Director General's Message
Our Society dates back to more than half century ago, when it was found in 1962 in Mexico City. A great river of life flows between today and a date so distant. A significant number of very famous colorectal surgeons have been members of our prestigious society, and we proudly treasure all their names and their contributions, and we are grateful to each and every one of you who have devoted time and energy to the evolution of the International Society of University Colon and Rectal Surgeons. However, in past years many of our Society members, and many in the leadership, sensed that we desperately needed to change and evolve. Strong national and regional societies, some that did not exist 50 years ago – European Society of Coloproctology, Asian Pacific Society of Coloproctology, Euroasian Colorectal Technologies association, Latin American Society of Coloproctology and others that did exist- American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons– were either developing strong leadership positions or rapidly growing and getting stronger with increasing membership, while, it seemed, our Society was experiencing decreasing membership and, if I may, had experienced a diminished global role.
I am very delighted to say that majority of our Society members voted for a change at our biennial meeting in Mumbai in September 2016, and a historic turn has been made for our Society. A new leadership was elected – and an alternative slate was chosen with Professor Philip Caushaj as President and Professor Ho Kyung Chun as President Elect- and now we are ready to regain our strength and leadership position globally, and to work hard and enthusiastically for our Society and for the global development of colorectal surgery.
I would like to review what the term “university” defines for our society. Our aim is to unite colorectal surgeons from all over the world, from most developed countries to the most remote and still developing countries, while trying to achieve high quality outcomes for all colorectal patients on this earth. It is a marriage of the University academic, the clinical teacher, the practicing surgeon and all who endeavor to reduce suffering for patients suffering from colorectal disorders. We are now a “band of brothers”!!! We aim to unite the worldwide colorectal community as it exists.
We are sure this approach will enable more and more colorectal surgeons to be interested in becoming members, to find relevance and value within our Society, thereby restoring vibrancy and ensuring our future growth!
To achieve the goals defined by our by-laws, we have all the necessary tools. There are many surgeons worldwide seeking to publish their research in existing colorectal journals. We have established the World Journal of Coloproctology currently under the direction of Prof. Marc Brozovich. Our editorial board works with authors to improve their publications! The World Journal of Coloproctology has progressed so well to date, that only a small step is needed for its citation in PUBMED, and thereafter, I am sure, it will achieve recognition on the ISI list. It will take time to achieve the latter goal, but the former will be achieved long before our next biennial meeting.
Some of our recent biennial meetings have suffered greatly for a variety of reasons. Our recent extraordinary success in Mumbai has demonstrated unequivocally our global reach and relevance. That is why our current site search, is gradually proceeding as we have many applicants for the 2018 venue, and is still under deliberation. We plan to be considerate of regional and international needs and to offer another scientific and cultural success!
Apart from our biennial meetings, we have an expanding number of events supported by our Society, such as the Interim ISUCRS Meeting in Vilnius in 2013, the annual Debates and Dilemmas in Colorectal Surgery in London- now having its fourth successful meeting, and our Society sessions within national and regional colorectal meetings are growing and have to be as frequent as possible. We are helping countries to develop colorectal societies and programs!
Our relations with other colorectal societies need to be stronger, closer and better. We are becoming more and more interdependent. Through our global networks and growing friendships, we should develop a system of training, sponsored by our Society, which allows colorectal surgeons to gain knowledge and practical skills in many frontline institutions worldwide.
It is not easy to mention each and every step we are planning to make. While closing this address, I simply would like to thank all our members for their devotion and support, and welcome all our new colleagues to this wonderful world of colorectal surgery. Welcome to the effort to increase the standards of Colon and Rectal Surgery worldwide. Thank you for being an integral part of this unique, dynamic, competent and very rapidly developing professional society of the XXI century. We all are looking forward to the next 50 years of professional growth!
Prof. Narimantas Evaldas Samalavicius, MD, PhD
Director General, International Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
Chief of Center of Oncosurgery, National Cancer Institute, Vilnius, Lithuania