The recent Dukes’ Club weekend was our biggest educational event to date, with 100 delegates attending the weekend in Oxford. The weekend kicked off on Friday with our platform of educational courses, including a porcine Laparoscopic Right Hemicolectomy course supported by Ethicon and a THD course. Both courses were well attended, with approximately 40 delegates attending these free courses.
Our plenary educational sessions on Saturday showcased national and international experts in colorectal surgery. We kick started the weekend showcasing current advances in inflammatory bowel disease, with Par Myrelid (Sweden) and Janindra Warusavitarne (St Marks) highlighting advances in Crohn’s surgery and in ileoanal pouch surgery. Steve Brown (Sheffield) rounded off this session with an insightful and through-provoking lecture on current UK IBD services and future directions. Following on from this we were provided with two honest, captivating and insightful talks into the difficulties of managing female patients with complex, benign colorectal pathology by Julie Cornish (Wales) and Kathryn McCarthy (Bristol).
The Dukes’ Club AGM took place after lunch, with Henry Ferguson, our past president highlighting our achievements over the last 12 months, which includes our network of regional reps. This was followed on by our annual elections, which saw 26 trainees stand for 9 committee positions. This was our biggest election so to date and is a real testament to the progress we have made over recent years. Following on from our election, we were honoured to have the ACPGBI President, Mr Brendan Moran, deliver the presidential lecture on the future of colorectal surgery and the role we have to play in this as trainees.
We held our first interactive Dukes’ Club colorectal cancer MDT, with Andrew Beggs (Birmingham) showcasing cases in advanced colonic cancer, Ian Jenkins (St Marks) highlighting the difficulties of managing rectal cancer, Kai Leong (Coventry) discussing the controversies associated with the management of early rectal cancer and Peter Coyne (Newcastle) outlining the management of anal cancer. The final session addressed issues relevant to senior trainees, with Jim Tiernan (Leeds) offering practical advice on how to secure a consultant job, Kai Leong (Coventry) sharing tips on how to navigate your first year as a consultant and Charles Maxwell-Armstrong (Nottingham) addressing how to avoid the common pitfalls of consultant practice.
Saturday evening saw an evening of networking and socialising between trainees and the faculty, and saw the return of our legendary colorectal quiz, hosted by Peter Vaughan-Shaw (Edinburgh) and Matt Lee (Sheffield). Following an evening of responsible socialising delegates returned for our annual FRCS viva course.
The year ahead looks incredibly exciting for Dukes’. We are delighted to be hosting a number of sessions at the annual ACPGBI meeting in Dublin. We will have a number of interspersed and integrated sessions throughout the meeting. Our horizon scanning session aims to showcase the next big thing to watch out for in colorectal surgery, with speakers on the microbiome, navigational surgery and the 100,000 genome project. We will be running our annual ‘Fellowship Speed Dating’ event and will be hosting a Q&A session with young consultants. Peter Vaughan-Shaw will be presenting the results of our first collaborative study, CLOSE-IT, in the Research and Audit session. Gemma Humm (Past President, ASiT) will be discussing training in colorectal surgery in the Education and Training session. This is the first year Dukes’ Club will be jointly hosting the Consultants Corner with ACPGBI, with trainees presenting challenging cases to keep the consultants on their toes!
We are delighted to announce Scott Steele as the recipient of the first Dukes’ Club medal. Alongside, Scott we are delighted to host Shreya Gupta and the Behind the Knife team to showcase the ACPGBI meeting and hope this will be the start of a new and exciting relationship with our transatlantic colleagues.
It looks set to be a busy year ahead for Dukes’, we have plans to expand our current portfolio of educational courses and symposia throughout the year. We will be kickstarting this with our Research Skills course at the Royal College of Surgeons of England on the 18th May. We are hoping to host courses in colonoscopy and a cadaveric colorectal surgery over the next 12 months. Our subspecialty trainee reps will be hosting educational days in advanced cancer, emergency surgery, inflammatory bowel disease and pelvic floor and our regional reps will be hosting a series of networking events across the UK. The Dukes’ Research Collaborative will be working on developing our next national research project, whilst supporting the DAMASCUS, IMPACT and PITSTOP projects.
I am looking forward to working with the Dukes’ Club committee and the ACPGBI council over the next 12 months to provide high quality education, research and training opportunities for colorectal trainees. If you have any suggestions or wish to discuss anything regarding our work, please email me on [email protected],uk (Twitter – @deenaharji). Please follow us on twitter @Dukes_Club, and see our website – www.thedukesclub.org.uk for further information on how to become a member, and gain the associated member benefits.