The mission of the Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) is to inspire and develop young academic surgeons. This focus was initially directed toward aspiring young surgeons here in the United States, but over the years, the mission of the AAS has become global in scope, crossing multiple borders in the pursuit of equipping the next generation of academic surgeons. The AAS has been proud to collaborate with many international surgical societies to bring the expertise of AAS academic surgeons across the world through a variety of surgical research courses. For over ten years, we have fostered productive relationships with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons Columbia Chapter, the Taiwan Surgical Association and the West African College of Surgeons. Together, we have developed a dynamic exchange program, wherein members can travel between the societies to encourage the continuous flow of ideas, as well as exciting new educational resources to equip academic surgeons worldwide. One of our most notable initiatives is our annual traveling professorships who participate in these Fundamentals of Research Courses that are held with our international collaborating organizations. The AAS is committed to making these opportunities accessible to members, so multiple travel fellowships have been made available to support member participation. Applications for these international fellowships can be found HERE.
With the goal of extending the global expansion of the AAS being the leader in academic surgical mentoring, the AAS created the position of International Course Director to standardize and deliver the AAS message on a global scale in collaboration with other surgical organizations. This approach allows for standardization of our important educational initiatives across the world, and firmly positions AAS as the global leader in academic surgical mentoring.
I am privileged to continue this effort as the present International Course Director. We have developed new initiatives including a research symposia in conjunction with the American College of Surgeons in Rome, Italy and the Argentinean Surgical Society in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with future events planned in Honolulu, Hawaii (Pacific Rim edition) and in Guangzhou, China. We are continually looking to expand these educational programs; therefore, I invite any members to contact me or Christina Kasendorf (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding new societies that could benefit from the AAS Research or Early Career Development courses. These events will increase opportunities to equip aspiring academic surgeons who want to take the academic message abroad as well as provide international speaking opportunities for members. The AAS was built on a foundation of mentoring the next generation of academic surgeons. Now, with our collective experience, we have the opportunity to become true leaders in mentoring the next generation not only here in the U.S., but also worldwide. In closing, as members of the AAS, we should embrace this amazing opportunity to embody our mission on a global scale and move academic surgery forward worldwide.