Eloy Espin Basany is ESCP's President. He is Professor of Surgery, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain

Name: Eloy Espin Basany

Current position and hospital: Professor of Surgery, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona

ESCP Executive position: President in Waiting

Main clinical and research interests: Colorectal cancer, pelvic floor, anal fistula, laparoscopy

What made you want to specialise in colorectal surgery?

The truth is that when I was in medicine I was thinking about doing paediatric surgery, but the experience was not satisfying… many times I was very sad and worried! So I decided to do general and digestive surgery, and there one of my mentors was doing mainly colorectal surgery… and I just loved this!

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

I started in 2001… in the EACP! So I can say that I have been in ESCP since the beginning. My reason was to become a member of colorectal surgeons of Europe, to know them, to learn and share experiences. In fact, in 2004 I was chosen to be national representative from the members of Spain, and there I started to see that ESCP is a must for colorectal surgeons. It gives you a broader view, and it makes you be part of a great network of surgeons.

What do you value most about being involved in ESCP?

There is a lot to value, you know surgeons from all over the world, not only Europe, and you can learn a lot from them. You also learn how different and how similar we all are - the way of thinking, the different values of every country. You can be part of a network of research, education and also share clinical experiences. And you make a lot of friends. I don’t know much of how other specialties are, but colorectal surgeons are friendly and very easy to be familiar with all of them. And the level of knowledge is impressive!

Could you tell us about your best ESCP anecdote?

There are many, and it's difficult to choose one. But I always remember Lars Påhlman, we were together at a dinner, and I recommended a way of making fried eggs with truffle. For me it was a simple comment but years after, when he was close to passing, he came to a meeting and he thanked me for this… because he enjoyed this many times during his last months, and he hugged me. You see… being part of ESCP gave me the chance to know great people like Lars, and share not only colorectal thoughts, but share life.

If you had one bit of advice for younger surgeons starting their career in colorectal surgery, what would it be?

That they must have two values for their career: passion and compassion. Passion for the surgery and compassion for the patients. And another bit of advice: this is not a solo career, you must be part of a team, and without a doubt, ESCP is the place where all colorectal surgeons should be, it is the ideal place to be part of a team with outstanding levels of knowledge and a friendly environment. You only can win if you are part of ESCP.

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