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Points north - spotlight on the Coloproctology Section

Promoting links with colleagues in northern UK cities is a priority for Professor Steven Brown, President of the RSM’s Section of Coloproctology, who joined the cohort of new RSM section presidents in October 2021. 

A surgeon specialising in non-cancer bowel diseases at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Steve is currently Chief Investigator for two trials funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), one examining ileocaecal resection for primary and recurrent Crohn's disease and the other looking at radiofrequency ablation for haemorrhoids. 

A past President of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland (ACPGBI), a group of over 1,000 surgeons, nurses and allied health professionals working to advance the knowledge and treatment of bowel diseases, Steve is keen to continue collaborating with the association through links with the RSM. 

In March he will be welcoming delegates to the RSM Northern Teaching Day at the Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, an event to be held in conjunction with the North West Deanery and the ACPGBI. 

Describing the programme, Steve says: “We’ll be covering important aspects of the specialty training curriculum, and there will be updates from clinicians who are leaders in their fields in colorectal practice. There will also be a session where research presentations will be heard and a prize awarded. When I joined the RSM in 1994 as a research fellow, I was very much enthralled by the opportunity to present at meetings – it’s an essential part of the RSM.” 

A month later in April, Steve will be back on home turf in Sheffield where he will be hosting 'Surgical secrets’, the annual RSM Coloproctology Section President’s Day, to be held in collaboration with the Yorkshire and East Midlands chapters of the ACPGBI.  

A multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving is an important focus for the Section’s work during the year, with the two northern meetings including sessions led by a vascular surgeon, a gynaecologist and a gastroenterologist. There will also be two sessions devoted to multidisciplinary working during ‘The future of coloproctology’ educational programme, to be held in May at the Harvey Besterman Education Centre at Jersey General Hospital. 

The Section’s final meeting of the year in September will focus on inflammatory bowel disease and Steve is hoping to involve gastroenterologists. He says: “At the end of my term as Section President I’ll be handing over the reins to gastroenterologist Dr Jeremy Nightingale, so over the next year or so, there will be even more collaboration with gastroenterologists. I think there is an interface there that we can work on and improve.” 

Getting more trainees involved in the Section is the biggest priority. The Manchester and Sheffield events are free to attend and there will be opportunities for trainees to network with colleagues at all events during the year.  

“The RSM is all about putting opportunities in front of trainees to speak with more senior consultants in a friendly, social environment”, says Steve. “When I joined, I remember speaking to senior colleagues at the RSM who I was in awe of, on a very personable and sociable basis. Everybody was very, very approachable.”  

“As Section President, I’m hoping to encourage as many trainees as possible to do the same as I’ve done and become members of the RSM for the next 25 years!” 

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