We talked to Professor Ronan O’Connell, President of the ESCP, who discusses how ESCP's conference has evolved into one of the most important meetings on the coloproctology calendar.

Photo of Ronan O'ConnellThis year’s meeting in Barcelona will be the 9th ESCP conference, how has the meeting evolved over the years?

The 9th Annual Scientific Meeting of ESCP promises to best the most successful ESCP meeting to date with in excess of 1500 delegates attending from more than 50 countries, a far cry from the 350-400 delegates at our first meetings. Over the years the program has developed and extended to include pre-conference teaching, ultrasound training, satellite symposia and a research trials forum.


As ESCP has grown, so too have links within the UEG umbrella of organizations concerned with gastrointestinal diseases. Strategically, ESCP sees itself as the voice of Coloproctology in Europe with the potential to interact with and influence the views and guidelines of other allied disciplines. Close links have been established with sECCO (European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization), ESSO (European Society of Surgical Oncology) and EAES (European Association for Endoscopic Surgery) with the intention to present joint workshops at future meetings.

Could you tell us a little bit about the latest developments from the EBSQ (European Board of Surgery Qualification) in Coloproctology, its aims and how it is helping to promote standards of patient care and surgical technique?

ESCP Council has supported the strategic initiative to promote the EBSQ in Coloproctology as the key to improving standards of patient care and surgical technique across Europe. In addition to educational initiatives at the meeting directed towards EBSQ, the website has undergone a considerable upgrade that now provides a platform for dissemination of educational material. Central to this are links to the European Manual in Coloproctology textbook, a second edition of which is in preparation, coupled with archived web-casts of keynote lectures and symposia from previous meetings.

A particularly important development this year has been the introduction of educational sessions directed at those studying for the European Board of Surgery Qualification (EBSQ) in coloproctology and those interested in Continuing Medical Education (CME) rather than research and innovation.

As well as developing a series of important initiatives within the UEG, the ESCP has maintained a close relationship with the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and other colorectal societies from around the world?

ESCP, as in previous years, is pleased to welcome the President of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons to our annual meeting. This year Dr Terry Hicks will deliver a keynote lecture on ‘Fellowship Training in Colon and Rectal Surgery’. This is an important topic for ESCP members as the Society has developed a portfolio of fellowship, exchanges and other training opportunities for trainee surgeons within the Society.

ESCP has long established links with the Japanese Society of Coloproctology and we welcome the Japanese Society’s travelling fellow Dr Eiji Shinto to present at the meeting. Visiting fellows from the American, Korean, Latin American and Chinese Societies will be equally welcome. These new links are important as they foster collegiality and information exchange across the globe.

What are you looking forward to at the meeting, do you have any other messages for attendees?

Our annual meeting is however, not just about education and science. Friendship and collegiality have always been core values of ESCP membership. The Barcelona meeting will be no different, indeed it promises to be even better given the spectacular venue, balmy evenings and warm Catalan hospitality. It will be my privilege to be this year’s congress president. I look forward to meeting you in Barcelona.

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