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Authors > Richard P. Billingham, MD

“The Colorectal Surgery textbook is easy to digest. It has smaller chapters than other books in this area, and still has a lot of detail.” – Richard Billingham, MD

A New Approach to Colorectal Textbooks

When we first started thinking about a book, the people from Elsevier contacted me and said that they were interested in doing a textbook on colorectal surgery and my reaction was, “There are already plenty of good colorectal textbooks.” Then we got down to the concept of the book and looked at who the audience might be. We conceived of Colorectal Surgery as being designed more for the general surgeon and the general surgery resident. The book is easy to digest. It has smaller chapters than other books in this area, and still has a lot of detail. The other thing that was appealing to me in starting to think about doing this book was the ability to include a lot of illustrations and color photographs to help explain some of the concepts.

Colorectal Surgery: A Growing Field

The field of colorectal surgery has been evolving and growing for the last 30 or 40 years in the United States. Currently there are about 84 fellows in any given year, making it the second-smallest specialty. The number of programs available and the number of individuals interested in colorectal surgery as a specialty is increasing. In terms of surgical advances, minimally invasive surgical procedures are new since I began my career. Other new advances like robotic surgical procedures, new instruments, new techniques, and new research are going to make this both an interesting and an increasingly effective area of surgery for treating cancers and other conditions.

The Benefits of the eBook

There has been an explosion of knowledge in all surgery and medicine, and particularly in colorectal surgery. It’s very difficult for an individual to keep up with every aspect of every condition that we treat. Often we will refer to the internet or to our textbooks to be reminded of an idea about a given problem so we can more effectively treat a patient. Referring to medical information online is happening more and more these days and the resources are more dynamic. For those physicians who don’t do a particular procedure as often as others, having the latest information online in a digestible, understandable form as it is in the e-book version of Colorectal Surgery is very important.


Richard P. Billingham, MD is Clinical Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. He is also Medical Director for Quality and Education, Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery at the Swedish Cancer Institute and Swedish Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Billingham is a co-author of Colorectal Surgery.

Dr. Billingham earned his medical degree at the University of Rochester. His clinical emphasis is on the surgical management of colorectal cancer, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Billingham’s membership in numerous professional societies includes his service as past president of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons; Vice-President, International Council of Coloproctology; Senior Examiner, American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery; and President, Northwest Colorectal Foundation. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.

Dr. Billingham has been named in many prestigious lists of best doctors, including Seattle Magazine and U.S. News Health. Outside of his medical practice, he enjoys hiking, biking, and skiing with his family.

Related Authors: H. Randolph Bailey, MDMichael J. Stamos, MD; Michael J. Snyder, MD