October 30, 2010
The 65th Annual Meeting of the Hand Society was the highest attended meeting in our history, and in many respects, one of our best. With over 3,600 member, guest and exhibitor attendees, Boston was a phenomenal success. I would like to extend my appreciation to past President Robert M. Szabo, MD, who lent his vision and to Annual Meeting Program chairs Alex Shin, MD and Ghazi Rayan, MD who worked tirelessly to design this robust program. I would also like to recognize out-going Council members James Chang, MD and William Seitz, MD for their important contributions and to welcome newly elected Practice Division Director David Ruch, MD; Member-at-large, Edward Diao, MD and Vice President Edward Akelman, MD.
Progress on Expanding and Enhancing Education
Over the past year, Council and key leaders of the Hand Society have made tremendous strides in developing a comprehensive plan for approaching a major initiative in enhancing the educational training of future hand surgeons, created by Bob Szabo. Major accomplishments included the SHUE (Spectrum of Hand and Upper Extremity) Curriculum and Rotation Pathways developed by Marty Boyer, MD and James Chang, MD. Review the SHUE Curriculum and Rotation pathways on the ASSH website. Council has since decided to begin test pilot two-year fellowship programs and develop a plan of action to secure industry funding for this initiative.
These first steps laid the groundwork of a long term effort. For this reason, Council created the Training Advisory Group, or TAG, chaired by Martin Boyer, MD, to manage this important work. Dr. Boyer will be joined by Robert Szabo, MD, Scott Steinmann, MD, Lee Osterman, MD, Bobby Chhabra, MD, Jim Higgins MD, Peter Weiss, MD and Bill Seitz, MD. Together they will oversee Fellowship implementation, curriculum review and will eventually bring the Hand Surgery Fellowship and Residency curriculums to the ACGME.
In addition, the Fellowship Steering Committee, a group including both ASSH and ASES leadership, presented encouraging progress towards the development of the two-year fellowship by working with industry partners and other key players. The ASES Executive Committee recently agreed to this approach.
Furthermore, Council approved the Research Committee’s recommendation to award Kevin Chung, MD a grant to collect data that will be crucial in building a comprehensive training program by helping us to understand the knowledge and skills necessary for competent hand surgery practice and determine the responsibilities and activities of today’s hand surgeons.
In a recent announcement, the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Medical Education unveiled revisions to the AMA PRA credit system that will affect how physicians can earn credits for various CME activities. As a result, the 2011 ASSH Self-Assessment Exam must include an assessment of the learner’s performance, and credit may only be awarded to participants that meet a minimum performance requirement. Meaning, exam takers in 2011 will need to reach a minimum passing score to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit. Look for important information regarding the exam and new requirements in the 2011 brochure and on our website.
2012 will also see changes for the Self-Assessment Exam because Council approved an online Self-Assessment Exam in addition to the 2012 paper exam. The online platform will keep our educational vehicles current, competitive, and compliant with new ACGME regulations. The Online exam, which will be offered at the same price as the paper exam, will allow test-takers to skip questions, complete the exam at their leisure, and even go back to correct mistakes. We will plan to completely eliminate the paper exam in 2013.
Online Membership Directory
Central Office staff is making great strides in the development of a robust Online Membership Directory. We hope to launch this new member benefit by the end of the year. The Online Directory will have improved search functionality, and you will be able to view and print the most up-to-date member information. It also includes a special printable view that is designed for sharing with patients or other non-member professionals.
Public Awareness Video
The Hand Society recently released our "What's a Hand Surgeon" video thanks to the Public Awareness Committee, and especially chairman, Keith Segalman, MD and project leader, Stephen Troum, MD. The brief three minute video is a great way to teach the public about the specialty of hand surgery. I encourage you to use it to promote your practice and our specialty by posting or embedding it n your practice website. You can even use the video during talks to educate the public or other physicians about hand surgery.
ASSH Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee Task Force, chaired by Andy Lee, MD, was asked to compare the Hand Society’s Nominating Committee composition to that of other medical organizations. The task force recommended that the Society should provide other volunteers with the opportunity to determine the Society’s future leadership. Council accepted this recommendation, and beginning in 2011, members may apply to be on the Nominating Committee in the same manner that members can apply for other ASSH committees. This is an important step forward for the Society’s governance, and we hope that our members take advantage of this and other opportunities to volunteer.
Update on the ASSH Textbook
As previously reported, the ASSH textbook will be a comprehensive two volume textbook for the upper extremity, spearheaded by managing editor Peter Weiss, MD. Recent events necessitated a search for three additional editors for the project, raising the total number to six editors. The addition of three new editors will help expedite the creation of this textbook, which is meant to be a comprehensive upper extremity guide following the new SHUE curriculum. The Products and Publications Advisory Committee (PPAC) was asked to vet potential candidates and make a recommendation. Council approved the selection of David Slutsky, MD, Scott Steinmann, MD and Charles Goldfarb, MD to join the team of Drs. Berger, Hentz and Weiss. We look forward to seeing the final product from such a well-rounded group of experts.
JHS Mission Statement
As you may know, JHS Editor-in-Chief Paul Mankse, MD will is retiring from his position this winter, and Roy Meals, MD will assume the role on December 1, 2010. As one of his first initiatives, Dr. Meals proposed the creation of a vision and mission statement for the JHS to ensure the publication and its editors remain in pursuit of the Society’s goals for the Journal. Council approved Dr. Meals’ vision and mission statement, which you can read here on the ASSH website.
During my Presidency I will focus on meeting the challenges of the new decade, primarily by utilizing new and existing technology to improve aspects of Hand Society business, education and information sharing. We had a running start at this initiative in Boston and over the next year I hope to report exciting progress on these key topics.
Until next time,