Taster Membership

Summer Update - June 2015

It's that time of year again when the Senior Secretary role at the BSG becomes entirely focussed on the Annual Meeting. As you will all know by now it's the DDF (a federated 5 partner society meeting) with additional integrated sessions which adds a great sense of medical and surgical interaction to the occasion.

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I do hope some of you will have chance to attend, particularly the Monday Postgraduate day which culminates in a great session on the media: Making the News. Whatever day you attend, please do come and find us on the DDF stand and introduce yourself to any of the BSG Executive team.

I will be there on all four days and will not be missing the Trainee hosted conference party at the Aquarium on Tuesday 23rd June.

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On the Wednesday we will be hosting with our colleagues at Habe Consulting, taster sessions for female trainees and consultants interested in being involved in a Pilot mentoring scheme run by the BSG network 'Supporting Women in Gastroenterology' (SWiG) . Come along if you are interested. The network is open to all (men and women).

It's been great watching the Taster Membership expand over the last 2 years and I am keen to encourage some of you to write for the site. It you are interested contact Chris O'Shea at the BSG ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) who will be glad to help. All good evidence for the training portfolio!

Next year Jayne Eaden takes on the Senior Secretary role and we welcome a new colleague, Nick Thompson, into the Secretary post.

Watch this space, email us, or follow us on Twitter for updates during the DDF conference (#DDF2015)


Hepatology at a Glance - Now published

The BSG Education Committee is very pleased to announce that a project that has been in the works since the summer of 2012, "Hepatology at a Glance", has now been published. The BSG Education Committee and BSG Trainees' collaboration with Wiley-Blackwell resulted in the first hepatology edition in this respected series. The opportunity to select authors and editors for the book was one the Committee was happy to accept. We hope you will feel the book is a helpful addition to your ongoing medical education.

Display copies will be available on the BSG stand at DDF and will be available to buy from the Wisepress stand or online.

Why did I choose gastroenterology and why would I recommend it?

Dr Philip J Smith, SpR in gastroenterology, London (ST4)

Gastroenterology is one of the most diverse and exciting specialties available to the budding physician who not only relishes the prospect of looking after acutely sick and chronically unwell patients, but also enjoys the challenge of carrying out technical procedures that are sometimes very demanding.

Some specialists deal with a single organ but gastroenterologists manage patients with disorders of the liver, intestines, stomach, oesophagus, pancreas and gallbladder – in short, this is a specialty that is too varied to let you become bored! Having said that, there is 'scope' to become highly specialised in an area of gastroenterology that appeals to you. Either way, you will find that every day is different and dynamic, and this will keep you on your toes.

Gastroenterology has grown faster than any other major specialty, and ongoing scientific and technological developments in this field mean that you are always acquiring new skills and extending your knowledge.

To be a gastroenterologist, you need to: be adaptable and deal with rapidly changing situations; be energetic and enthusiastic (as well as resilient) to cope with life and death situations; be interested in managing patients with both serious and complex chronic diseases and, most importantly, be a team player.

More than any other specialty, gastroenterologists are constantly interacting with other healthcare professionals as part of multidisciplinary teams – from surgeons, to histopathologists, oncologists, dieticians, nurse endoscopists, radiologists and many more. In short, if all of the above excites you, as it did with me, then gastroenterology is the specialty for you.

Easter Greetings and Meetings! – The CSG meets the BSG

Chinese Society of Gastroenterology and British Society of Gastroenterology meet at the Royal College of Physicians March 27th 2015

One of the great benefits of being a member of a professional society is the networking opportunities which it facilitates. It was very exciting therefore to meet a delegation from the Chinese Society of Gastroenterology, all from different medical centres and universities in the Peoples' Republic of China. Various topics were discussed in an 'East meets West' meeting and this helped confirm the commonality of our specialty interests, but highlighted the different challenges and approaches taken by each nation.

I had the privilege of chairing the IBD session and learnt that the Chinese were keen on treating Hepatitis B actively in the context of patients suffering with acute severe colitis. They believed this conferred a beneficial effect on the resolution of the colitis. This non-evidenced based practice was a real insight into the approaches taken in a major Chinese centre and reinforced my belief that much of what we do as doctors as 'standard practice' is often 'inherited' and 'historical' and not always based in science. Is medicine an art still in our highly technical and molecular world?

It seems so when listening to the Chinese Society President's talk on the 'Microbiome in Medicine'. Dr Ailsa Hart (St Mark's) had already given a fantastic summary lecture on the current thinking about faecal transplantation, when the CSG President reported on the use of the 'Golden Soup' by ancient Chinese Physicians to treat infection. The soup referred to was made using animal faeces filtered through bamboo and dried into powder for medicinal purposes (with a few other ingredients thrown in). Not only is medicine still an art but a cyclical one at that...

Want to hear more about faecal transplantation? Dr Hart is speaking in the Microbiome Translational Science Masterclass on Thursday morning 25th June at DDF 2015

BSG Taster Membership Site Update, January 2015

The new membership year starts for the BSG in January. Hot on the heels of the success of the Taster Course run at UCL by the BSG Trainee Section we are keen to retain and sustain the interest in Taster Membership. For those of you not able to attend the course in December you may want to get a flavour of the day and of our specialty with the Benefits of Taster Membership video. If you are just about to take up your specialist training in gastroenterology don't forget that you will be eligible to assume full Trainee Membership of the BSG and may want to plan to attend the specific training conferences supported by the BSG Trainees, one of the most vibrant sections of our Society.

I would like to encourage you to consider participating in this year's Annual Scientific Meeting to be held at the Excel, London in June. The first day of the conference is a dedicated post graduate day on all aspects of GI and Liver cancer, from aetiology, to diagnosis and management. It's a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the specialty, augment your knowledge and have fun all at the same time! There is a special flat rate for Taster Members which represents fantastic value and allows you to attend just one or all four days. This year the conference is not just the BSG meeting but a federated congress between surgical, medical nutrition and hepatology societies and the whole programme has a multidisciplinary feel. Visit the dedicated website here.

If you are involved with your medical school, hospital's medical or surgical gastroenterology units, nutrition or endoscopy services, consider submitting your research (laboratory or clinical) to this meeting. Abstract submission is open and closes on February 27th 2015. The opportunity to present your work on moderated poster rounds or during a free paper session as an oral presentation is a useful addition to your CV!

Looking beyond DDF, keep an eye on this site for continued postings of key articles form GUT and Frontline Gastroenterology and a new top tips feature on key aspects on your professional careers before Specialist Training.

We are always happy to hear from you directly or via the Trainee Section's "ask a question facility." Don't hesitate – think about submitting an abstract – you know you could do it …….

Best Wishes,
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Video: Choosing a career in Gastro?

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Please note: The membership payment year runs from 1st January through to 31st December each year, therefore at any part of the year you join you will pay £15.00 and will pay a further £15.00 the following January for a whole year.

Video: Benefits of Taster Membership

Meet Your Committee...

Name: Dr Laith Alrubaiy

Position: Chair

Representing: Wales

Grade: ST4

I am an academic clinical trainee in Gastroenterology from Wales. What I like about the specialty is the diversity of patients and their presentations. Gastroenterology combines both the theoretical aspect of medicine with the practical skills of endoscopy. You won't get bored doing Gastroenterology, as you will come across new challenging cases on daily bases. Anyone is welcome to join us, as there is always a need for young and enthusiastic gastroenterologists.

Ask Laith a Question:

Name: Dr Louise China

Position: Secretary

Representing: NE Thames

Grade: ST5 (OOPR)

Interests: Hepatology, Medical Education

I'm a Gastroenterology SpR currently undertaking a Hepatology research fellowship (3 years) and have just finished a year out as a clinical teaching fellow at UCL medical school. I chose Gastroenterology not only because of the variety, but also because of the people you get to work with - Gastroenterologists tend to be an intelligent, competitive and aspirational bunch who are good fun! The range of patients (age, condition & personality) and the practical side mean you'll never have a boring day at work. There's also many avenues other than clinical work you can explore within the specialty.

Ask Louise a Question:

Name: Dr Charlotte Rutter

Position: Former Chair

Grade: ST7

I currently work in Gloucester as a Severn Deanery trainee. I started out as a basic surgical trainee but a career in medicine appealed as I missed the diagnostic challenge of being a physician.

Gastroenterology is a varied specialty combining patients of all ages, acute emergencies, such as upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and enables you to utilise your practical skills in endoscopy. It is a fantastic choice of specialty and I look forward to offering advice to any potential gastroenterologists in the making!

Ask Charlotte a Question:

Name: Dr Max Hu

Representing: Northern

Grade: StR5

Interests:Endoscopy & Medical Education

Gastroenterology is an expanding specialty with a good variety of subspecialty interests for you to develop in the future. There is never a dull moment as the spectrum of clinical situations we encounter is arguably amongst the most challenging and exciting out there. I would highly recommend applying for Taster Membership to have a better grasp of what Gastroenterology and the BSG have to offer.

Ask Max a Question:
Dr Max Hu

Name: Dr Sujata Biswas

Representing: Oxford

Grade: ST6

Interests: Luminal gastroenterology with interest in endoscopy and IBD

I am a Gastro trainee and MRC clinical research training fellow in Oxford. I was drawn to Gastroenterology by the wide spectrum of disease and the diversity of the patient population. I like the contrast of acute emergencies with chronic illness management. It's certainly not a specialty you get bored in easily and there's of course plenty of scope for research. It won't disappoint!

Ask Sujata a Question:
Dr Sujata Biswas

Name: Dr Nidhi Sagar

Representing: West Midlands

Grade: Clinical Research Fellow in Gastroenterology (ST6)

Interests: Luminal gastroenterology, general hepatology and postgraduate medical education

Ask Nidhi a Question:
Dr Nidhi Sagar

Name: Dr Prakash Ramachandran

Representing: East of Scotland

Grade: ST4

Interests: Hepatology, Academic Medicine, Basic Science Research

Ask Prakash a Question:

Name: Dr Margaret Corrigan

Representing: Mersey

Grade: ST5

Interests: Hepatology, Medical Education

Ask Margaret a Question:

Name: Dr Shairoz Samji

Representing: Yorkshire & Humber

Grade: ST5

Interests: Endoscopy, Medical Education

Ask Shairoz a Question:

Name: Dr Durayd Alzoubaidi

Representing: East of England

Grade: ST5

Interests: Upper GI and Hepatology

Ask Durayd a Question:

Name: Dr Elaine Robertson

Representing: West of Scotland

Grade: ST5

Interests: General Gastroenterology with an interest in oesophageal disorders and IBD

I knew from early on that I wanted to do hospital medicine but wasn't sure about a specialty. One of the gastroenterology consultants that I worked with during my medical rotation was very enthusiastic. She encouraged me to come along to scope lists and supported my training in clinics and on the ward. A career in gastro was a natural progression. I definitely made the right decision. I really enjoy scoping and there's a good mix of clinical challenges from the patients with chronic illnesses like IBD to the acutely unwell patients with liver disease. I would highly recommend it!

Ask Elaine a Question:

Name: Dr Charlotte Ford

Representing: S Thames

Grade: ST6

Interests: IBD, Medical education

Ask Charlotte a Question:

Name: Dr Fergus JQ Chedgy

Representing: KSS

Grade: ST6 (Currently OOPR)

Interests: Advanced Endoscopy, Research, Barrett's Oesophagus

I am Gastroenterology registrar in the KSS region, currently taking time out to do research in Endoscopy. I have found Gastroenterology the perfect career choice as it offers a balance of both acute and chronic diseases, with the opportunity to develop practical skills in endoscopy. I don't think I could have chosen better!

Ask Fergus a Question:

Name: Dr Shivkumar Budihal

Representing: East Midlands

Grade: Speciality Registrar, ST6

Interests: Hepatobiliary Medicine and Advanced Endoscopy

Deanery: East Midlands South Deanery

Place of Work: University Hospitals Leicester

Ask Shivkumar a Question:

Name: Dr Liam Morris

Representing: North West

Grade: ST4

Interests: Medical education, Endoscopy

Ask Liam a Question:

I am an ST4 in the North West of England currently working in Blackpool. The diversity within gastroenterology is what drove me to the speciality. I find that the mix of practical skills and complex clinical situations keep the speciality interesting and challenging. It is also an evolving field with high quality research leading to regular changes in clinical practice. There is always more to learn!

Name: Dr Steve Dixon

Representing: Severn & South-West Peninsula

Grade: ST5

Interests: Endoscopy, Luminal Gastroenterology & Nutrition

Ask Steve a Question:

I am a gastroenterology registrar with a diverse range of interests. I'd be delighted to hear from anyone interested in the career.

Name: Dr Kesavan Kandiah

Representing: NW Thames

Grade: St6 (Currently in OOPR)

Interests:Luminal gastroenterology with interest in advanced endoscopy

Ask Kesavan a Question:

I am a gastroenterology SpR in the NW Thames rotation, currently in OOPR in Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth. Finding a specialty that one would like to commit to for the rest of his/her life can be challenging. Gastroenterology was an easy choice for me. The case mix, the interdisciplinary team interaction and the technical skills required make this specialty a truly exciting one. I’m thoroughly enjoying my career in gastroenterology and am certain that i will continue to do so in the many years to come!

Name: Dr John Eccles

Representing: Northern Ireland

Grade: St5

Interests:Endoscopy, Medical Education

Ask John a Question:

Name: Dr Michael Hewitt

Representing: CT2

Grade: CT2

Interests: Endoscopy, Hepatology

I am currently a core medical trainee with a strong interest in gastroenterology, having completed a BSc and two clinical posts in the specialty. The combination of practical skills with a diverse range of pathology and patient demographics makes it a very appealing career choice that I am looking to pursue.

Ask Michael a Question:

Name: Dr Giovanna Sheiybani

Representing: CT1

Grade: CT1

Interests: Endoscopy/Hepatology and Medical Education

I am currently a Trust Grade in Stroke medicine and I am due to start Core Medical Training in the Peninsula Deanery. My enthusiasm to pursue Gastroenterology in the future stems from working with very enthusiastic and practical Consultants from my Foundation Years. My aim is to specialise in Endoscopy or Hepatology.
Being involved in various projects in Gastroenterology and presenting at the BSG conferences, I have been able to thrust myself into the challenges of the practical and academic aspects of this field. Working in this field is immensely rewarding, even as a junior, and the variety of endoscopy, outpatient and inpatient work is what interests me. I have a great interest in medical education and I am currently developing an undergraduate course in using drama to demonstrate the patient narrative and to use these skills to improve history-taking.

Ask Michael a Question: