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Keynote Lectures

All keynote lectures will take place in Moscone West 3004/3012.



ASSH Presidential Address
Edward Akelman, MD

Thursday, October 3, 2013
1:40 - 2:15 PM

Has the Teaching Paradigm Shifted? - The Future of Surgical Education in a Digital World


​Robert E. Carroll Founders’ Lecture
Far From the Bedside
Peter J. Stern, MD

Thursday, October 3, 2013
2:55 - 3:25 PM
Nearly 90 years ago, Francis Peabody, MD, in an address to Harvard Medical students, stated: “The secret of care of the patient is caring for the patient.”  Over the ensuing years, scientific discovery and increasingly complex technology has dramatically improved the human condition.  By necessity, with today’s medical advances, patient-physician interaction has dramatically changed.  The focus of some care givers (and delivery systems) has drifted, and medical care has evolved from a profession to a business with tremendous waste and unsustainable costs.  The humanistic concepts embraced by Peabody remain very much alive today; however, materialism on the part of the caregiver appears to be a larger part of the patient care equation.  The charlatan, the ‘slick willy’, and those who game the system (over utilizers) must be held in check lest we as surgeons become impersonal technocrats.    

​Presidential Guest Lecture
The Future of Health & Medicine: Where Can Technology Take Us?
Daniel Kraft, MD
Friday, October 4, 2013
3:23 - 4:23 PM
From the prospective of a leading physician, scientist and innovator, this talk examines rapidly emerging, game-changing and convergent technology trends and how they are and will be leveraged to change the face of healthcare and the practice of medicine in the next decade.
A deep dive into where emergent fields, such as low cost personal genomics, the digitization of health records, crowd sourced data, molecular imaging, wearable devices & mobile health, synthetic biology, systems medicine, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, 3D printing and regenerative medicine, are transforming healthcare and have the potential to enable clinicians, empower patients and deliver better care and outcomes at lower cost.

International Guest Lecture
On War, Infection, Drugs and Hand Surgery
Michael A. Tonkin, MD
Saturday, October 5, 2013
11:25 AM - 12:00 PM
This presentation describes three specific inflictions compromising hand function and how hand surgery has developed in response to these challenges to create a balance between optimal form and optimal function.
Modern hand surgery developed as a consequence of the demand created by war injuries.  In this context, Sterling Bunnell, MD in the United States may be considered one of the fathers of hand surgery.  Sir Benjamin Rank was his Australian counterpart.  Management of mutilating injuries of the hand and upper limb led to the current concept of immediate primary repair of all injured structures.  The need for secondary reconstruction has given birth to an increasing sophistication of microsurgical reconstructive procedures in an attempt to return as near-normal function and appearance as possible.  Latterly this has taken the form of human hand transplantation, which balances risk and benefit.  At the same time, there has been remarkable development in the complexity and sophistication in hand and upper limb prostheses and orthoses.
Infections have played a major role in the development of hand surgery.  Allen Kanavel‘s 1912 publication “Infections of the Hand” remains a classical text.  The concept of tendon transfers as reconstructive procedures following nerve injuries reached its zenith in the treatment of hands affected by leprosy by Paul Brand and colleagues in South East Asia and the sub-continent.  Brand and others, including Eduardo Zancolli, emphasised the necessity of “balance” in obtaining optimal hand function. 
The horrific “thalidomide epidemic” reminded us again, as in the days of Semmelweis, of the possible complications of “unbalanced” medicine.  The children, so affected, demanded the attention of a small but increasingly larger number of physicians determined to improve the lot of children born with congenital differences of the limbs.  Increasing knowledge of the genetic control of limb development at a molecular level has led to an improved appreciation of the causes of limb anomalies.  A modern classification of congenital anomalies of the hand and upper limb reflects this evolving understanding.  Surgical reconstruction of common congenital upper limb anomalies demands creating a “balance” amongst the parameters of stability, motion, form and function.

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