carolynne VaizeyWe have one more Meet the Executive article for you, a new update from Carolynne Vaizey. Carolynne is Chair of ESCP's Guidelines Committee and a member of the Research Committee. She is a Senior Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at St Mark’s Hospital in London.

Current position and hospital: Senior Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at St Mark’s Hospital, London.

ESCP Executive position: Chair of Guidelines Committee and a Member of the Research Committee

Main clinical and research interests: Intestinal Failure and Complex Open Surgery, Pelvic Floor and Benign Anal Surgery.

What made you want to specialise in colorectal surgery?

I started my career in South Africa and on returning to England felt that Colorectal Surgery was the one gap in my surgical training. I then took a Fellowship in Colorectal Surgery and have not looked back since!

What is the best part of the job?

Giving patients with intestinal failure their lives back. It’s very constructive surgery and its great working in the huge team we have at St Mark’s.

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

I was asked to speak at the ESCP meeting in Vienna in 2012 and enjoyed the meeting so much I joined immediately!

Since then I have participated in every September meeting and have held various positions such as chairing a committee looking at outcomes for faecal incontinence, being a member of the Research Committee, and now the chair of the Guidelines Committee.

What do you value most about being involved in ESCP?

The ESCP is a worldwide organisation and the networking available to us all through it is invaluable for research, and many other activities such as guidelines. The annual meetings are excellent quality and I have found the secretariat to be truly outstanding and supportive.

Tell us your best ESCP conference anecdote?

It has to be arriving in Vienna a day early for the conference and going to the Spanish Riding School, the oldest riding academy in the world. I had previously stabled a horse with the Lipizzaner Stallions in Johannesburg, so have a great interest in them. In 1944 Count Jankovich-Besan rescued a select few Lipizzaners from war-torn Europe and took them to South Africa. Their direct descendants still give shows there today. In Vienna, the horses are magnificent but it is the setting of the extraordinary Winter Riding School in the Hofburg Palace, the most splendid baroque hall I have ever seen that was so surprisingly breath-taking.

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

I would tell them to get a mentor they can talk to, because being a surgeon is not always straightforward, and they will need advice on which battles to fight and which ones to ignore.

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