When Dr. Marylise Boutros’ first international society grant award came from SAGES, more than its monetary value, she says, “It meant that an international leading society believed in me, my trainee, my lab and my research question. It fueled my career with confidence and enthusiasm for clinical research and to serve the society.”
That confidence and enthusiasm has carried over to Dr. Boutros’ involvement on several SAGES committees. She’s been part of the Research and Career Development Committee since 2015, and in 2022 became the lead for the sub-Task Force on the SAGES Research Data Bank, a repository for all SAGES members interested in research. She’s also been a member and now co-chair of the Colorectal Task Force for the last 10 years. As part of this task force, she led a topic within the inaugural SAGES-EAES Diverticulitis consensus guideline published in 2018, the only transatlantic collaboration with consensus on the management of diverticulitis. Dr. Boutros is also working on initiatives to popularize and implement non-antibiotic management of mild uncomplicated diverticulitis in North America.
As a resident at McGill, Drs. (and former SAGES presidents) Liane Feldman and Gerald Fried introduced Dr. Boutros to SAGES, and “being born into the SAGES family” she credits both for helping to guide and promote her career. In addition, Dr. Boutros cites a long list of SAGES member role models: Dr. Steven Wexner (for teaching me minimally invasive colorectal surgery at its best); SAGES president Dr. Patricia Sylla, (a pillar of colorectal surgery and SAGES excellence, someone I look up to but can never catch up to); Dr. Rebecca Peterson (for her elegant and kind leadership and ability to make everyone feel important); Dr. Christopher Ducoin (for taking on novel ideas and innovations); and, Dr. Lisa McLemore (who taught me how to responsibly adopt new techniques).
Dr. Boutros, who currently serves on the SAGES Board of Governors, points out that she has increased her involvement in SAGES over the years because “SAGES served as a springboard for my career, and the SAGES community has provided me with the most meaningful mentorship and friendships.” As one of three program co-chairs for SAGES 2024 in Cleveland next spring, she expects that it will be “the most exhilarating and SAGES-fun year for me.”
Being a SAGES member is being part of a community that she adds “does not compare to any other professional society – high quality work, leading science and surgery, but not forgetting what matters most: the people we are doing it with, the patients we are doing it for and having a good time. I plan to be a ‘SAGES Forever Member.’”