Fall 2016  

International Scholar Report

ASCRS International Scholars
Standing, left to right, Dr. Amrit Pipara; Dr. Jeryl Reyes; Dr. Yuksel Altinel; Dr. Danko Kostadinov.

The ASCRS International Committee presented the traveling scholarships for 2016 to Dr. Yuksel Altinel, of Turkey; Dr. Jeryl Reyes, of the Philippines; Dr. Danko Kostadinov, of Bulgaria; and Dr. Amrit Pipara, of India.

The traveling scholarships are designed to enable medical professionals from underserved countries to attend the ASCRS Annual Meeting and visit U.S. colorectal programs. Scholarship recipients learn new techniques and surgical methods, which they then implement in their own countries.

“I was honored to be one of the recipients of the ASCRS traveling fellowship,” said Dr. Altinel. “In Turkey, it is hard to find well-educated surgeons in all hospitals, and there are no multidisciplinary teams working on colorectal cancer management. Unlike the U.S., there are no fellowship programs in Turkey.”

Dr. Reyes noted that her visits to U.S. institutions showed her how colorectal conditions are treated in the ideal setting.

“At the same time, it gave me some insights into how we can achieve the same goals given our own limitations in funds and equipment,” she said. “It also made me realize which areas I have to improve upon”.

For Dr. Kostadinov, visiting facilities like Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“Being in an extraordinary place like Mayo for me was like a dream come true,” he said. “Each day at Mayo gave me something to think about regarding my country’s everyday practice. There was a lot of useful information and interesting things that I must remember to share with all my colleagues in Bulgaria.”

Dr. Pipara said he hopes the ASCRS continues the tradition of offering the International Traveling Scholarship.

“I think this is a wonderful opportunity being given to young colorectal surgeons from around the world to get an insight into colorectal practice in the U.S.,” he said. “I hope this program continues for many, many years to come to benefit future colorectal surgeons.”

Copyright © 2016 American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, All rights reserved.