Hello AAS Members, and Welcome to the END OF 2020!
Yes, it’s been a very tough year. COVID-19 tossed our relied-upon definitions of “normal” right out the window, and the shift in our day-to-day lives, jobs, relationships and interactions was significant. BUT, even in the face of so many obstacles, the AAS has reason to celebrate – we accomplished a lot over this tumultuous year!
We established our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI), and with their thoughtful guidance the AAS adopted a Commitment to Diversity statement. Working with DEI, our Communications & Technology Committee (CTC) and a few others, we presented several timely, relevant and well-attended “town hall” webinars, discussing issues of leadership in challenging times, identifying and tackling racial discrimination, the importance of diversity, and the general issues facing academic surgery during this pandemic. Our Basic Science, Clinical Health Service Research and Academic Advancement committees all launched new mentoring initiatives in our society’s continuing mission to train and prepare the next generation of academic surgeons. Our website was also given a fresh look, courtesy of the CTC working closely with our society’s management team. The new design allows for greater ease of use and functionality, and we welcome any feedback from our members on the site and what we can continue to improve.
The virtual format for the Fall Courses was a great success. Offered over three weekends in October, November and December, the courses enjoyed a strong turnout, with over 375 registrants and over 70 faculty! In addition to the Fundamentals of Surgical Research Course, the Early Career Development Course was doubled into two tracks the first “Preparing for Practice” and a second, “Preparing to Lead.” The live sessions were well attended…and if you didn’t get a chance to participate live, you can still register for the recorded sessions through June of this year – Link to register: https://cvent.me/eby7Rz
Currently, our Program Committee is planning a virtual format 2021 Academic Surgical Congress. Nearly 1000 abstracts were submitted, and we are finalizing what we know will be a strong, relevant and informative program. The dates of the ASC will remain the same – February 2, 3 & 4, 2021. Be sure to take a look at the Advanced Program and REGISTER for the conference today!
We are also very pleased to continue to fund the AAS Research Awards this year – three Trainee Research Fellowship Awards in 1) Basic Science/Translational Research, 2) Clinical Outcomes/Health Services and 3) Education; the Global Surgery Research Fellowship Award and the Joel J. Roslyn Faculty Research Award.
AAS remains in a strong financial position. We generated a modest revenue from the Fall Courses and expect to do that same with ASC. However, the key to our continued financial strength and stability is you, our members. If you have not already, we urge you to renew your membership for the coming year. Membership dues allow us to accomplish all the good work we do, and your commitment and loyalty to the AAS are vital elements in our ability to continue those efforts.
On behalf of the Executive Council of the AAS, thank you for (despite all the odds) a great and productive year. We wish you and yours a safe, healthy and very happy new year.
Eugene S. Kim, MD
Amir A. Ghaferi, MD
Fabian M. Johnston, MD MHS
Carrie C. Lubitz, MD MPH
Hari Nathan, MD PhD