Professor Klaus Matzel (Professor of Surgery and the Head of the Section of Coloproctology at the University of Erlangen, Germany and President of the UEMS EBSQ Division Coloproctology) discusses his role as Chair of the ESCP Education Committee and some highlights from the Barcelona 2014 scientific programme...

Photo of Klaus E MatzelThe EBSQ (European Board of Surgery Qualification) in Coloproctology is now well established and will in time ensure common standards and practices. Are there any new developments you would like to discuss?


The EBSQ is a pan-European platform for surgical qualification and we have seen an increasing number of applications each year, and so far in 2014 we have had a remarkable 30 applications.

Surgeons wishing to apply have to meet certain eligibility criteria that include dedicated training in colorectal surgery for at least two years and prove that they have performed a certain number of index procedures. After they have been accepted then they must sit an exam based on three components: a written exam, an oral presentation based on a series of slides presenting cases and finally a discussion of a clinical paper. The examination can be taken in the candidate’s native language. I would encourage colleagues from all across Europe who are interested to visit the ESCP website to find out more information, or go to

Can you tell us about the ESCP’s Education Programme in Barcelona?

During this year’s meeting we are trying to reach out farther to our surgical colleagues, whether they are Trainees or Experts, through the range of session formats we are offering. The Education Committee has tried to prevent too much overlap with the general education programme of the meeting, with an emphasis on the clinical relevance of everyday surgical practice. I hope the programme with catch the attention of the younger surgeons with a well-balanced programme and many exciting elements.

For example, prior to the meeting we have an Analrectal and Pelvic Ultrasound Course and also this year the course has a educational focus including how ultrasound can impact on our clinical decision-making.

Also part of the pre-congress educational activities is the Core Subject Updates session, which will select key topics and prevent an overview of the current knowledge base.

Another session is the Workshop for Authors and the aim of the 'How to Write a Paper' topic is to assist colleagues who are new to the academic field in how to formulate a scientific paper including what scientific content to include, how the paper should be structured, how and where to published the paper, as well as how to understand the editorial process so authors can understand what the editorial board requires from a scientific paper.

We will also be hosting a new component in Barcelona, the Best Publications of the Year session. This will be presentations of the top four scientific papers and the clinical impact each paper had. Two presenters will each bring their personal choice of two papers and we hope this will spark some interesting discussions and debate.

One new element is the Trainees Video Session on the Thursday morning of the meeting, these will be step-by-step teaching videos of how to perform common performed procedures in the field of colorectal surgery. Again, the programme includes a broad spectrum of procedures such as hand-sewn and stapler anastomosis after right hemicolectomy, open and stapled hemorrhoidectomy, advancement flap for anal, laparoscopic ventral mesh and laparoscopic lavage for acute diverticulitis, which will be presented by world-renown experts. This is the first year we have this session and I believe it is a wonderful opportunity for young surgeons to see how surgery should be performed.

You will also be hosting a Trainee Round Table Lunch Session in Barcelona?

This is for trainees only and gives them a unique opportunity to meet with experts. There will be some case presentations and questions for each table, and trainees will discuss the cases with a colorectal expert at their table. After the discussions, each table will report back to the presenter on their recommended form of treatment. We are hoping that this will really create a platform for discussion and interaction between the trainees and with the experts, and help them develop and increase their networking skills.

You will also be having a voting system in Barcelona?

Yes, the Interactive Trainee Workshop will include presentations on common problems and challenging issues in everyday clinical practice. The presenters will ask questions and there will be some discussion and then a vote among the audience, via a voting system, on the preferred treatment. I am looking forward to seeing some very interesting discussions in this interactive case presentation session.

And you will be making the educational content of the meeting available on the ESCP website after the meeting?

Yes, the over the last few years we have been working to create the concept of a library of education materials of the latest scientific content and practical aspects of surgery. The materials of this years educational sessions will be available on the ESCP website, primarily, but not only for the benefit of young trainee surgeons. In addition to that as another great educational feature of the website the electronic version of the textbook 'Coloproctology' (European Manual of Medicine) will also be available to members of the Society.

Why should colorectal specialists from all over Europe attend the meeting (what is unique about the ESCP meeting)?

I think this year’s meeting is the most comprehensive coloproctology meeting anywhere in the world, it has a well-balanced variety of topics and covers all aspects of colorectal surgery. The programme includes excellent scientific content with several outstanding keynote lectures. I believe that we will see from the discussions that there are similarities and differences between countries in Europe. Therefore, we can see how far standardisation has come with regards to treating colorectal disease and disorders across Europe.

Do you have any other messages for attendees?

The ESCP looks forward to welcoming you all to Barcelona, not only our colleagues from Europe but also colleagues from other societies and continents, representing the international scope of the ESCP society and its annual meeting.

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