News Items

APDCRS Letter of Recommendation

The Association of Program Directors for Colon and Rectal Surgery (APDCRS) has introduced a standardized letter of recommendation form for applicants to our fellowships.

If you are asked to write a Letter of Recommendation on behalf of an applicant, the applicant will submit this form to you via ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service). You will also have the opportunity to write any additional commentary on this form, though it is not required.

APDCRS' primary goal is to have more meaningful information included in the Letter of Recommendation. Its secondary goal is to make the process of "writing" a Letter of Recommendation easier to accomplish in a timely manner.

For more information, e-mail APDCRS at [email protected] or call (734) 282-9400.

ASCRS Young Surgeon Spotlight: Mark K. Soliman

Mark K. Soliman
Colon and Rectal Clinic of Orlando
Orlando, Florida

Why I am a member of ASCRS:

I fell in love with the speciality of colon and rectal surgery because of the people. The mentors and role models I had in residency and fellowship demonstrated an elegant balance of patient empathy, technical skill, clinical knowledge and a passion to treat the most complex and difficult surgical pathology. The ASCRS embodies these very traits on an organizational level—one in which I am a proud member of.

Why did you specialize in colorectal surgery?

One of the most common questions I get is why did I choose to specialize in colon and rectal surgery. My answer typically is, "it’s complicated."

In truth, many things appealed to me about this speciality when I was deciding what to seek additional training in. The field of colon and rectal surgery requires a very skilled, delicate, thorough, and compassionate approach, especially in this often vulnerable and private area of the body.

This balance of humanity and precise surgery is one of the many facets that attracted me to the field. Additionally, the breadth of conditions I manage and operations I do as a specialist afford both intellectual stimulation and an opportunity to offer tertiary level care to those patients I am blessed to see.

Colon and rectal surgery is also at an extraordinarily exciting time, as we are witnessing a generational shift in the way we manage complex conditions such as rectal cancer, and the operative modalities that are available.

One of my passions has been offering my patients advanced minimally invasive robotic operations in addition to creating training curricula to train the next generation of colon and rectal surgeons in this same approach.

Only in the speciality of colon and rectal surgery did I find sufficient challenge, reward and opportunity—a decision I am proud I made and blessed to have been accepted into.

ASCRSconnect is Online!

ASCRSconnect is our new private, secure online community to ask questions, share your experiences and build relationships. We’ll have all the details for you tomorrow.

In the meantime, you can log in and update your privacy settings and communications preferences. All ASCRS members have been automatically subscribed to the ASCRSconnect Daily Digest, but it’s easy to control the number and frequency of the alerts.

  • Go to ASCRSconnect and log in using your regular ASCRS website login and password.
  • Go to your profile by clicking on the profile icon in the top right of your screen and then clicking on "Profile."
  • You’re now in your profile. Go to the My Account tab and click on Community Notifications. For each group of which you’re a member, you can choose:
    • Real time – receive notices every time there is an update to the group
    • Daily Digest – receive a daily compilation group activities
    • No email – receive no notices; log in to ASCRSconnect to catch up on the action

You can learn more about how to use ASCRSconnect in this short 4-minute video or on the FAQs page. We hope you enjoy this new member benefit. Look for more updates on ASCRSconnect!

Jagelman and Local Hero Awards from ASCRS 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting

ASCRS Welcomes Dr. Tracy L. Hull as President

Oakbrook Terrace, IL – The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) is pleased to announce Tracy Hull, MD, FACS, FASCRS, a surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, as its 2019-2020 president. Dr. Hull joins the ASCRS executive council to begin her presidential term at the 2019 ASCRS Annual Scientific Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio.

"It is an honor to lead this exceptional organization," said Dr. Hull. "I look forward to helping colon and rectal surgeons utilize their unique knowledge and skills to improve patient care."

Dr. Hull has been staff surgeon in the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Cleveland Clinic since 1993. She is the section chief of inflammatory bowel disease within the department and holds the Thomas and Sandra Sullivan Family Endowed Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. She is also a professor of surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

Dr. Hull takes care of patients with all forms of colorectal disease and has a special interest in redo pelvic surgery, including redo pelvic pouches. She also specializes in surgically treating patients with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

She has authored many peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and edited two textbooks on colon and rectal surgery. She speaks at major meetings around the world. Dr. Hull is active in numerous professional societies, including Alpha Omega Alpha and the American College of Surgeons. She has served as secretary for ASCRS and as chair of the written examination committee for the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Dr. Hull is the third female president of ASCRS, after Ann C. Lowry, MD, from 2005 to 2006, and Patricia L. Roberts, MD, from 2016 to 2017.

Joining her as newly elected members of the ASCRS executive council are:

  • President-elect: Neil H. Hyman, MD
  • Vice president: Thomas E. Read, MD
  • Secretary: Matthew G. Mutch, MD
  • Treasurer: Conor P. Delaney, MD, PhD
  • Member-at-large: Charles M. Friel, MD
  • Member-at-large: Jan Rakinic, MD
  • Member-at-large: Sharon L. Stein, MD

Also returning to continue their terms in 2019 and 2020:

  • Past president: David A. Margolin, MD,
  • Research Foundation president: Scott Strong, MD
  • Member-at-large: Bradley J. Champagne, MD
  • Member-at-large: William C. Cirocco, MD
  • Member-at-large: Arden M. Morris, MD
  • Member-at-large: Najjia N. Mahmoud, MD
  • Member-at-large: Charles B. Whitlow, MD
  • Member-at-large: Kristen B. Wilkins, MD

About the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS)

ASCRS is the premier society for colon and rectal surgeons and other surgeons dedicated to advancing the understanding, prevention and treatment of diseases and disorders of the colon, rectum and anus. ASCRS promotes patient-centered, high quality, high value health care through education, research and professional development. Its board-certified colon and rectal surgeons complete a residency in general surgery, plus an additional year in colon and rectal surgery, and pass an intensive examination conducted by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. For more information, visit


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