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MUSC Advanced Endoscopy Update 2011: Dr Khaleel Jamil

This year's Advanced Endoscopy Update in Charleston was a momentous one indeed. For this was the swan song for the grandfather (and grandmaster) of ERCP, Peter Cotton. Those of us lucky enough to attend received the usual excellent updates and expert opinion, but this year's meeting had a poignant atmosphere, and it felt as though we were witnessing a small part of history. This was crystallised in a session where we watched a live feed of Dr Cotton performing his last ever ERCP, after which Ian Taylor remarked "This may sound like hyperbole, but that felt like watching the first man walk on the Moon". Hyperbole, perhaps, but it was mesmeric seeing the expert in action -  he completed the procedure in 13 minutes, leaving the moderators the awkward task of improvising a Q and A for the majority of the hour set aside for the demonstration!

Other highlights of the meeting for me were: Dr Nageshwar Reddy's amazing and humbling  endoscopy outreach programme in Hyderabad, visiting thousands of villages for free consultations and endoscopies; attending a colonoscopy ask-the-expert session with tips from Professor Williams (the grandfather of colonoscopy); watching the unfeasible expertise of endoscopic myotomy for achalasia; visiting the high-tech, generously equipped digestive diseases faculty at MUSC; and finally the emotional farewell speech by Peter Cotton – the genuine affection which his protégées (now world leaders in endoscopy themselves) and colleagues hold towards him was quite inspirational. The programme overall was thorough and comprehensive, with knowledgeable international speakers sharing their wisdom and expertise. I particularly enjoyed the breakout sessions where there was a choice of topics discussed in a smaller group setting.

As an endoscopic and trainee in advanced ERCP, the meeting was extremely productive and educational. I feel I have taken on board important lessons and gained new insights in both knowledge and technique. The setting at Wild Dunes Resort is certainly comfortable and attractive and sharing a house with fellow trainees was very sociable. I would thoroughly recommend the meeting for anyone interested in endoscopy and would hope that Olympus' generous fellows scheme continues for many years to come.