AAGL’s New Medical Director’s Vision Statement: The “Secret Sauce” of the AAGL
What is the secret sauce of the AAGL? Without a doubt, it is taking care of the “woman at the end of the speculum.” It is our shared educational vision with our diverse international members. It is the efforts of our hardworking Board of Directors. It is the immense contributions from our scholarly Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. Our stalwart and dedicated AAGL staff help us all stay connected. While we are a global organization, our members lead locally within their hospitals, residency and fellowship programs, and communities.
Since its inception in 1971, the AAGL has been a pacesetter organization that embraces change, encourages collaboration, and increasingly utilizes evidence-based guidelines to provide excellent care. Safety, quality, and outcome measures are important to our physicians.
Laudably, we have been fortunate to have grown during an expansive era of innovation in gynecologic surgery and health care. The AAGL was founded with the ultimate goal of improving patient care in general gynecologic surgery and its subspecialties. Additionally, the AAGL provides a variety of educational activities that disseminate accurate and state-of-the art information to surgical gynecologists, those in training and fellowships, allied healthcare professionals, policy makers, industry, and patients. We are champions for women and a catalyst for innovation and change.
Innovation does not allow for complacency, nor does it thrive in the status quo. We can never claim that we’re innovative and creative enough, diverse enough or inclusive enough. It is vital that AAGL and its many members continue to provide care to women, translate newly acquired knowledge to investigate their problems, and educate those who care for them.
As Medical Director, I will collaborate with the AAGL Board of Directors and Office to advance the art and science of gynecologic surgery and continue to foster strong partnerships with national and international societies in order to improve the surgical outcomes and betterment of the women who could be our mothers, sisters, or daughters. We will work together to set high ethical standards, continue to expand evidence-based guidelines, foster transparency and accountability, and provide rapid response with targeted dissemination when there is late breaking news. Most importantly, we will ensure that our members, regardless of location or resources, adhere to safe surgical tenets, are competent, and thrive in a culture of safety. I will also work closely with the office to ensure timely completion of EMIG projects, develop SIGs guidelines, continue to produce an excellent Journal, and promote growth of our fellowship programs.
The following details my vision of the AAGL and its continued growth opportunities:
- Ensure AAGL’s vibrancy, attractiveness, and value to members and potential members with fostering novel meetings and rapid deployment of ideas
- Create focus groups that address the concerns of millennials
- Digital platforms
- Artificial intelligence
- Digital technology
- Become the best-in-class portal for physician training and education, EMIG, patient information, and public awareness
- Ensure financial stewardship
- Expand our philanthropic portfolio
- Assure open, effective governance and decision-making
- Engage thought leaders and stalwart physician leaders who are focused on helping us lead the AAGL in the next decades
- Be the organization who is held in high regard as the primary resources for credible and ground breaking gynecologic surgical procedures including medication-assisted treatments
- Nurture, evaluate, and expand strategic alliances with other key stakeholders
- Develop leaders in targeted demographics, including emerging physician leaders and experienced leaders
- Foster equitable distribution of assignments at national, local meetings, and committees—not just for the business benefits of diversity but also for the overall health and vitality of our organization
- Develop toolkits of resources
- Lead on emerging issues
Grow Future Leaders That Will Serve the AAGL
- Increase visibility, awareness, and benefits of our organization
- Energize, grow, and attract members by offering continuous improvement and professional development courses at national meetings
- Develop leaders who will be active, engaged, audible, and visible as advocates in the organization and who understand that leadership extends beyond the AAGL and must be disseminated to their local communities
- Teach basic skills that help our members build their professional networks which ultimately can promulgate knowledge
- Expand opportunities for collegiality and involvement
- Support patient advocacy
- Attract, retain, and develop physician thought leaders
- Incentivize members to encourage their colleagues to join
- Encourage physicians to understand and participate annually in our national and international meetings, our SurgeryU platform, and to submit articles to the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
- Support physician adoption of best practices in health care delivery
- Evaluate ways to increase registries within our hospital systems and practices
- Adoption of evidence-based methods to reduce the “cost of care” and cost savings
Physician Well-Being: Caring for the Caregivers
- Explore mechanisms to support the health and well-being of AAGL members
- Toolkit of resources to fuel career advancement (focus on career, coaching, social, financial, and physical)
- Develop a “Lessons in Leadership” series for all members with aim of enhancing business development and leadership skills
- Research and advocate for changes that improve physician work environments
In summary, positioning the AAGL for the future requires that we embrace an “all hands on deck!” philosophy. Each of us must be obsessed with education, quality, and patient safety, management of surgical costs, increasing the number of new members, and retaining our valuable members. Together, collaboration with industry and other societies, acceptance of researched publications, award-winning surgical videos, increasing the number of fellowships offered, and growth in membership, will continue to be our secret sauce.