Reflections on Vancouver – We Are All Multipliers!
What a fabulous experience we had at the 48th Global Congress of the AAGL in November in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada! On behalf of the Scientific Program Committee, thank you for your participation and engagement. It was a time to remember! The theme of our meeting was “Becoming a Surgical Multiplier” – and we all did.
The Post Graduate Courses were outstanding this year. We revisited standard offerings teaching fundamental skills and incorporated new courses like Suturing Origami. The Expert Roundtable luncheons were sold out and received outstanding reviews. The Fellows and Young Alumni Network had a novel session, and the FMIGS graduation was inspiring. Welcome to our new graduates!
We are appreciative of the service and leadership of Dr. Marie Fidela Paraiso. During the Opening Session, she shared her thoughtful reflections in her Presidential Address, and Dr. Barbara Levy, the Honorary Chair, taught us all through her wisdom. The award-winning abstracts and presentations selected by the AAGL Foundation were of meritorious quality, and we were welcomed to Vancouver by Native Americans of the Squamish Nation who lead us to the Exhibit Hall for fellowship.
Day Three of the Congress was incredible. Liz Wiseman provided our keynote lecture on becoming a multiplier, using an immersive experience that taught every attendee to grow in their leadership qualities. She integrated that knowledge into practice with expert surgeons performing cadaveric dissections in a team approach. The reviews were outstanding, and everyone learned! The dissection of the pelvic sidewall was also highlighted during the afternoon session when both robotic and conventional laparoscopic platforms were used to demonstrate expert anatomic dissection. Day Four of the Congress used “gamification” with the “Game of Zones” theme to take subspecialty dissection and make it applicable to the general gynecologic surgeon, demonstrating techniques in the anterior (urogynecology) zone, the neuropelveology zone, and the bowel zone. The entertainment factor kept every attendee engaged! Finally, Day Five of the Congress showed live telesurgery, pre-recorded unedited videos of novel techniques, and highlighted uterine harvest and transplant in a standing-room-only closing session.
The scientific quality of the plenary, poster, and video presentations were unparalleled due to the overhaul of the scientific grading process and it showed in the level of science presented. Additionally, the flow of the meeting was tweaked to make it easier for attendees to navigate the meeting. This truly was a global congress, with engagement of members from over 80 countries and lead plenary sessions dedicated to international scientific progress.
It was an honor to chair this year’s meeting. On behalf of the Scientific Program Committee, thank you for attending, participating, grading, speaking, moderating, leading, and multiplying! I put my heart and soul into this meeting, and I am grateful to each one of you for your service to our organization. It was a great meeting. I am humbled to become your next President and inspired to elevate gynecologic surgery together!