FMIGS: Strong Against All Odds
This has been quite a year for everyone with so many unforeseen challenges. I am happy to report that despite some of those challenges, there are some shining moments for the AAGL Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (FMIGS).
First, congratulations to the class of 2020! Despite a rocky last 3 months hampered by clinical and surgical restrictions of the pandemic, 46 fellows successfully finished their training in June and we celebrated their successes during the virtual graduation ceremony at the AAGL annual meeting in November. Kudos to the program directors for navigating this past year amidst restrictions on clinical care and reductions in surgical volume. They have been able to creatively provide alternative, innovative means for their fellows to continue to obtain the requisite training during their fellowship.
Six new training sites were approved in 2020! We have added Hospital BP – A Beneficência Portuguesa de São Paulo in Brazil; Mount Sinai Hospital & Women’s College Hospital in Canada; and four across the USA: Kaleida Health Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, University of California Los Angeles, University of California Riverside and Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH). This was an exceptional year of growth for the Fellowship, which now totals 56 training sites.
The Fellowship Board has been diligently working to continue to develop and improve our programs. The progress we have made is entirely the result of the efforts of all of our committee members. Our efforts to streamline the educational curriculum for our fellows resulted in an exceptionally well received webinar series with world renowned experts. The FMIGS/AAGL Education committee has crafted a two-year series to round out the fellow’s didactic experience. These webinars are also available to the general AAGL membership and can be found archived in SurgeryU. The Curriculum Standardization committee has reorganized and updated the fellows reading list. Coordinated with this, our Video committee has worked with SurgeryU to create a video curriculum for the fellows which can be found housed in SurgeryU. The Young Alumni Network (YAN) has enthusiastically worked on keeping our new graduates involved in AAGL, with additional programming and a specially focused course at the annual meeting.
Given the mandates this year for social distancing, we felt it was best to postpone the traditional annual fellows boot camp. A virtual experience for the fellows was designed and held over the summer. These interactive sessions covered a range of topics including wellness and mentored research works in progress.
Interview season posed new challenges for the applicants and programs to adapt to a virtual format. Feedback from this year’s format seems to be remarkably positive thus far. We had a successful match this year with 46 candidates matching into the Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (FMIGS). FMIGS remains one of the most competitive programs in obstetrics and gynecology.
Many AAGL members have received the announcement from ABOG regarding the Focus Practice Designation for MIGS. This designation aims to recognize some of the unique expertise that our specialty provides our patients. I’m pleased to recognize the Liaison committee from FMIGS for all their hard work in making this a reality.
A huge thank you to our Board members that have completed their term of service. Thank you Amanda C. Yunker, Immediate Past President, for your five years of invaluable support and historical knowledge. Megan Wasson and Erin T. Carey, Directors-at-Large, thank you for your contributions for the last couple of years. James N. Casey, Fellow Representative, thank you for being such an incredible advocate for the fellows. We look forward to your continued involvement in the AAGL and FMIGS.
Please join me in welcoming our incoming Board member, Arnold P. Advincula, Secretary-Treasurer, Adeoti E. Oshinowo and Johnny Yi, Directors-at-Large and Christine E. Foley, Fellow Representative.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve with the FMIGS Board and work with each of our committees this past year. I am so proud of their continued efforts to advance the training and education of our future MIGS leaders!