Three recipients of our Pre-Congress Fellowships report on their placements. Zoran Radovanovic (Serbia) and Martin Oberreiter (Czech Republic) visited Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Brüder in Vienna, and Rob Bethune (UK) visited Landeskrankenhaus in Salzburg.


Zoran Radovanovic, M.D., PhD, surgeon

zoran radovanovic

Assistant Professor, Oncology Institute of Vojvodina, Serbia

As a recipient of the ESCP pre-congress two-day-visit programme supported by Covidien, I visited Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Brüder (St. John of God Hospital) in Vienna.

Thanks to the kindness and hospitality of Prof. Friedrich Herbst I was actively involved in various colorectal procedures, both open and laparoscopic and I had lot of discussions about treatment options for colorectal diseases. This ESCP 2-days pre-congress fellowship programme is an excellent idea that enables not only the exchange of experiences but also the establishing of future cooperation between colleagues from other countries.

Rob Bethune

rob bethune

Surgical Registrar, Severn Deanery, UK

I spent an excellent couple of days at Landeskrankenhaus in Salzburg where Prof Dietmar Öfner is the head of surgery. The unit was kind enough to allow me to watch and assist in a fantastic array of colorectal surgery, done to the highest possible standards. However what most sticks in my mind was the brilliantly organised surgical meeting every morning at 7am. All of the surgical staff attended, from Professors to Interns. The meeting started exactly on time and all the theatre cases and new admissions were discussed and all was over by 7:30. I have never seen such a great demonstration of team work in action. The other, much less significant, memory is the very helpful pocket the surgical scrubs have on the trouser leg in Austria! Both of these innovations would surely improve care in the UK. I would like to express my thanks to Prof Öfner and all his team for making me so welcome.

Martin Oberreiter, MD

University Hospital Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

I was delighted to be chosen as one of the first participants from Czech Republic to take part in an ESCP Pre-Congress Placement. My stay was held in Vienna at Krankenhaus der Barmeherzigen Brüder and was hosted by Prof. Dr. Friedrich Herbst.

Organization: I was happy that all requisites were managed very smoothly and in a friendly manner. I have to send many thanks to the ESCP Pre-Vienna Placement organizers and especially to Elsbeth Helfer (ESCP Secretariat) who was really helpful, kind and very patient with me. From ESCP/Covidien I received monetary expenses which covered all my costs (travel, hotel, food). I did not have any problems with organization and if I had had any, I am sure they would have been be solved by the ESCP Secretariat.

Professional part: I am not entitled to judge anybody; however I would like to highlight the kindness, professionalism and friendship of Prof. Herbst who hosted me and Dr. Radovanovic in his department. At the very beginning, we were presented with a short history and some data on the surgical department and given some brief information about Prof. Herbst’s career. Then Prof. Herbst told us about the history of his patients who were awaiting operation. We saw four patients in total and I participated in operations alternately with Dr. Radovanovic. Among the most interesting procedures were: a rectal prolapse operation - Altemeier; a laparoscopic operation for failed ileorectal J-pouch with leak - resection of J-pouch and ileostomy, an open operation due to benign stenosis of ileum and chronical bowel obstruction after several operations and finally resection of left colon due to diverticulosis after repetitive diverticulitis attacks with deliberation of splenic flexure also done laparoscopicaly. All operations were performed calmly and precisely even though they were not so simple to do. I was very happy with the cases which Prof. Herbst chose for us and also I really appreciated that I had the possibility to see the skill and different approach of Prof. Herbst and his team. I was also happy to notice some things (procedures, administrations) which are the same as in my workplace. It cheers me up that I am not the only one in the world who is struggling with papers!

Conclusion: This fellowship brought me new professional views and experiences, new cultural experiences (Vienna is of course a wonderful place to stay) and not least new friends and colleagues with whom I can share my knowledge, skills and problems. If I may suggest, I would definitely continue with this program and I strongly recommend it to my colleagues.