Message from the Director General
At the New Board of Directors Meeting (Extraordinary Board Meeting), conducted after the Regular Board of Trustees Meeting in October 2022, I have been appointed as the sixth Director General of the Japan Biliary Association (JBA) and successor to Prof. Michiaki Unno. While I am deeply honored with this appointment, with its 57-year history since its establishment in 1965 as the Cholecystography Study Group and its current membership of over 3,500, I am also acutely aware of the weight of responsibility that this position entails. I am firmly resolute in my commitment to carry forward the JBA’s further development, which has continued to evolve under the outstanding leadership of its successive charismatic Director Generals, namely Prof. Jo Ariyama, followed by the second, Prof. Yuji Nimura, the third, the late Prof. Satoshi Kondo, the fourth, Prof. Kazuo Inui, and the most recent, Prof. Michiaki Unno.
Ichiro Yasuda, MD, PhD
Director General, Japan Biliary Association
Third Department of Internal Medicine, University of Toyama
The following themes should be pursued in JBA’s future management to promote our activities.
- Promotion of Research for Biliary Diseases
- At all the annual meetings, the basic and clinical research results on epidemiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment of biliary diseases are presented, and heated discussions are exchanged. The JBA is distinctive in that it comprises approximately an equal number of internists and surgeons, who engage in cross-dialogue at many sessions of the meeting. Furthermore, within internal medicine, there are various specialized fields, such as endoscopy and oncology, and the exchange of opinions between specialists with expertise in various fields, including internal medicine and surgery, and radiology and pathology, will lead to the sharing and deepening of knowledge. This leads to the provision of better treatment for biliary diseases. As an academic society, we intend to continue providing a forum for this type of multidisciplinary cross-dialogue.
In addition, two JBA-led studies on “preoperative drainage of hilar cholangiocarcinoma” and “cancer gene panel test for biliary cancer” are currently underway. We will continue to initiate more JBA-led studies while also promoting nation-wide surveys and biliary cancer registries to investigate the actual state of epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of biliary diseases.
- Fostering Specialists in the Biliary Field
One of the most important roles of the JBA is the development of medical practitioners specializing in the field of biliary diseases. In addition to augmenting the contents of our journal and website as a learning tool for our members, we will further develop the JBA Board Certified Trainer system, which was initiated and developed through the extraordinary efforts of the two previous Director Generals, Prof. Inui, and Prof. Unno, to ensure that certified trainers are widely recognized in society.
Since 2022, the training program has been offered as an e-learning course and can be accessed on demand. We will continue to explore ways to enhance the tools and content of the program.
- Toward the Improvement of Biliary Disease Treatment
The JBA will become more involved than ever in developing guidelines that provide standards for the treatment of biliary diseases. It shall also take the lead in establishing guidelines for diseases and procedures that have not yet been undertaken. Furthermore, we will continue to collaborate with relevant societies to encourage the inclusion of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that are not yet covered by national health insurance.
- Contributing to the Welfare of the Public
Following the incorporation of the JBA in 2021, there is a greater need than ever for us to contribute to public welfare. In today’s age of miscellaneous and voluminous information, it is our duty to disseminate accurate knowledge of biliary diseases to the public. We will communicate information through a more comprehensive Q&A on JBA’s website and regular organization of open lectures for the public.
- Aiming for a Global Outreach
Japan is a leader in the field of clinical care and research for biliary diseases in the world. Japanese medical practitioners and researchers have made significant contributions to the development of numerous novel diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and advancements in this field. Meanwhile, there have been instances in which Japan has lost the initiative to Western countries due to insufficient or delayed distribution of their information and has also fallen behind its Western counterparts due to delays in acquiring information and falling behind global trends. Amid today’s global society, to promptly release excellent research results from Japan, actively exchange information with overseas practitioners and researchers, and keep up with international trends, we will work to strengthen the relationship with the English-language official journal of JBA, Journal of Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Sciences (JHBPS), stimulate the circulation of Japanese research results, increase the journal’s impact by supplying many papers with a high level of evidence. Furthermore, we will attract not only speakers but also conference participants from overseas by increasing international sessions at scientific meetings and through collaboration with related overseas academic societies.