Last week was a whirlwind. It always amazes me how it seems like so much time has passed, yet how quickly events go by simultaneously. Planning the Academic Surgical Congress is a labor of love and truly is a team effort. The more obvious thank-yous go to Jayme (my SUS counterpart), our management company (Christine, Michelle, JJ, Christina, Jason, Yumi, the other Carrie, & Colleen), and my exec committee comrades (Amir, Hari, Karl, & Eugene). I also want to highlight and thank the unsung heroes of the meeting and for everyone putting themselves out there to grow (and maybe even dance):
- The undergraduate students, residents, fellows, post-docs….and I believe even a high-school student(!) who presented for their first time at a national meeting. You will remember that talk for the rest of your career. You were all so impressive! This meeting is about you.
- The program committee members and other moderators from both organizations who were putting out fires the whole meeting. Identifying 240 moderators is no small feat, and wouldn’t have been accomplished without the last-minute fill-ins. Many things happened without even me knowing, and I thank you!
- Our 89 international registrants and visiting professors for making the long-trip and broadening our minds.
- The participants who stepped-up without being asked to help the sessions/moderators run seamlessly (Becky, Joe, Doug, and many that I am forgetting).
- To all of the “senior” AAS role models who take the time and effort to welcome and support the trainees and junior faculty. I was reminded by a resident how an encouraging conversation I had with him years ago was so impactful (Thank you, Apoovre).
- DJ Dorry for reminding us to have fun.
- John, Jake, Anji, & Jonah for rocking our first robotics Olympics.
- To the Surgical Jeopardy participants (fierce!), organizers (Brenessa, Jonah, Luke, and Jen), judges and *sparkly* Eugene. I have a new appreciation for how much work goes into this event every year!
- The Executive Council Committee chairs & members and hot topics session leaders and panelists. The topics were outstanding – I wish I could have been in three places at once!
- Lastly, to all of the institutions that support the meeting at home by their mentorship and support of resident/fellow/faculty participation.
I undoubtedly forgot someone, and I apologize. Thank you in advance for sharing things you liked at the meeting and areas for improvement on your post-meeting survey coming to an inbox near you soon! Hope to see you all in Houston – mark your calendars for February 2-4, 2021!