MUSC Advanced Endoscopy Update 2011: Dr Tom Lee

It was an honour to have the opportunity to attend the annual Advanced Endoscopy Update in South Carolina in May 2011. This followed straight on from the DDW in Chicago. On our arrival, we were given a tour of the Digestive Diseases Centre at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Peter Cotton introduced us to the Centre then a resident showed us around the wards and the 7 room endoscopy unit.  The general feel of the Centre was more like a hotel than a hospital with flat screen televisions and internet connections in every room.

The meeting itself took place just outside Charleston at a resort by the ocean. The programme, delivered by international experts, covered a broad range of endoscopic topics, from bowel cancer screening to novel therapeutic techniques such as Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy for achalasia. Highlights included an emotive presentation on delivering endoscopy services in rural India by Nagy Reddy and an update on the development of ERCP training simulators from Joseph Leung.

A small group session on Friday afternoon allowed us to interact with world experts on subjects including endoscopy training and colonoscopic technique.

A recurring theme was the need for continuous quality assurance in endoscopy with presentations on the importance of auditing outcomes in ERCP and improving outcomes in UGI bleeding.

The main event of the meeting was, of course, Peter Cotton`s last ever ERCP videolinked live to the conference centre. Needless to say it went smoothly. This was followed by an emotional farewell talk from Professor Cotton which included reflections on his career and stories about colleagues he had become close to, many of whom were present.
The meeting also had a social element including a poolside reception on Thursday night and the opportunity to get to know the other British trainees attending the meeting. A trip to South Carolina would not be complete without playing golf, some fine weather allowed a couple of us to sneak a few holes in on Friday evening.

I'm sure the meeting will continue to be an important annual event despite Professor Cotton`s retirement. I would strongly encourage trainees to apply for the Olympus sponsored prize and have the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the world experts in endoscopy.

Dr Tom Lee
SpR Gastroenterology
North Tyneside General Hospital