The Globalization of Colorectal Surgery

Posted 12 March 2018 in

There has been significant progress in colorectal surgery during the last several decades relative to minimally invasive surgery, rectal cancer management, the treatment of faecal incontinence, our understanding of genetics and molecular biology, and other clinical application facets of our daily practices.

However, in parallel, there have been perhaps more impressive metamorphoses in the methods of educational exchange and availability of educational content.  Specifically, social media and electronic communication have allowed us and therefore more important our patients to benefit from an ever-increasing depth and breadth of information.  During the last several decades more coloproctology courses, societies, and journals have emerged and flourished.

The ability to electronically share this information not only upon publication or release of information, but even in advance through websites, emails, blogs, chat rooms, posts LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms have given us a new challenge. Moreover, there are numerous educational colorectal surgery applications such as ILAPPSurgery and DLivemed.

While we can access an incredibly enhanced amount of information the challenge becomes how to absorb or even be exposed to all of this potentially relevant information.

This challenge is in part solved by the availability of interactive real-time information exchanges through tweet chats such as #bjsconnect or #crstrials tweet chat, as well as regional and individual tweet chat journal clubs.  Platforms such as the monthly innovations in surgery international video conference or AIS channel enable surgeons from around the world to connect with each from the comfort of their own homes and/or offices.

ACPGBI is fortunate in having many leaders in these areas, as well as being in a central time zone allowing connectivity with both North American and European events.  I am continually impressed by the level of engagement of both junior and perhaps more impressively senior members of our association to leads these efforts.  I applaud all of our members who create, promote, and participate in these educational exchanges and encourage everyone to avail themselves of these increasingly important opportunities.

Steven D. Wexner, M.D., PhD(Hon), FACS, FRCS, FRCS(Ed), FRCSI(Hon)
Director, Digestive Disease Center; Chair & Professor, Department of Colorectal Surgery
Cleveland Clinic Florida