Robert M. Szabo, MD, MPH
September 14, 2009
It was a great meeting in San Francisco; I thank all who attended and hope you had an excellent educational experience. During the Annual Meeting, your Council met to address various issues and initiatives for the upcoming year and beyond. I will share a summary of what transpired below. I’d also like to express my appreciation for out-going Council members, Steve Glickel, MD, Michael Hausman, MD, and Alex Shin, MD, and welcome aboard the newly elected Council Members-at-Large Scott Kozin, MD and Bobby Chhabra, MD, as well as our new vice-president Andy Lee, MD. Now here’s what’s happening at the Hand Society:
I have chosen to focus my presidency on educational excellence. Enhancing and increasing training for future upper extremity surgeons will produce better-trained fellows who in turn will produce better outcomes and care for patients.
To kick off this initiative, I’ve created two task forces. The first is chaired by Jim Chang, MD and has been charged with evaluating current fellowship program curriculums and designing a comprehensive curriculum for the entire upper extremity. The second task force is chaired by Bill Seitz, MD. That task force will forge partnerships with the stakeholders in hand and upper extremity education to find their needs and work together to improve hand surgery education. The first step this task force is taking will be to survey fellowship directors, members, fellows and residents to gage the value of enhanced education, including a possible two year fellowship.
Hand Society Textbook
Along the lines of enhancing education, the Hand Society is about to take the next step in our educational offerings by creating a comprehensive textbook for the upper extremity. The ASSH has grown over the years to become the leader in hand surgery science, first with our independent annual meeting, then with our Journal of Hand Surgery, and now we’re proud to continue that tradition with a textbook.
This publication will evolve to become a model in future years as new editions are created. Council has chosen the editors for the first edition, and I will share those names with you once the details are finalized.
Social Media and the Website Advisory Group
As you may know, I was tweeting from the Annual Meeting in San Francisco, yes tweeting, and that’s just the beginning. As social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook become a bigger part of our personal and professional lives, the Hand Society is building its presence on the web. In order to help manage our online brand, I’ve established the Web Advisory Group (WAG), chaired by Mike Hausman, MD. Mike has led the effort on Wikipedia and with our online Image Library, and he has graciously dedicated himself to make sure that the Hand Society stays on the edge of accessibility, for members, hand care professionals and patients alike.
Interested in helping out with this effort? We need tech-savvy members to participate, give opinions, and generate materials to be shared. Contact Alex Wallace at the Central Office at email@example.com.
Seed Grants for Residents and Fellows
Jim Chang, MD, and the Research Division have worked to start a new grant initiative for residents and fellows. Since the Hand Society raised the bar for research initiatives, it has been increasingly difficult for residents and fellows to secure grant funding, especially with the long turnaround time. Therefore, the Research Division created a new award mechanism to give $4,000 seed grants to 5 recipients each year through rolling electronic submission of a two page proposal, CV, budget and one sponsor letter. The Research Management Committee will review and fund worthy applications on a first come first serve basis for small immediate projects.
MOC Task Force
Tom Trumble, MD is working with a task force about Maintenance of Certification (MOC). They had a very productive meeting in San Francisco with a goal of providing an avenue for ABOS and ABPS to gain symmetry with their modules for recertification.
Education Director, Ed Akelman, MD is committed to developing effective MOC content through the Courses and Meeting Advisory Committee (CMAC) for both ABOS and ABPS and Warren Hammert, MD has agreed to work on getting MOC approved course materials approved by program chairs for next year’s meeting in Boston.
With the economy struggling and industry struggling right along with it, Ed Diao, MD and staff member Julie Quinn, along with the Commercial Support Committee looked into the possibility of non-endemic support for the Hand Society such as allowing technology companies, cell phone companies, or other non-medical industries that touch the practice of physicians to exhibit at the Annual Meeting. A number of other organizations have successfully gone the route of non-endemic support, and Council has approved a one-year trial period to explore options. We are excited to see what transpires.
As you can see, our volunteers and staff are busy with many initiatives. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to share your opinions/thoughts/concerns about Council, the Hand Society, hand surgery, or even the state of healthcare by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to know what’s on the minds of our members, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Let’s make this a great year.