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SGS 2018: SGS Fellow Scholar provides daily coverage of annual meeting

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Dr. Tierney reports for OBG Management. Tune in this week for more exciting coverage from the meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons.


3/13/18. DAY 3 AT SGS

A busy day gets underway

During a busy morning scientific session, Dr. Amit Sood (@amitsoodMD) delivered the TeLinde lecture, titled "Building resilience," which he defined as doing well when you should not be doing well. He walked meeting attendees through a few exercises, including practicing morning gratitude and finding curious moments. He received a well-deserved standing ovation.

After a quick lunch, the group reconvened for a riveting panel discussion regarding the future of ObGyn in the session, "What is the future of gynecologic surgery and the subspecialties?" Dr. Eric Sokol moderated the discussion, and the panelists included Dr. Carl Zimmerman representing general gynecology, Dr. Dee Fenner from urogynecology, Dr. Arnold Advincula from minimally invasive gynecologic surgery (MIGS), Dr. Javier Magrina from gynecologic oncology, and Dr. Wilma Larsen representing the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). Many opinions were shared, including the possibility of allowing residents to choose a track in obstetrics or gynecology. Clearly there is a lot to explore in the future of our field. As a MIGS fellow, it was great to hear Dr. Advincula define our specialty as "non-malignant, advanced pelvic surgery."

The FMIGS Young Alumni Network then met to hear Dr. Samar Nahas give a talk on "Life as you see it, from all the struggles to all the success." She gave an inspiring overview of her life and encouraged those in attendance to keep searching for their next goal in life, whether it be academic, career-related, family, or personal.

Taking in Orlando sun and fun

The afternoon was free for leisure, and many meeting attendees took advantage of the activities offered, including a golf tournament as well as ziplining at nearby Gatorland. Others, like myself, simply took the opportunity to enjoy the sun and warm weather in Orlando, especially while there was a nor'easter occurring back home.

SGS' Got Talent was the festive evening activity on the agenda, during which a competitive talent show occurred. Attendees were able to vote for their favorites while giving donations to the organization Surgeons Helping Advance Research & Education (SHARE). Highlights included a Disney sing-along and a rousing medley of Michael Jackson songs sung on the kazoo.

See you next year!

Tomorrow is the last day of #SGS2018. I look forward to returning to my MIGS fellowship at Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and sharing all that I have learned. Thank you to Dr. Nancy Frankel, SGS, and OBG Management and all the sponsors supporting the Fellow Scholar program for allowing us trainees to take part in this excellent conference! I am looking forward to #SGS2019 in Tucson, Arizona.

3/12/18. DAY 2 AT SGS

Something for everyone at Day 2 SGS sessions

This morning’s Scientific Sessions began with the Keynote address by Dr. James Merlino, President and Chief Medical Officer, Strategic Consulting, at Press Ganey, who spoke on “Patient Experience: It Is Not About Making People Happy.” Dr. Merlino opened with a personal anecdote about an experience he had with a poor hospital outcome. He reminded us that showing empathy can make a huge difference in patients’ perspectives on their experience and that “an engaged culture is essential to high performance.” He also emphasized that all physicians are leaders and that our involvement in patient safety and decreasing errors is essential.

Surgeons debate best approach for POP

Another highlight of the Scientific Sessions was the debate moderated by Dr. Peter Rosenblatt on “Optimal Surgical Management of Stage 3 and 4 Pelvic Organ Prolapse.” Drs. Rebecca Rogers, Patrick Culligan, and Vincent Lucente participated. The consensus was that Dr. Rogers won over the crowd, convincing us that native tissue repair is the answer. Excellent job by all the panelists for an informative—and entertaining—debate!

Focus on fellows

Immediately following the third Scientific Session, the fellows convened at the Fellows’ Pelvic Research Network (FPRN)® meeting. After a quick joint session during which Dr. Donna Mazloomdoost gave an informative talk on the grant process at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the MIGS fellows broke out to review projects that are currently recruiting new sites and to hear a new proposal for a collaborative multicenter study.

President’s events

Evening activities included the President’s Awards Ceremony and the President’s Reception. Awards Ceremony notable moments included the “Honor your Mentor” session, during which the honored individuals were each recognized. Dr. Ralph Chesson then received the inaugural “Mentor of the Year” award, to much applause. Fellow/Resident awards were up next. Dr. Christina Jones received the President’s Award–Prize Paper for her oral presentation, “Liposomal bupivacaine efficacy for postoperative pain following posterior vaginal surgery: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Congratulations! The day concluded with the President’s Reception, where the food, drink, and conversation were plentiful.

Get appy

Finally, conference attendees were able to plan their meeting on their smartphones using the Event Pilot App, which also had a running Twitter thread under the hashtag #SGS2018. A Twitter scavenger hunt was also underway, with #speculumsunday, #maskmembermonday, and #trocartuesday. During this event attendees are encouraged to find the “object of the day,” Tweet a response to a prompt, and then bring the object to the social media booth to receive a prize.

Stay tuned to @ChrisTierneyMD for more live updates from #SGS2018.

Photo credit: Dr. Mohammad Islam @MoMIGSMD

MIGS fellows await the start of the FPRN meeting.

3/11/18. DAY 1 AT SGS

Good morning from sunny Orlando!

It was a very early morning, due to the conveniently timed daylight savings to start the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons (SGS). First on the agenda was the postgraduate (PG) course, “Endometriosis: Contemporary Approaches to Diagnosis and Treatment” led by Dr. Rosanne Kho. Excellent talks were given and reminded us that, as a specialty, we have made great strides in advancing the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. Nevertheless, there is much work to be done in developing a better classification system, including identifying markers that can help stratify the extent of disease.

A highlight was a question from the audience regarding the important facets of a physical exam in diagnosing deep endometriosis. Dr. Mauricio Abrao reviewed his strategy, which included palpating for adnexal masses, pain, or nodules in the cul-de-sac and evaluating trigger points along the psoas muscle. Dr. Scott Young, a radiologist, then provided some key signs to look for in pelvic magnetic resonance imaging and endovaginal ultrasound in diagnosing deep endometriosis. He reminded all of us that a partnership with an excellent radiology department is key in diagnosing and treating deep endometriosis effectively. Dr. Tommaso Falcone then gave an excellent overview of anatomy in relation to deep endometriosis, teaching us all about the different layers of the retroperitoneum.

An afternoon of simulation

After a quick break, it was on to the next course: “Train the Trainer: Comprehensive Hysterectomy Simulation Course for Educators.” Dr. Christine Vaccaro headed this interactive session, and started us off with a reminder that “simulation is the future, and we need to jump on board!” Unfortunately for trainees, the overall number of hysterectomies performed during residency are decreasing secondary to medical management available for abnormal uterine bleeding and the fact that the 4 years of ObGyn residency have a heavy focus on obstetrics. Therefore, it was great to hear Dr. Vaccaro say that the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) is requiring Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLSTM) training for those seeking board certification. Attendees of this session included a combination of trainers and trainees, so to speak, and we took turns rotating around models for abdominal, vaginal, laparoscopic, and robotic hysterectomies. I took the opportunity to learn some tips and tricks from experts like Dr. Ernie Lockrow during a simulated laparoscopic myomectomy, in which the struggle felt very real.

Mix and mingle

Other PG courses offered and attended throughout the day included: “Surgical Coding: Working through the Entire Procedure,” “Variations in the Management of the Vaginal Apex during Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery,” Gynecologic Care of Girls and Young Women Born with Urogenital Anomalies,” and “Social Media, Medicine and your Digital Footprint.” SGS Fellow Scholars were then invited to the “Senior Members Engaging Young Learners” event, designed to connect senior SGS members with residents and fellows. Here, residents and fellows mingled with distinguished faculty, many of them with red badges on their nametags, indicating 20 years of membership with SGS. I learned firsthand that connections are very easy to make in this friendly group, where everyone is willing to introduce you to someone who will help advance your career. After this, we moved straight onto the Welcome Reception, where conversations and connections continued.

I look forward to a full day tomorrow! Stay tuned to @ChrisTierneyMD for live updates from #SGS2018.

MIGS fellows loving the welcome reception at #SGS2018!

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