The Japanese Society of Gastroenterological Surgery

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About the society
Last Update: September 1, 2023


Ken Shirabe
Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine Department of General
Surgical Science Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery


 The Japanese Society of Gastroenterological Surgery (JSGS) was established in 1968 with the aim of advancing and expanding gastroenterological surgical science. This society has continued to develop steadily on the basis of the spectacular history and traditions that were initiated by the great efforts of our predecessors. In particular, I would like to express my gratitude and respect to the fifth president, Yuko Kitagawa, who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and skillfully steered our society through the difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis over the past few years. It is an immense honor for me to be appointed as the president of this society, with its long history and traditions.

 The JSGS is the largest academic society among all surgical subspecialities, with over 19,000 members. Gastroenterological surgeons play a vital role across Japan’s entire surgical community, supporting care for a broad range of illnesses in their work at the front lines of treatment sites—from the treatment of emergency conditions such as acute abdomen and abdominal trauma to multi-modality therapy for gastrointestinal cancer, function preservation, and minimally invasive therapy for benign gastrointestinal disorders. The mission of the JSGS is not only to advance the growth of science in surgery, and more specifically gastroenterological surgery, but also to build up a system enabling young surgeons to engage in lifelong learning with pride and a sense of purpose, and to put their contributions to work for society. We will strive to create major developments in a well-balanced manner in the two directions of “transmitting high-level academic knowledge and improving our international presence” and “developing high-quality human resources and contributing to community medical care”.

 The Annals of Gastroenterological Surgery (AG Surg), which is our official English journal launched in 2017 under the guidance of the third president, Masaki Mori, has played a major role in transmitting high-level academic knowledge and improving our international presence. It is my belief that AG Surg has a responsibility to disseminate Japan’s excellent knowledge of gastrointestinal surgery to the world, and to develop it into a world-class journal so that it may be a driving force in improving the international presence of this society. We will also promote the internationalization of our society by deepening exchanges and forming ties with academic societies in other countries.

 Japanese skills education for young gastroenterological Surgeons (JESUS), early-stage residents, the U40 committee, gender equality committee, and specialist system play important roles in developing high-quality human resources and contributing to community medical care. JESUS provides excellent opportunities for experts at the forefront of gastroenterological surgery to share with budding surgeons the fundamental techniques of this field, and the real pleasure and joy of being professionals who use their hands to protect the lives of patients, and this program has been steadily achieving results by instilling greater courage and hope in residents seeking to become gastroenterological surgeons. The U40 committee, which was launched in 2020, is an activity by young members, for young members, who are aged under 40 years and number over 5,000. The U40 club creates missions on the basis of questionnaire surveys. In order to achieve these missions, small discussions are held regularly on Zoom, so that the voices of young members are attended to. Furthermore, the U40 Surgical Seminar at the general meeting has gained overwhelming support as a place for learning surgical techniques and knowledge. The gender equality committee was established under the leadership of the fifth president, Yuko Kitagawa, and it has ensured that there is progress in the treatment of female directors and councilors. During such efforts, a study using NCD data revealed the current situation in which female gastroenterological surgeons are not given sufficient surgical opportunities. All female gastroenterological surgeons, including over 20% of young female gastroenterological surgeons, are now given a fair number of opportunities to experience surgery. In order to build career pathways based on diverse values, our society will continue to focus on this issue in the future, and we have adopted the “Hakodate Declaration”, which aims for equal opportunity. We will, therefore, continue to create an environment in which female gastroenterological surgeons are given fair training opportunities.

 A new medical specialist system was launched, and in 2021 the first surgical specialist graduated under this new system. In line with this, our society launched a new system in 2020 in order to ensure that surgeons who seek to become gastroenterological surgeons may undergo appropriate training to acquire the gastroenterological surgery specialist qualification. As part of these efforts, the official textbooks, “Knowledge of a Gastroenterological Surgeon” and “Collection of Exercises”, have been published, and an e-learning system for continuous learning has been built. As an academic society that is responsible for the so-called “second floor” of the field of gastrointestinal surgery, we will provide various learning opportunities and the latest information, ranging from general gastrointestinal surgery to highly specialized medical care.

 The National Clinical Database, established by the JSGS along with the Japan Surgical Society and other Japanese surgery-related societies during the appointment of the fourth president, Dr. Yasuyuki Seto, currently operates as an independent organization and not only supports the core of the medical specialist system in which all surgical departments are linked, but also contributes greatly to improving the quality of medical care and academic research. We will strive to expand the range of utilization and build new evidence as the basis of data for thinking about the future of surgery.

 All the initiatives I have mentioned here have, needless to say, been rolled out and brought to fruition through the hard work of our presidents, directors, councilors, and members. Moreover, I will listen to the quiet voices of members with diverse backgrounds and strive to respond to their possible issues. I will devote myself wholeheartedly, along with all members, to ushering in a bright future for the gastroenterological surgeons who will lead the next generation and contribute to the health and welfare of our nation and citizens. I ask, therefore, that you please lend me your support and guidance in these efforts.

August 2023


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