In just a few short weeks, we will all convene in Las Vegas for the 50th Annual Meeting of our organization. I was just reviewing the advanced program and marveling at the diversity of scientific, policy-relevant, and career development activities that are planned. I hope you are all as excited as I am.
There are several things about this meeting that are of utmost importance to me personally that I would like to bring to your attention. First, the AAS Foundation is honoring Dr. Michael J. Zinner and the remarkable contributions he has made during his decades of service and leadership in the surgical community. We will be renaming one of our resident research awards in his honor. Dr. Zinner is an amazing surgeon, leader, mentor, advocate, friend, and role model (the list could go on) for so many academic surgeons. Dr. Zinner’s most favorite saying is “I am in the young people business”. Please consider donating to support the academic activities of a resident in his honor. I can think of no more fitting cause. The link to donate to the Foundation is:
Dr. Zinner, along with Drs. Chuck Brunicardi, Hiram Polk, David Soybel, Herb Chen and Lillian Kao, will take us on a trip back through the first 5 decades of our organization. Each of these icons of American surgery has served as a personal mentor or advocate for me and I am so very grateful that they will be participating in this historic session. A special thanks to Dr. Brunicardi for suggesting the session and allowing me the privilege of being involved. Each past-president will highlight the decade during which they served as president. My presidential address will follow with a discussion of some important issues that we face in the next decade, primarily the changing face of the surgical workforce and the need to increase flexibility in career paths. In the afternoon, we will continue with a more detailed discussion of the gender gap in surgery. I hope you all will come with an open mind and a willingness to talk about an uncomfortable but pressing issue facing our discipline. I can think of no better organization than the AAS to face this important disparity head on.
Other highlights of the meeting include the plenary sessions which will highlight the best science in surgery today and the highly competitive hot topic lunches. This year the committees were asked to submit proposals for their sessions (similar to the hot topics) with only the most innovative and significant sessions making it on the program. I have no doubt that they will be as an engaging and well-received as the hot topics of years past. I wanted to draw your attention to the AAS resident and medical student quick shot competitions on Tuesday evening. This is a fabulous venue to troll for new recruits for both your residency and future faculty partners as well as to support our youngest AAS members many of whom are presenting for the first time. Finally, no one can ever predict what DJ Dorry Segev has in store for us but seeing as this is Vegas, I am certain it will be off the hook.
It has been my privilege to serve as your president. Please feel free to contact me in the upcoming weeks or stop me at the ASC to provide feedback on how this year went, what we did well and what we could do better. The engagement of our membership is one of the things that makes the AAS the remarkable organization that we are. I face the end of my term with nothing but optimism for the future of our organization and the security of knowing that Becky Sippel, along with the other officers (Adil Haider, Karl Bilimoria, and Cliff Cho), will be leading us into the next decade.