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Clinical Congress 2020 Recap

It's no surprise that this year's virtual Clinical Congress was a little different. Clinical Congress 2020 followed the 2020 ACS Quality and Safety Conference and other conferences all around the world by transitioning to a virtual event. Though online, the spirit of what attendees have come to expect from previous years remained intact. Even though our members weren't able to meet together this year as planned, the ACS Clinical Congress Program Committee kept as much of the event in place as it could, albeit in an online format.

While Clinical Congress may have been virtual in 2020, young Fellows under 45 years of age still connected during a 90-minute virtual meeting. Listen to YFA Chair Joshua Mammen, MD, PhD, FACS, as he shares what YFA is doing for young surgeons, and how young surgeons can contribute.



One of the hallmarks of the YFA Annual Meeting is a discussion with the incoming ACS President. And in 2020, YFA didn't disappoint. Listen to incoming ACS President Wayne Meredith, MD, FACS, as he shares his top three tips on how to become a resilient surgeon.



As always, Clinical Congress highlights included Named Lectures, special sessions on timely topics, Panel Sessions, Scientific Forum Sessions, Video-based Education Sessions, poster presentations, sessions aimed at surgical trainees and medical students, and a newer highlight, the Symposium of the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators. The different formats are aimed at facilitating learning, and supporting the transfer of new knowledge and skills to surgical practice. The on-demand system allowed attendees to select and save sessions of interest to access at a later time.

More than 32,000 people registered to participate in this year's event, with nearly 16,000 of them being international attendees from more than 155 countries. The overwhelming majority of attendees surveyed reported that the quality and variety of content was great.

Other virtual highlights included Honorary Fellowship conferrals, award presentations, and the newly installed President's Address by J. Wayne Meredith, MD, FACS, MCCM, a trauma surgeon from Winston-Salem, NC. This year's ceremony took place as an on-demand video. It was a bit shorter than previous years' Convocations but maintained all the "pomp and circumstance" to which attendees are accustomed.

Typically, Surgeons Who Selfie sends surgeon attendees on a scavenger hunt through the conference and asks them to share the resulting selfies on social media. This year the idea remained the same, but the results were a little different. Surgeons were prompted to share photos of themselves participating in the virtual meeting and to share photos from a particular location or event, or photos with colleagues. Hundreds of surgeons jumped on board and the results can be found on Twitter under the hashtag #CC20selfie.

All of this year's content and CME credits are available until December 31, so be sure to check back for lectures, panels, and other content you may have missed.

Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery

The Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery met on October 1 via Zoom and approved the minutes from the previous meeting. We reconfirmed the subject for the ophthalmic session for Clinical Congress 2021 would be Complications of Facial Surgery and planned for a session on ocular trauma for the Clinical Congress 2022. We received an update from ACS Regent James W. Gigantelli, MD, FACS, regarding the Board of Regents including the joint ACS/American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) statement against the use of nonlethal rubber bullets.

A presentation was given by Robert A. Mazzoli, MD, FACS, the national ophthalmic representative to the ACS Committee on Trauma, detailing the struggles many trauma centers face in response to ocular trauma, namely not having set protocols or even readily accessible ophthalmic care. The issue of ophthalmologists being less present or "available" in the hospital was discussed. Plans were made to work together with the AAO to invigorate ophthalmology's involvement in acute trauma and develop comprehensive protocols, using experience from the military and the Military Health System Strategic Partnership American College of Surgeons. It was recommended and approved for Dr. Mazzoli to be added as a member to the ACS Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery.

Retired U.S. Navy Captain Frank K. Butler, Jr., MD, FAAO, FUHM, an ophthalmologist and former Navy SEAL, received the ACS Distinguished Lifetime Military Contribution Award during the Convocation ceremony this year. The award citation detailed how Dr. Butler's "forward-thinking to train and equip every soldier with personal medical kits redefined battlefield surgical management by delivering critical medical care at the point of injury and saving thousands of lives." His accomplishments are numerous and include serving on the White House advisory team whose recommendations were the foundation for STOP THE BLEED®, and chairing the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care. Read a full summary of the award and Captain Butler's accomplishments.  

Our next meeting for the Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery was tentatively set for May 15, 2021, 11:00 am–12:30 pm ET in Washington, DC, during the ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit.