I am delighted to inform you that we had an excellent annual meeting in San Antonio earlier this month. There was highly informative live CME programming presented during the 3-day meeting, which provided the opportunity for participants to obtain 19 AMA PRA category 1 credits. While the meeting did not include a virtual component, it was fantastic to see that total attendance was up from last year. I have already extended my appreciation to everyone who joined us for the meeting in Texas, but I wish to also acknowledge their participation now. The contributions of those who helped to plan this conference, provided a lecture or registered for the meeting, is what makes ICS special.
While we did not have a virtual streaming component for the meeting, we did record the sessions for our virtual library. Presentations that were included during the meeting in San Antonio will be available in the coming weeks on our YouTube channel. Simply visit www.ficsonline.org and go to the CME menu option, then select the drop-down for "Educational Opportunities." Watch your email for a News from Headquarters message that will let you know when the videos are available. I encourage you to check it out and see what you missed. If you were in San Antonio, please remember that all requests for CME should be made through submission of properly completed evaluation forms that must be submitted by June 1st . Use the meeting APP to access the forms.
While in-person participation of guests from abroad was still not at the usual level, we were honored by the participation of several international guests. Dr. Peter Manoppo from Indonesia provided a wonderful lecture during the Opening Session and Drs. Petr Nestrojil and Jiri Matyas from the Czech Republic, each made a scientific presentation during specialty sessions held on Saturday.
Of course there were several other sessions presented throughout the program, including sessions presented by our colleagues from the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons. Our two groups have now been affiliated for over 20 years and our mutual respect for each other is what keeps us together. The members of the Academy and their leaders, many of which are also ICS Fellows, are greatly appreciated for their ongoing support and participation in our Annual Surgical Update. I look forward to seeing you all again next year.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also note several special lectures that were presented during our gathering.
First on Thursday, as an extension of the Opening Session, our 2023 recipient of an Honorary Fellowship as well as the Crotti award, Prof. Ronald Stewart; presented an Ethics topic that was certainly timely. Firearm Injury and Violence Prevention, focused on the current initiatives and strategic direction of the Firearm Injury Programs of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT). The three principles developed by the ACS COT to reduce firearm injury in the US were discussed in detail. There was ample time for audience interaction with Dr. Stewart, which was extremely interesting to observe.
On Friday, during the Honors Luncheon, a special lecture was presented by Dr. Ryan Baley as this year’s Dr. Arno A. Roscher Endowed Lecture. His presentation was titled, "How Good Physicians Find Themselves in Bad Situations." Dr. Bayley, who is from Chapel Hill, NC; explored the concept of incivility and the changing expectations that our peers and patients have of physicians in 2023. He identified the communication styles and behaviors that are most likely to create problems, and most importantly, he imparted actionable strategies to help navigate today's medical workplace. Our thanks are extended to Dr. Bayley and of course also to Dr. Roscher for his generosity when he established this important lecture series in 2009. While Dr. Roscher could not be with us in San Antonio, we did communicate with him by phone during the meeting to let him know how well the lecture was received.
Finally, on Saturday during the lunch break a special lecture was presented by Prof. Daniel Dent, entitled; Entrustable Professional Activities in General Surgery Residency. Dr. Dent reminded us that the current model of surgical education determines promotion and trainee completion based largely on surrogate measures of competence such as case logs, standardized test performance, faculty evaluations, and a final attestation by the program director. Unfortunately, these surrogate measures do not allow for a demonstration and understanding of trainee performance as they complete their training period. The American Board of Surgery is launching use of 18 Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for General Surgery in all training programs across the United States. This was a truly enlightening presentation that provided much needed information for anyone involved in residency training.
Of course, the educational program alone does not give you a complete picture of what participation in our annual meeting is all about. The opportunity to interact with all those who are present is quite unique. It doesn’t matter who you are; you will be able to speak to US Section leaders and colleagues from all over the world. This was demonstrated throughout the week during social events and casual moments that allowed everyone in attendance time to enjoy the Cinco de Mayo festivities.
I extend congratulations to my leadership colleagues, Dr. Siva Vithiananthan who was recognized as the 2024 President during the Honors Luncheon as well as Dr. Sharique Nazir who was elected as the 2025 President of the US Section. More information about these fine men, as well as everyone who was elected during our annual meeting of the House of Delegates, can be found on FICS Online in our Members in the News section.
In closing, I wish to thank everyone again who made the Annual Surgical Update in San Antonio a special event. From the members of the Planning Committee and the Speakers to the Officers, our professional staff and the attendees. It was great to see everyone and I look forward to seeing you all again next year in Philadelphia where I’m sure Dr. Vithiananthan will also have a wonderful annual meeting.
Dixon Santana, MD, FICS
President, United States Section
International College of Surgeons