Thomas E. Read
2021 to 2022
I wanted to highlight a few of the things you, our amazing volunteer members, have accomplished this year in conjunction with our awesome staff. These efforts are all the more impressive given that you did this despite the continued onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ASCRS U, our unified online education portal launched! This coincided with the publication of the new 4th Edition of the ASCRS Textbook of Colon & Rectal Surgery. The textbook and lots more are available on ASCRS U, included in your ASCRS membership. Go check it out today, and please tell your residents about it. We kept the Candidate membership at only $25/year, so it’s a no-brainer for them to join and get access to the best colorectal education around.
- CARSEP XI launched! The most popular self-assessment tool for colon and rectal surgery just got better and is available in ASCRS U.
- ASCRS Webinars and the Video Mentorship Series have been hugely popular. And coming soon…the ASCRS Podcast: “Gut Check.”
- The Surgical Leadership Institute had to be postponed because of Omicron, but good news! We were able to re-schedule at the same venue in La Jolla, CA October 14-15, 2022, just prior to the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress occurring right next door in San Diego, CA, with no penalty. This will be a spectacular event—add this to your ACS trip.
- The ASCRS Quality Collaborative is coming--stay tuned to participate. We can all work together to define best practices and benchmark our outcomes in a supportive and constructive environment.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is not just a committee, but a mission of ASCRS. Look for DEI events at the upcoming Annual Scientific Meeting and for new faces on the podium.
- The Research Foundation of the ASCRS has worked tirelessly to raise funds and review grant applications so they can make awards to deserving young investigators in our society who are striving to solve the puzzles of the diseases that plague our patients.
- We have made a concerted effort to limit the potential for conflict of interest at ASCRS CME events. I know that it is sometimes painful to fill out those forms, but we will be a better society because of this initiative. Our new Conflict of Interest Committee deserves kudos for all of their thoughtful efforts.
- Want to be on an ASCRS committee? On the Executive Council? Don’t call the President! The Committee on Committees evaluates applications for committee appointments. The newly minted Nominations Advisory Task Force works in tandem with the Nominating Committee to vet applications for Executive Council. We are working to make these processes more open, and to ensure selections are based on commitment to the society and the specialty.
- Diseases of the Colon and Rectum remains the premier colorectal surgical journal thanks to the work of Editor-in-Chief Susan Galandiuk, the Editorial Board, countless reviewers and journal staff.
- The Clinical Practice Guidelines, created by our CPG committee, are still among the most frequently referenced publications in the field.
These are just a sampling of all the great things ASCRS members have been working on this year. Thanks to our volunteer members who make all this happen, and thanks to our Executive Director, David Westman, and to our staff (we are now self-managed) for their efforts to make ASCRS one of the premier surgical societies in the world, and to continue our efforts to improve the lives of our members and our patients.
Thank you for trusting me to serve as ASCRS president this past year. We are incredibly fortunate to have Conor Delaney serve in this role 2022-23. He is a master surgeon, researcher, educator and a leader of the highest intellect, integrity and vision. ASCRS will be in good hands.