The Academic Surgical Congress (ASC) in San Diego, California in February 2014 was a fantastic conference that was attended by over 800 members, with more than 75 international members. The growth and participation of both domestic academic global surgeons and the AAS international membership has steadily increased and influenced the dynamics of the program and the organization. This year there were 2 separate Global Surgery abstract sessions as well as a Global Surgery Breakout session! The highly attended breakout session focused on starting and sustaining a career in Academic Global Surgery. Discussions about incorporating global research, negotiating contracts for global work, and building support from your colleagues and administrators were vibrant and informative. Also, we are very excited that during the 2014 ASC, the second annual $10,000 global surgery resident/fellow research grant was awarded, 5 travel grants were given to international AAS members with abstracts accepted to the ASC, and 5 international visiting professorship awards were distributed. We hope to further increase the number of Global Surgery abstracts submitted to the ASC 2015, so please spread the word!
In October 2013, Mamta Swaroop and Jay Krishnaswami, the co-chairs of the Global Affairs Committee, developed and presented at the World Congress of Surgery, Obstetrics, Trauma, and Anesthesia held in Trinidad following the WHO Global Initiative of Essential and Emergency Surgery Meeting. The session, entitled “Utilization of Technology to Connect Educational Initiatives across the World” was well received by the attendees. Participants ranged from general surgeons, neurosurgeons, and nurses to physicians and administrators, from both Low- Middle- Income Countries and High Income Countries. The AAS-sponsored workshop involved performing hands-on tasks, developing real time social media connections and signing up for the platforms. We hope to continue giving the technology workshop and look forward to increasing international participation in it. Other projects in the works include a textbook in the “Success in Academic Surgery” series on Global Surgery that is currently being authored. We hope that it will serve as a guide for physicians, nurses, and surgeons looking to develop a career in the field.
Our plans for the future include improving and increasing our connections and communication with more countries, and developing international mentorship programs among other initiatives. Please look to the AAS website for more information on these activities and more. We look forward to making the the AAS and the ASC the home of Academic Global Surgery!
What do you think is important in Global Surgery?
Where do you think we could have the most influence?
How would you like to participate?