Surgical Techniques

Society of Gynecologic Surgeons meeting champions training of future gynecologic surgeons

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The 2022 annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, March 27-30, focused on surgeon training and many additional significant issues


It was such a pleasure at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons (SGS) to witness record meeting attendance and strong enthusiasm after 2 depressing years with the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidently, everyone was tired of virtual gatherings and presentations. As a dedicated surgical educator and a passionate vaginal surgeon, SGS President Carl Zimmerman, MD, chose “Gynecologic surgery training: Lessons from the past, looking to the future” as the theme for this year’s meeting. Our keynote speakers, Patricia Turner, MD, MBA, Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons, and Marta Crispens, MD, MBA, Professor and Division Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Vanderbilt, were spot on. They reviewed the current status of surgical training eloquently with convincing statistics. They mapped out the path forward by stressing collaboration and proposing strategies that might produce competent surgeons in all fields.

The meeting featured 2 panel discussions. The first, titled Innovations in training gynecologic surgeons,” reviewed tracking in residency, use of simulation for surgical proficiency, and European perspective on training. The panelists emphasized the dwindling numbers of surgical procedures, especially vaginal hysterectomies. Cecile Ferrando, MD, suggested that tracking might be part of the answer, based on their experience, which provided a structure for residents to obtain concentrated training in their areas of interest. Douglas Miyazaki, MD, presented the prospects for his innovative, federally funded vaginal surgery simulation model. Oliver Preyer, MD, presented Austrian trainees’ low case volumes, showing that the grass was not actually greener on the other side. Finally, this panel reinvigorated ongoing debate about separating Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The second panel, “Operating room safety and efficiency,” shed light on human and nontechnical factors that might be as critical as surgeons’ skills and experience, and it highlighted an innovative technology that monitored and analyzed all operating room parameters to improve operational processes and surgical technique. Points by Jason Wright, MD, on the relationship between surgical volume and outcomes complemented the meeting theme and the first panel discussion. He underlined how much surgical volume of individual surgeons and hospitals mattered, but he also indicated that restrictive credentialing strategies might lead to unintended consequences.

Importantly, the SGS Women’s Council held a panel on the “Impact of Texas legislation on the physician/patient relationship” to provide a platform for members who had mixed feelings about attending this meeting in Texas.

The SGS meeting also included several popular postgraduate courses on multidisciplinary management of Müllerian anomalies, pelvic fistula treatment, surgical simulation, management modalities for uterine fibroids, and medical innovation and entrepreneurship. In this special section and in the next issue of OBG Management, several of these topics are presented.

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