What makes SAGES unique? For Dr. Susanne Warner, the society’s ability to be relevant to a large swath of members serving many different types of institutions and patients. She says, “With regular focus on clinical excellence and emphasis on providing video evidence of what we say we can do, SAGES challenges each of us to level up.”
Dr. Warner, who initially joined SAGES as a first-year faculty member, continues to level up her own involvement, first as a member of the SAGES Research & Career Development Committee and today as part of the of the HPB Task Force, where she has helped create the Mastery curriculum for minimally invasive liver surgery.
While she considers the entire SAGES video library and Facebook collaborative to be “one big peer mentor,” she also names a long list of SAGES leaders who have directly impacted her career: Drs. Tonia Young-Fadok (“she showed me how elegant laparoscopy following avascular planes can keep an operation simple and safe”); Adnan Alseidi and Rohan Jeyarajah (“two of the first to welcome me to a national HPB surgery meeting”); Mike Kendrick and Melissa Hogg (“both have shown me and our entire field what’s possible for MIS pancreas surgery”); and, Sean Cleary (“he inspires me with his skill as a laparoscopic liver surgeon, and as a bonus, he and Adnan have inspired me to spare spleens!”), and last but never least, Dr. Yuman Fong (“a longtime mentor and sponsor, who inspires robotic liver surgery around the globe!”).
“I have also enjoyed peer-mentorship from SAGES luminaries like Drs. Dana Telem, Kevin El-Hayek, Iswanto Sucandy, and Subhashini Ayloo. Small interactions with each of them have had big impact on everything from the way I moderate a webinar to tips and tricks in MIS and hernia cases.”
Dr. Warner says that her most memorable experience as a SAGES member was being asked to give a talk about robotic pancreas surgery immediately following a talk advocating for laparoscopic surgery by Dr. Kendrick, calling it “an amazing opportunity to exchange ideas early in my career with figure heads in the field.”
She adds that the approachability of senior surgeons at the annual meeting is one of the best things about SAGES. “The intentionally inclusive sessions ensure that everyone is welcome and everyone can take something valuable back to their practice. I hope to continue learning from my colleagues and making patient care better, safer, and less invasive for all of our patients.”
Outside of SAGES, Dr. Warner cherishes family time (especially baking), camping, and travel with her kids and husband. A peloton enthusiast, she’s also a self-described “intermittently avid runner” – adding that she might be able to exercise less if she didn’t bake so much!