“Initially, my involvement in SAGES was based on the relevancy of the annual meeting content to my desired clinical practice,” says Salt Lake City-based Dr. Anna Ibele. “More recently, it’s the quality and research initiatives SAGES sponsors.”
Since joining SAGES as a resident at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Ibele has been actively involved in the association’s evolving initiatives, serving on several committees, including the Pediatric, Bariatric, Research and Career Development and Foregut committees.
As a third year resident, Dr. Ibele was encouraged by Dr. Jon Gould, then on faculty at the University of Wisconsin, to pursue her fellowship training and get involved with SAGES. Dr. Leena Khaitan is a more recent mentor, encouraging her participation and helping her launch advocacy projects as part of her work on the Foregut task force.
“My favorite aspect of being a SAGES member are the opportunities for friendship and collaboration with surgeons from all over the country. Each time I go to an annual meeting it feels like a reunion as much as it does an academic meeting. One of my most memorable SAGES experiences was being offered my first academic job at the University of Utah in 2014 when the meeting was held in Salt Lake City. I also love SAGES’ ability to catalyze collaborations among surgeons from diverse locations, practice types and levels of seniority to get meaningful work done in our respective fields.”
Long term, Dr. Ibele hopes to pay her experiences forward by mentoring and sponsoring students, residents and junior faculty, along with taking advantage of the ongoing opportunities to improve patient care through the research, education and advocacy opportunities that SAGES facilitates.
When she’s not caring for patients, doing research, and attending SAGES, Dr. Ibele is a busy wife and mom,and an avid gardener. She says she’ll probably start a hobby farm when she retires from surgery. She’s well on her way, having started a farm to table group and seed saver exchange among fellow surgeons and other “surgery gardening nerds!”