From Society of Gynecologic Surgeons

Reporting from: 48th annual scientific meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons

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Wednesday, March 30. Day 3 of SGS.

The final day of #SGS2022 began with the last round of oral and video presentations on topics including: the efficacy and safety of restrictive blood transfusion protocols in gynecologic surgical patients, restricted opioid use following midurethral sling procedures, and the efficacy of trigger point injections for myofascial pelvic pain. Next, the prestigious Distinguished Surgeon Award was presented to Dr. Jeffrey Cornella, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, for his contributions to the field of gynecologic surgery.

This was followed by the passing of the presidential gavel from current SGS president Dr. Carl Zimmerman to incoming president Dr. Cheryl Iglesia, Director of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC, and Director of the National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery (NCAPS) at Medstar Health. Dr. Iglesia has been internationally and nationally recognized for her work in advancing the field of pelvic surgery and urogynecology through extensive research, clinical excellence, and support of medical education.

Needless to say, #SGS2022 was a huge success! While many of us are sad to leave San Antonio today, we are returning to our respective programs feeling motivated and rejuvenated. There is nothing more inspiring than spending time with such a highly committed group of physicians who strive to improve patient care through their excellent contributions to research and medical education. I am grateful for the new mentors, colleagues, and friends I have met at this meeting.

Thank you to the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons and OBG Management for giving me the opportunity to reflect on my experience at #SGS2022, as well as the companies that support the Fellows Scholar program.

I can’t wait to attend the 49th Annual Scientific Meeting in Tuscon, Arizona, in 2023!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022. Day 2 of SGS.

The second day of #SGS2022 began with several academic roundtables on a variety of topics including hysteroscopy, uterine-preserving prolapse surgeries, how to select patients for vaginal hysterectomy, and the role of minimally invasive surgery in transabdominal cerclage. The general session continued with more outstanding poster and video presentations that were followed by the annual presidential address. SGS president Dr. Carl Zimmerman spoke about the changing surgical landscape and SGS’s commitment to improving surgical education: “The women of America and the world deserve better.” He went on to announce the creation of a presidential task force on surgical training, whose members will include: Dr. Ted Anderson, Dr. Emily Weber LeBrun, and Dr. Mike Moen.

This year’s TeLinde Lecture was given by the executive director of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Dr. Patricia Turner. Her talk was entitled, “Surgeons: More to Unite Us Than Divide Us.” Dr. Turner began by reminding us of the shared history between general surgery and gynecologic surgery. In fact, the American College of Surgeons was founded by gynecologist Dr. Franklin H. Martin. She went on to thoughtfully discuss the need to rethink surgical training and the way we assess surgical trainees. She highlighted the importance of collaboration between all surgical specialties to improve surgical education, improve outcomes, and advocate for patients. “In order to heal all, we have to have ALL surgeons at the table.”

Today’s general session was concluded with a panel discussion on “Operating Room Safety and Efficiency” in which Dr. Kenneth Catchpole, Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, and Dr. Jason Wright shared some interesting ideas on how we can improve patient care in the operating room. The afternoon continued with a number of social activities, providing an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscape of San Antonio, Texas, including: a tour of Eisenhower park, kayaking on the Guadelupe River, and the SGS golf tournament.

The fun continued into the evening at the annual “SGS’ Got Talent” in which participants could be spotted in cowboy hats, bandanas, and boots. The night was filled with food, drinks, laughter, and line dancing! #SGS2022

Monday, March 28, 2022. Day 1 of SGS.

“How do you become brave? How do you become an advocate? How do you make a change?” These are just some of the questions asked during our thought-provoking early morning session entitled, “Healthcare Inequity Awareness—A Conversation to Empower Providers and Enhance the Patient Experience” at this year’s annual scientific meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons #SGS2022. The panelists, which included Dr. Olivia Cardenas-Trowers, Dr. Maria Florian-Rodriguez, and Dr. Tristi Muir, emphasized the importance of acknowledging our own bias as physicians, as well as the role structural racism plays in the health care access and outcomes of our patients. We were reminded that “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (aka DEI) is a journey. It is progress over time, not over night.”

Following the early morning panel, the 48th annual scientific meeting officially began with a brief welcome and recognition of new SGS members by current president Dr. Carl Zimmerman and scientific program committee chair Dr. Oz Harmanli. The rest of the morning session was filled with outstanding oral and video presentations on topics ranging from the role of oophorectomy in patients with breast cancer, creating simulation models to enhance medical education, and tips for navigating the altered retroperitoneum.

Next, the Mark D. Walters endowed lecture was given by Dr. Marta A. Crispens, entitled “Restructuring Gynecologic Surgical Education: It’s a Matter of Equity.” In her exceptionally powerful address, Dr. Crispens began by discussing the historical context in which the fields of obstetrics and gynecology were combined and comparing it to a shift in current practice toward a national decrease in number of hysterectomies and an increase in the complexity of surgical cases. She highlighted the well-studied fact that low-volume surgeons have higher complication rates and that many new ObGyn residency graduates perform only 3 to 4 hysterectomies annually during the first few years of practice. Finally, she asserted that, by separating the practices of obstetrics and gynecology, we can improve surgical education and the quality of surgical care for our patients. The audience’s enthusiasm was undeniable, resulting in resounding applause and a standing ovation.

The afternoon was filled with unique opportunities for fellows, including: the Fellow’s Pelvic Research Network (FPRN) meeting, an incredibly informative panel on how to navigate the first year out of fellowship with Dr. Mireille Truong, Dr. Christine Foley, and Dr. Jon Pennycuff, and finally, the Mentorship Mingle.

The first day was concluded with the President’s Award Ceremony in which Dr. John DeLancey was presented with the illustrious President’s Award, followed by the President’s Reception with food, drinks, and lively conversation. Looking forward to day 2 of #SGS2022. @gynsurgery

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