In the AAS Constitution, the job of Recorder is described as such: “It shall be the duty of the Recorder to manage the entire program for the annual meeting, in conjunction with other participating societies. The Recorder will be a member of the Program Committee. The Recorder shall be a member of the Nominating Committee.” In essence, the job of the Recorder is to chair the Program Committee and to put together the ASC program.
As Chair of the Program Committee, the Recorder presides over the formal meetings of the Program Committee, which consists of approximately 25-30 members of the AAS. It is the job of this committee to review and score all abstracts submitted for the Annual Meeting. The Program Committee then selects the abstracts to be presented, and creates the program venue for which these abstracts are presented. This is done in conjunction with the Society of University Surgeons Publications Committee.
In addition to selecting the scientific abstracts for the meeting, the Recorder’s job is also to create the remaining portions of the program. The Recorder is a focal point, and the person who communicates with all parties who participate in the Annual Meeting. This would include, but is not limited to, organizing the awards presentation with the President-Elect, inviting moderators and discussants for the program, coordinating the State of the Art, Presidents Session, and Hot Topics sessions, coordinating the Education Session with the Education Chair, coordinating the Issues Session with the Issues Chair, coordinating the Outcomes Session with the Outcomes chairs, and arranging the New Members Breakfast with the Chair of the Membership Committee. The Recorder also has a role with all social events.
Furthermore, the Recorder organizes all the formal competitions and awards for the best papers, best presentations, and best abstracts, which are awarded at the Annual ASC.
As mentioned in the duties listed above, the Recorder also serves on the Nominating Committee, is an officer, and will be involved in all officer calls and decisions. The Recorder may also review grant applications.
It should be noted that the AAS Recorder works closely with the SUS Publications Chair. The Recorder and Publications Chair alternate years taking the lead organizing the joint Publication Committee and running the meeting, so that when the Recorder is in their first year, the SUS Publications Chair is taking the lead. In addition, when the Recorder is in the lead, he or she is also responsible for developing the agenda and chairing the monthly core committee calls. This process helps foster a seamless transition from year-to-year. Thus, in the first year of the position, the Recorder is learning from his/her SUS counterpart.
This is probably the most time-consuming officer position in the AAS. Just the abstract review and selection requires a significant amount of time. For instance, during the abstract review, the Recorder handled over 1100 abstracts for the 2015 ASC. The Recorder handles all of the scoring, and then organizes these abstracts into separate sessions. Therefore, for those interested in this position, you should be prepared to commit a significant amount of time to the job. It is not recommended that you have any other significant service positions during this two-year period.The CORE Committee meets monthly and there are also regular internal calls with staff, in addition to a heavy email schedule.
Some rough deadlines for the Recorder include the following:
March – Correspondence with all of new members of the Program Committee. During this time, the Recorder needs to figure out the expertise of the individual members of the committee to help organize the review of abstracts.
April – Organize the formal Program Committee Meeting, which is usually held at the American College of Surgeons Meeting in October.
May – Develop a preliminary program for the Annual Meeting to be presented at the Executive Council Meeting in June. The Recorder should also have the abstract submission site under review and ready to start within the next few months.
June/July – Abstract submission site opens.
August – Review all abstracts submitted to the ASC. Coordinate all of the reviews of the Program Committee.
September – Assemble all final scores for abstracts and start to preliminarily create the scientific portion of the program.
October – Meet in a one-day session with the Program Committee at the American College of Surgeons. Finalize all abstract selections.
November/December – Select moderators and discussants for the main meeting.
January – Manuscripts associated with the ASC will be due to the JSR website for review. The publications chair will assign reviewers.
February – Annual Meeting