This is the time of year when I
reflect on the past while looking toward the future. That is particularly true this
year as I work with the program committee on details for the 100th Annual
Meeting and with the Board on our strategic planning.
I encourage members to take part in this historic Annual Meeting.
I recommend you register now and secure your housing as there is a lot of
interest from surgeons and other medical professionals looking to advance their
knowledge and take advantage of all New York has to offer. The scientific
program will be unmatched. The Program Committee met in early December and considered
a record number of abstracts—20 percent more than last year.
The format of the meeting will be the same as last year with some
new elements added. We are planning a session that will feature multiple live
surgeries to provide real-time, interactive educational opportunities. There
has been a lot of interest in offering the valuable, two-way discussion at the
Annual Meeting and we will be using moderators to ensure that the surgeon can
focus on the patient, while still allowing the audience to ask questions.
There will also be more multidisciplinary content this year to
address the needs of a broader audience of physicians and medical professionals.
As AATS founder Willy Meyer, MD, said at the very first AATS meeting which
included a wide range of medical professionals, “Many minds working in
the same direction will get quicker results, for the benefit of suffering
Working with a multi-disciplinary team was one of the main topics
of conversation when the strategic planning group met in September. There was a
strong sentiment that in order to lead, educate, and advance disease-specific
care of our patients, there needs to be more of a focus on implementing and
supporting diagnostic management teams. Increasing the multidisciplinary
content and the number of non-surgeons at the Annual Meeting is one of the tactics
suggested to achieve this goal.
Expanding the education reach of the Annual Meeting and other AATS
meetings was another subject discussed during the strategic planning process.
We are planning to live stream parts of the Annual Meeting to reach more people
and we will continue to bring AATS educational content to other parts of the
world with AATS meetings in India, Thailand, Brazil, and China in 2020. We will
partner with other associations for some meetings and hold stand-alone meetings
for others. I recently returned from Japan where we held the highly successful
AATS/JATS Aortic Symposium and several members took part in the Focus on
Thoracic Surgery meeting in China.
A third goal of the Association is the development and engagement
of future cardiothoracic leaders. We need to encourage new and established AATS
members to participate in the Association and communicate the ways they want to
be involved. We also want to establish networks that can facilitate the development
of the surgeon scientist.
I will be presenting the finalized strategic plan and the Annual
Meeting program soon. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and look
forward to all that the new year will bring.