We could not have hoped for a more energizing and meaningful reunion in Montreal. With 2,500 participants from around the globe, our auditoria, tech exhibits and hallways once again buzzed with delight as attendees reconnected with mentors, collaborators, colleagues and friends. Scientific abstracts and meeting sessions were masterfully coordinated along specialty tracks by our program chairs Dr. Stefanidis and Dr. Petersen and featured a diverse faculty of current and future leaders in surgery.
This year’s program also highlighted sessions on how to sustain the joy of surgical practice and transitioning (well) through the various phases of our careers. A strong focus on new technologies permeated the meeting with important themes woven into expert panel discussions including how to implement guidelines, achieve equitable care, and advocate against erosion in physician compensation. We celebrated President John Mellinger, who reminded us of the deep meaning of our profession, and how through SAGES, we can support others in leading change in their communities. Our first keynote speaker, Dr. Hachach-Haram, shared her vision of a future of digitally interconnected operating rooms that will expand access to better quality care, and how we should all prepare for change in our own ORs. Our 2nd keynote speaker, Dr. Govindarajan, reminded us of the power of reverse innovation, and the imperative of supporting low-cost high-impact solutions that have the potential to disrupt health care delivery on a global scale.
Looking ahead, I am incredibly excited about the future of our society and deeply honored to serve as your President for the coming year. SAGES is ideally positioned to lead as we enter an era where surgical data science will increasingly inform clinical workflows and best practices, and where rapid influx of new technologies and AI-based solutions will require clinical validation and training of our workforce to ensure safe adoption. SAGES will persevere in its commitment to advancing MIS surgical and endoscopic skill training and access to high-quality educational content through various platforms and collaborative partnerships.
SAGES is also dedicated to developing a framework for assessing and mitigating the environmental impact of our surgical practices, and to outlining strategies to achieve sustainable practices while providing the highest quality of care for all our patients. Many of you have already reached out and expressed strong interest in joining this effort, and I am so excited about what we can accomplish together. There is no greater honor and privilege than serving in this role, and I look forward to working with all of you in shaping the future of the most innovative and forward-thinking society in North America.