It was truly wonderful to see many of you in Denver, and for those who couldn’t attend in person, you were missed! SAGES enters the year ahead coming off an outstanding meeting not only because for many it was their first chance to see colleagues long missed, but also because of the outstanding program put together by Dr. Archana Ramaswamy and Dr. Jake Greenberg. Dr. Feldman’s presidential address was an incredible summation of what SAGES is about, and what your organization is accomplishing on so many fronts. As I sat and reflected on the brief summaries of projects and work product being generated from our over 40 committees and task forces, carried out by over 800 committee members, I was again simply…blown away. Whether refining pacesetting Fundamentals educational products, launching a Masters Program and Organization-Wide Learning System, facilitating cutting edge research, producing industry leading educational manuals, redefining the profession and exploring an offensive posture toward surgeon joy and wellness, providing an expanding array of career-development awards for emerging leaders in our field, or leaning into the promise and limitations of artificial intelligence and surgical data science as the foundation for professional refinements yet unseen (to name but a few), SAGES continues to deliver outstanding product, and to provide exceptional career development opportunities for those who represent the future of our profession. Through your collective efforts, SAGES continues to be one of the most dynamic and impactful drivers of education, quality, and innovative thinking in our profession.
To that point, if you are a member who is interested in serving on a committee and has not volunteered to do so, please use this link to let us know of your interest by April 30: https://www.sages.org/leadership/committees/volunteer/. The same link can be used by existing committee members to request a change. Our committees and their work, alongside the outstanding support of our BSC colleagues, continues to be the lifeblood of our Society. They also create opportunities to grow, network, and experience the welcoming community and vibrant work ethic that have characterized SAGES since its inception. If committee service is not something you can lean into at the present time, consider joining one of our ADOPT courses to add new skills with longitudinal expert support in your practice, or attend the upcoming Innovation Summit under Dr. Schlachta’s outstanding oversight to explore the cutting edge of surgery with a group of surgeons committed to helping shape it. If you are a trainee, take advantage of the outstanding webinars and courses offered through our RAFT committee. In short, I hope that however you choose to engage in SAGES, you know how much your presence and care mean to our Society, our profession, and our patients, and that we want you to find SAGES a home and a place where your professional needs are met in a community of learning that is working to hold itself accountable for inclusivity, equity, and diversity to the betterment of us all.
I personally am greatly humbled by the privilege of serving as your president for the coming year, and know that many of you deserve this opportunity more than I. I accordingly want to pledge to our membership, to you, my personal commitment to view the year ahead as a stewardship on all of your behalves, for the growth of each of you in any way we as a Society can contribute to, and ultimately for the well-being of the patients we are privileged to serve. You individually and collectively represent something truly amazing and special, from our resident and fellow members to our George Berci, who at 101 still is teaching us all how to teach and to innovate for the good of those whom we are called to care for.
I look forward to partnering with you in this year of service!