I would like to formally invite you to the 47th AAGL Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, being held November 11-15, 2018. We’re back in the amazing city of Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Hotel and Convention Center, a venue that continues to grow in its offerings of exceptional dining options, high quality entertainment, and now even golf! If you’ve never been to an AAGL Congress in Las Vegas, now’s the time to come.
As the title above alludes, the theme of our meeting this year is Honoring Our Legacy as We Unite to Elevate Minimally Invasive Gynecology. Never has there been a more important time to come together as a society and celebrate our collegial membership of legendary leaders, talented teachers, and exceptional learners, all of whom are dedicated to the deserving recipients of our commitment to lifelong learning – our patients.
This year’s Congress is sure to be one of the most innovative and engaging meetings in AAGL’s history. The diverse and talented group of AAGL members that make up this year’s Scientific Program Committee has worked hard with me to develop a program that focuses on honoring our founding members and the inclusion of many participants, paying particular attention to gender and cultural diversity, scientific and intellectual contributions, and surgical and academic prowess.
The 28 Postgraduate (PG) Courses include many exciting and innovative programs that are new to AAGL. Among these is the Gladiator Rule suturing course; a unique program that emphasizes mastery of the “perfect stitch”, and could have you becoming an ambidextrous suturer. Another newcomer to our program is the International School of Surgical Anatomy (ISSA) from Verona, Italy, with both a didactic course and a cadaveric lab focused on performing safe gynecologic surgery. Additional PG courses include a timely and comprehensive course on the current state of transgender care and the important role of the gynecologic surgeon in caring for transgender patients, and the debut of a recreational, instructive and highly interactive “course on a course”, where we’ll learn 18 Pearls of Surgical Excellence while we play 18 holes of golf at the prestigious Las Vegas Country Club. Bring your A-game to this course...it’s sure to get competitive!
This year marks a milestone in the surgical treatment of gynecologic conditions. A true highlight of this year’s Congress will be our General Session I – 120 Years of of Radical Hysterectomy: Origin, Evolution, and Influence. We will honor this milestone with simultaneous live interactive cadaveric dissections showcasing laparoscopic, robotic, and vaginal approaches to radical hysterectomy, presented by Marcello Ceccaroni and our faculty of brilliant surgeon collaborators. Other General Sessions will continue to emphasize the importance of the mentor/mentee relationship that we’ve explored over the past couple of years, as well as the artistic skill of surgery and the challenges of surgical efficiency. Our full Congress days will feature 6 Surgical Tutorial sessions, with one highlighting neovagina creation; 6 Panel sessions, with one addressing physician burnout and another focused on physician empowerment; and we’ll close our meeting with the technological marvel of broadcasting live surgeries to our auditorium from operating rooms across the globe.
Further honoring our legacy will be a fun evening featuring the preferred pasttime of many doctors all over the world, at one of MGM Grand’s newest attractions: Topgolf! This event will be a fundraiser for the Foundation of the AAGL. You won’t want to miss it.
Join us in Las Vegas this November for what will be an inspiring, memorable, and highly educational experience!
Mrs. Sharon Sharett presents the Hasson Award to Dr. Chikondi Chiweza with Dr. Marie Paraiso
The 47th AAGL Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecology was a great opportunity to learn basic skills and cutting-edge procedures in the field of laparoscopy, as well as to be inspired. It was also a wonderful opportunity to network with professionals that will be instrumental in the running of our own laparoscopy program in Malawi.
The didactic courses I attended in pelvic anatomy and considerations during pelvic surgery were refreshers in holistic care every patient rightfully deserves. It was a reminder that despite any resource challenges that might ensue, there are some aspects of care that do not require much resources. The slides provided will assist me to teach others. The clarity with which the courses were taught, and the simplicity of the slides make them ideal for new learners to the skill. In one of the urological courses, I witnessed different methods of handling vault prolapse post benign hysterectomy which is common in our setting. Through the knowledge I will bring back to Malawi with me, we will be able to adapt the methods seen and prevent the occurrence of vault prolapse.
Currently the laparoscopic program is underway in Malawi and it is not only for patient use but for education purposes. The AAGL’s provision of the course slides will allow me to also teach the material to the upcoming residents in the Malawian OBGYN program. A session on education techniques called “Put Me in Coach” positively impacted my teaching style to be more student oriented and gentle as opposed to result oriented. Considering my field of interest being reproductive endocrinology and infertility, I was able to interact with different methods of diagnostics and treatment of tubal disorders and endometriosis which we currently mostly make clinical diagnoses. With the knowledge and the new unit, this will result in better diagnostic capability for the Malawian women regarding the two conditions.
I also had the opportunity of meeting with experts in the field who expressed interest in assisting with the offsetting of the program in Malawi. This will be accomplished through the provision of the time either virtually or physically to assist in providing much-needed education in laparoscopy. The networks forged will also assist me to further my formal education in laparoscopy as I had the opportunity to meet educators in America and some based closer to home, in Egypt. With the scholarship award came membership to the AAGL, a society that promises more learning and networking opportunities for my colleagues and me. The individual interactions with American counterparts helped me to appreciate the correct patient attitude, a quality that is at times forgotten in Malawi due to the large patient volume. Seeing it in action served as a timely reminder.
Proudly wearing my AAGL attendee badge
Lastly the fact that I was awarded the scholarship and have attended the AAGL meeting will encourage my colleagues in the field and to apply for other educational scholarships. Before I was not aware of the existence of the AAGL and its reach but after this opportunity, that reach has definitely extended to Malawi.
The Harrith M. Hasson, MD Educational Scholarship Award is supported by the Foundation of the AAGL Harrith M. Hasson Scholarship Fund, established by Dr. Hasson's family in his name in 2016. This scholarship is awarded to a deserving recipient from an AAGL Affiliated Society in a developing economy (as designated by the United Nations) to attend the AAGL Global Congress. The scholarship award covers travel and lodging, registration fee to the Global Congress, and includes a postgraduate didactic course of the recipient's choosing and a ticket to the Presidential Gala. Additionally, the recipient is presented a statuette acknowledging their award during a general session at the Global Congress.
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