Miguel Pera, Assistant TreasurerMiguel Pera is ESCP's Treasurer and Professor of Surgery at Hospital del Mar, Barcelona.

Name: Miguel Pera

Current position and hospital: Professor and Chair of Surgery, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona

ESCP Executive role: Treasurer

Main clinical and research interests: Colon and rectal cancer; minimally invasive surgery; cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC, inflammatory response to surgery and mechanisms of tumour recurrence

Twitter handle: @m_pera_roman

What made you want to specialise in colorectal surgery?

A combination of intentions and chance. Once I had completed my training as a general surgeon, I applied to different fellowships in the United States, in surgical oncology and laparoscopic surgery. Finally, I was offered the possibility of training for one year in colorectal surgery at Mayo Clinic Arizona with Jacques Heppell and Keith Kelly in 1998. I had the privilege of having those mentors, as well as Heidi Nelson in Rochester, which allowed me to start a career as an academic colorectal surgeon.

What is the best part of the job?

Colorectal surgery offers a perfect combination of varied surgical activity with different degrees of complexity, clinical and translational research, and the opportunity to train other surgeons. The best part of our work is the possibility of offering a surgical solution to the problems of our patients and to be able to excite and engage young surgeons to follow our steps.

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

I became a member of ESCP (formerly EACP) in 2004. After returning from the United States, and once I joined the Department of Surgery at Hospital del Mar, my participation in Europe as an academic surgeon became one of my goals.

What do you value most about being involved in ESCP?

In addition to the attendance and participation in the annual meeting, which is of a very high quality, the collaboration with a society that dedicates a lot of time and resources to train surgeons.

Tell us your best ESCP conference anecdote

I took the European Board of Coloproctology examination in Vienna (2012) and my examiners were the ESCP past president Ethem Gecim and the current Education Chair Dieter Hahnloser. I could not be present when the results were reported because at the same time, I had to give a talk in the main auditorium and did not know that I had passed the exam until several hours later!

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

Look for a good place to train (there are currently many centres of excellence in Europe), find a mentor (or two), always put the patient’s interest first, do research, and join ESCP.