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The recent Dukes’ Club Educational Weekend, held in sunny Cheshire, marked another step forward for our organisation. The Friday kicked off with a pair of exciting practical courses – ‘An Introduction to Abdominal Wall Reconstruction’, organised by Cook Medical, and a Laparoscopic ‘Assault Course’ from Ethicon. These were both well attended, with 40 members benefitting from these free courses.

The Saturday brought together both National and International speakers for the plenary educational sessions. We kicked off with lectures from Pieter Tanis from Amsterdam, Werner Hohenberger from Erlangen and Jérémie Lefevre from Paris, focussing on optimising cancer-related outcomes. Following an opportunity to network over coffee, delegates benefitted from memorable lectures from Andy Williams, President of the Pelvic Floor Society, Dale Vimalchandran from Chester and Susan Moug from Glasgow, focussing on benign disease. The afternoon brought the election of the new Dukes’ Committee, and the initial stage of our second Dukes’ research Project – a Delphi exercise to determine the views of trainees on the requirements for ‘Day 1’ consultant practice in Coloproctology. The lectures were rounded off brilliantly with a look to the future by Jim Khan (Portsmouth, Robotics), David Jayne (Leeds, Fluorescence angiography and anastomotic leak) and Richard Brady (Newcastle, Social Media). Following a responsible evening of socialising, delegates returned for 2 further free courses on the Sunday morning – the Dukes’ FRCS Revision course, and the Benign Proctology Course offered by THD, both of which gained excellent feedback. The year ahead looks very exciting for Dukes’. Our day at ACPGBI 2018 looks to build on our abilities to attract international speakers – we can now boast that Steve Wexner (Cleveland Clinic), Michael Solomon (Sydney), Helen MacRae (Toronto) and Tony Mak (Hong Kong) have all agreed to speak to us. These prominent speakers will intersperse the second phase of our Delphi process, and an opportunity to attend an introductory Non-Operative Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS) course as part of the day. Beyond this important meeting, we have plans to expand Dukes’ through a network of Regional representatives, allied to the ACPGBI chapter representatives – watch this space for formal job descriptions and the application process over the next few months. Expect to see an educational podcast series from us this year, and further free educational courses in topics such as colonoscopy and inflammatory bowel disease. If you feel that there are courses which you would like to see, or wish to discuss anything regarding our work, please email me on (Twitter - @hjmferguson) Please follow us on twitter @Dukes_Club, and see our website - for further information on how to become a member, and gain the associated member benefits.

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