First, I would like to express my gratitude to the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) for the privilege of granting me a two-week travelling fellowship. My fellowship experiences at Karolinska University Hospital, St. Mark’s Hospital, and Amsterdam Medical Center were both exciting and enlightening. This invaluable experience will have a major impact on my future clinical practice and research content. Indeed, my short stay in Europe will be a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

At Karolinska University Hospital, Prof. Martling taught me about the Swedish colorectal cancer registry. Her lecture helped me understand that the program is supported by the arduous work that surgeons put in. I was impressed to learn from her that not only doctors but also all patients are well aware of the importance of this project in Sweden. Although I had already acknowledged its significant results, it was only now that I was able to understand the criticality of shared value for developing and sustaining this outstanding program. Furthermore, I really appreciate the hospitality and thoughtfulness of Prof. Nilsson. He kindly guided me around several parts of the hospital and invited me to a fascinating dinner that made my short stay in Stockholm memorable.

ESCP Meeting, Barcelona, Spain

Eiji Shinto PresentingFrom Stockholm, I flew to Barcelona for the ESCP meeting. I noticed that there was a difference between the programs of the Japan Society of Coloproctology (JSCP) and ESCP meetings. The larger half of Japanese surgeons is interested in oncology, and sessions focused on cancer for the greater part; however, in the ESCP meeting, sessions were evenly distributed between IBD, infectious disease, and functional disorder. As Japanese surgeons are less familiar with these subjects, educational programs may be required for our meetings. In the Visiting Fellow Free Paper session, chaired by Professors O’Connell and Shelygin, I made a presentation on my research on the clinical significance of mesothelin expression at the invasive front of colorectal cancer. I have been interested in the pathology of colorectal cancer, having studied the subject at McGill University, Canada. My boss in Canada, Prof. Jass, a famous GI pathologist—originally from St. Mark’s Hospital, UK—had distinctly perceived the importance of characters at the invasive front. This had a strong influence on my research content. The night after my presentation, I was invited to an excellent Spanish dinner at Can Travi Nou. I felt totally relaxed and enjoyed the delectable food and wine, as well as the conversation with European doctors. I was touched by their gracious hospitality.

St Mark's Hospital, Harrow, UK

After the meeting was over, I moved to St. Mark’s Hospital. I was fortunate enough to observe several surgical operations in theaters and medical examinations at the outpatient clinic by Professors Clark, Vaizey, and Kennedy. There were a number of complicated cases from all over the country, and I was impressed by the physical and mental toughness of the doctors. At St. Mark’s Hospital, Dr. Maeda fixed my schedules while Ms Ferrari took care of my stay. I am grateful to them for their kindness.

Amsterdam Medical Center, The Netherlands

The Amsterdam Medical Center, The Netherlands, was my final destination. Prof. Bemelman had kindly consented to my visit and showed me a number of surgical operations. The center has 22 theaters equipped with the latest laparoscopic facilities. It was indeed impressive, as was Prof. Bemelman’s performance. I was fascinated by a transanal single port surgery for resection of functionless pouch, and it remains etched in my memory. I realized that surgery, undoubtedly, is an art inspired by novel ideas. After finishing all his surgeries on the first day, Prof. Bemelman gave me a pleasant surprise by inviting me to a special dinner with some retired doctors, at a restaurant refurbished from an old church. The delicious food and the solemn mood of the place had a profound effect on me.

Looking back to the wonderful time I had in Europe, I am thankful that I had several opportunities to talk to gracious European professors. I was extremely happy to find that all professors value the relationship ESCP has with JSCP. This has broadened my outlook remarkably. I am convinced that the travelling fellowship is helpful for enlightening young surgeons and deepening mutual understanding between the two organizations. I am very grateful to ESCP and the many people who encouraged and supported me. Last but not least, I wish and pray for continued friendly relations with and the future prosperity of ESCP.

Eiji Shinto, M.D.

Department of Surgery, National Defense Medical College, Japan


ESCP Affiliates