It was a great honor to be inducted as the new ASMS president in Los Angeles. After 11 years on the ASMS Board I can say that the organization is strong and still gaining.
William Y. Hoffman, MD
Education remains a core mission of the society. We are continuing the Basic Course under the leadership of Gaby Doumit and had an excellent course already in Miami at the end of January, with 55 attendees. Check out photos on our Facebook site! Following the Philadelphia course in July, we will be taking the Basic Course across the Atlantic again this year when we go to Romania in late August. This course is supported by Rotaplast. Ray Harshbarger in Austin has obtained another Rotaplast grant for us to do the Basic Course in El Salvador, probably in early 2018.
We have embarked on a plan to put on at least one advanced course each year. Last August we had a tremendously successful pediatric surgery symposium at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital hosted by Joe Losee. Over 100 people attended including several international attendees. The presentations were excellent and there was significant time devoted to panel discussion and Q and A. This year we are planning an advanced techniques course April 7-9 at St Louis University. This course is being coordinated by Alex Lin, and will feature cadaver dissections for both cosmetic and reconstructive facial procedures, including everything from facelift to nasal endoscopy to dental implants. Space is limited so sign up soon if you have not yet!
The visiting professor program remains strong. Our visiting professors this year – Bruce Bauer, Greg Evans, Michael Grant, and David Staffenberg – are on track to visit over 20 program this year to discuss a variety of topics. We are thankful that we have members who will donate this kind of time to teach and promote the society.
Webinars continue to be another means of fulfilling our educational goals. The first of this year is on March 8 (already done by the time of this publication) with Peter Taub and myself addressing cleft palate and alveolar cleft management. We are planning 2-3 each year; watch for email blasts to determine time and subject.
John van Aalst has transformed the journal into much more than a newsletter. The last issue highlighted the motivations of the Board members to pursue their careers, ethics and CPT advice, a review of the last webinar on frontal sinus fractures, and a paper on rhinophyma. We are continuing to work to obtain Pubmed citation status. If you have original material for publication, contact John.
Advocacy is an area we are trying to develop a greater presence. Several years ago I worked with Deb Johnson, our new ASPS president, when she was president of the CSPS, to get a bill passed that provides orthodontics for cleft kids under medical rather than dental insurance. The national push for the CARES bill (coverage for reconstructive surgery defined as not cosmetic) is generally felt to be an uphill struggle in the current political climate, so with bills like this we are looking into how we can help accomplish similar goals in state legislatures instead. If you have any inquiries send them to me or to Devra Becker, our VP for socioeconomic affairs.
Amanda Gosman is working on how we can cooperate with the PSF and ACAPS to provide a centralized calendar for international mission trips. This will only work if we have widespread “buy in” so I would encourage everyone to respond to a survey we will be sending in the next month about this issue.
The ASMS continues to have excellent representation in sister organizations. Donald MacKay, next year’s president, is chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and Arun Gosain, immediate past president is the president-elect of the Plastic Surgery Foundation. Beyond the world of plastic surgery, Kant Lin now represents us in the AMA and Arun Gosain is our representative to the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons.
Orlando is the site of the national meeting this year. It is more family oriented than usual, so think about bringing the kids if you can. The opening ceremonies are being planned at Epcot Center and should be outstanding. Our usual preconference symposium will be incorporated into the main program this year, on Saturday rather than Thursday, and will be included in the general meeting registration. This means that we will now have over 2 full days of programming. Peter Taub and Tom Samson are planning the symposium as a series of cadaver demonstrations by surgical masters. The program on ASMS day has 7 panels including one by our Mexican colleagues, as Mexico is the guest nation this year. We are planning the Presidential reception, which should be a great party, and I hope we see many of you there!
Lastly, Fan Liang, our resident representative on the Board, has helped set up a Facebook page for the society as we finally begin our foray into social media. The address is https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASMSPlasticSurgery/. Join and post – we can start our online community this week!
It is an honor and privilege to be President of ASMS, working with so many remarkable and committed surgeons. I hope that we can continue to serve our members with outstanding representation and educational programs.