As the AAS representative to the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, let me take a moment to describe my role and the organization. This role is very important as is serves as a conduit for information between the two organizations and provides advocacy for the mission of each organization to the other.
The Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS) was founded in 1989. Its goal is to stimulate academic excellence among its members by providing a forum of scholarship in collaboration with the leading Departments of Surgery in the U.S. The annual meetings of SBAS, attended by members as well as numerous residents and students, provide outstanding programs in both the science and practice of surgery. In addition, the meeting provides an outstanding opportunity for mentorship from nationally recognized figures in American Surgery in a relaxed environment. The first Annual Meeting was hosted by the late Dr. David Sabiston at Duke University. Annual meetings since then have been hosted by university departments of surgery throughout the U.S., including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in April 2015.
SBAS is governed by an Executive (Council) and has more than 200 members throughout the United States. Membership in the Society of Black Academic Surgeons is not restricted by race; and an individual member may be an academic surgeon of any surgical sub-specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS); a surgical fellow or resident-in-training of any surgical sub-specialty as defined by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME); a medical student, as defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) or the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), or a MD, DO, or PhD researcher.
In addition to its Annual Meeting, a website has been established to improve communication with its constituency and persons interested in the organization. The American Journal of Surgery is the official publication of SBAS. The paramount objectives of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons are mentorship, and through its members, enhancement of the academic surgical community both nationally and internationally. The specific objectives are as follows:
- Identify and promote professional and intellectual exchange among surgeons and scientists involved in their related fields.
- Promote the participation of minority surgeons and scientists in the activities of all academic surgical organizations.
- Stimulate and assist government, private industry, and voluntary organizations to develop and promote programs to increase the participation of minority surgeons in the academic community.
- Encourage and assist minority surgeons to conduct original research in both the basic and clinical sciences.
- Support and strengthen the surgical section programs of the National Medical Association.
I encourage all members to visit the SBAS website to appreciate what the society has to offer. I am dedicated as your AAS representative to SBAS to serving increasing minority representation in academic surgery. Please contact me with any questions at [email protected].