As AAS President-Elect, it has been my privilege to oversee the awards process as well as the Fall Courses this year. I wanted to take a minute to update the membership on these two important activities that are core to our mission.
2015 FALL COURSES
The Fall Courses took place on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at Northwestern University in Chicago. Chicago is always a popular site for the college and attendance tends to be higher than other cities. In addition, Northwestern is a beautiful convenient location on the Magnificent Mile. While these are draws, it is no doubt the content that was the primary driver for the 127 registrants that attended the meeting. This year we opted for a 1-day format running the 26th Fundamentals of Surgical Research Course (FSRC) and 11th Early Career Development Course (CDC) in parallel. Overall the reviews of this were positive, so members should plan for a similar format next year as you make your travel arrangements for Washington DC in October.
The parallel format allowed us to tailor content more specifically to the target audiences with medical students, residents and fellows at the FSRC and fellows and junior faculty at the CDC. Each course began with a kick-off lecture by a past-president of the AAS; Timothy Pawlik and Scott LaMaire did a fantastic job setting the tone for the day. The FSRC then moved into sessions on Starting Your Research Career and Time Management followed by Submitting Your Work. After lunch, parallel sessions covered basic principles in Education, Clinical Trials/Research, Health Services, and Basic/Translational Science. Next door the CDC was covering Starting Your Academic Career: Tips for Success and the Nuts and Bolts of an Academic Career. The afternoon included a panel discussion of the career paths of current and past leaders of the AAS for the FSRC and several sessions on Leadership and Conflict Management for the CDC. Finally, Mary Hawn closed out the meeting with a truly inspirational keynote lecture on Learning from Failure – the sign of a true leader. As I tried to move back and forth between the 2 courses, my sense was that the courses were overwhelmingly valuable for the attendees. Heartfelt thanks and congratulations go out to the course chairs: Jacob Greenberg MD EdM and Rebekah White MD., co-chairs of the Education Committee who organized the FSRC, and Ajay Maker MD and Tracy Wang MD MPH, co-chairs of the Leadership Committee who organized the CDC.
2015 AAS AWARDS
The AAS sponsors numerous awards that are core to our mission of “Inspiring and Developing Young Academic Surgeons”. Our awards fall into four main categories: travel, medical students, fellowships, and faculty research awards. We had a 50% increase in applications for the travel awards to the Fall Courses. We were able to support 6 awards from the 75 applications. These awards are supported by an NIH R13 award to the University of Wisconsin entitled “AAS Courses to Increase Women and Minorities in Academic Surgery.” The 6 Fall Courses Travel Grant Award recipients for 2015 were Andrea Abbott, Alexander Bondoc, Micaela Esquivel, Mautin Hundeyin, Stephanie Kingman and Brandi Scully.
We also support the International Visiting Professorship Awards. This year’s awards include: Amir Ghaferi, MD, traveling to the Taiwan Surgical Association annual meeting; Catherine Juillard, MD MPH traveling to the West African College of Surgeons annual meeting; Sundeep Keswani, MD, traveling to the Colombian Surgical Association annual meeting, and Weidun Alan Guo, MD PhD, traveling to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons annual meeting. Applications for all categories of research awards were also significantly increased from last year, some more than doubling.
The recipients for the 2016 Student Research Awards (which includes complimentary registration and travel assistance to the 2016 ASC) were Anna Huguenard, Blake Henchcliffe, Jason Pradarelli, Mohini Dasari, Richard Guyer and S. Rae Rokosh.
The recipients of the 2015 Student Travel Grants (which includes complimentary registration, hotel and travel assistance to the 2016 ASC) were Livia Maria Mangogna, Jason Silvestre and Lauren Theiss. The finalists for both the Resident Research Fellowships in Clinical and Basic Science as well as the Roslyn Faculty Research Awards have been notified and interviews will be held at the ASC. Finally, there are two awards that are made in conjunction with the Society of University Surgeons as part of the ASC. These include five International Research Travel Awards as well as a new 10 X 10 Career Development Traveling Fellowship to support a faculty-level surgeon who is a member of both organizations to spend time at another organization to advance their academic career. This award is supported by the funds raised as part of the 10 x 10 Campaign last year in honor of the 10th Annual Academic Surgical Congress. Thanks to all who contributed!
I am looking forward to an exciting ASC meeting in just over a month, and ato nnouncing the remaining award winners.
Best of luck to all who are in the running.
See everyone in Jacksonville!