The Surgeon

A News Bulletin published by the Foundation for Abdominal Surgery,
One East Emerson Street, Melrose, MA 02176-3195
Editor: Demostene Romanucci, MD

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American Board of Abdominal Surgery

June 2004

In this issue:

The 45th Clinical Congress

In addition to a review of our successful 45th Clinical conference, we
are including in this Editorial a “Call To Arms”. We are asking that
all ABAS Diplomates join with us in our quest for recognition by the
American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to become the 25th
Specialty. The time is NOW for Abdominal Surgery to take its rightful
place as a recognized member of ABMS medical specialties.
Medical and technological advances, the changing role of America’s
Community Hospitals and the positive impact on surgical economics
dictate that our specialty, Abdominal Surgery, is in the best interest
of the American public at large. Your help and assistance is needed
to accomplish this task. We now call upon all of you to be a part
of this exciting proposal. More will be said later in this Editorial.

The 45th Clinical Congress went very well. Attendance was up.
The program was excellent. The faculty was stellar.

The Foundation for Abdominal Surgery made possible the low cost
of tuition, meals and the Saturday evening Reception.The
Evaluations Survey gave it an over-all excellent rating. Nowhere else
are medical organizations providing CME for twenty credits category
1 with meals, refreshments and receptions at the tuition of $20
per credit for its attendees. This has been made possible only by
your generous contributions to the Foundation and the farsightedness
of the leadership. Elsewhere, similar CME programs would
have tuitions of $800 - $1000.

Major Eric Romanucci, M.D., United States Army Reserve
,Commander of the 946th Forward Surgical Team which served in
Afghanistan (2003) presented his experience of military casualties,
operative and non-operative. David Shatz, M.D., Associate
Professor of Surgery, University of Miami spoke on Terrorism 102.
These two speakers had the opportunity to discuss the evolution
and development of the Forward Surgical Team concept and
compared the experiences of Gulf War I and the present conflict.

Herman Abromowitz, M.D., Secretary of the AMA Board of
Trustees addressed the malpractice problem which is a crisis of epidemic
proportions for the entire country – save the state of
California, whose legislature placed the appropriate caps on awards.

Dr. John Odell made an excellent presentation on the correct treatment
for esophageal cancer along with a potpourri of esophageal
conditions. Dr. Heidi Ko Chua presented her experience with
laparoscopic colon resection. The Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, was its
usual excellent self.

Drs. A. K. Goodman (Harvard) and Annette Chen (U. Mass) made
exceptionally good presentations on ovarian, endometrial, cervical
and vulvar cancer, tailored to the abdominal surgeon.

Mr. Brendan Moran, Consultant Surgeon, Basingstoke U.K.
discussed the outcomes and consequences of anastomatic dehiscence
following rectal resection and emergency colorectal surgery.

Dr. Paul Sugarbaker addressed the prevention and treatment of
ureteral injuries, along with the “why” of the parastomal hernia and
whether or not it can be surgically repaired.

Saturday evening May 1, 2004, Mr. Brendan Moran was awarded
the Distinguished Service Award by Parnell Avery, M.D. on behalf
of the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons for his dedication
to his patients, teaching, research, and his continuing surgical
education endeavor on behalf of the Society. Dr. A. K. Goodman
was recognized for her Distinguished Service Award of 2003 which
was not formally presented previously.

The outgoing President, Parnell Avery, M.D., introduced the new
For a one-year term:

  • President James Oglesby, M. D.
  • President-Elect Safir Ahmad, M. D.
  • Vice President Prospero Roda, M. D.

For three-year terms:

  • Executive Secretary – Treasurer and Delegate to AMA: Louis
    F. Alfano, Sr., M. D.

Alternate Delegate to AMA: Louis F. Alfano, Jr., M. D.
Associate Executive Secretary and Director of Continuing
Medical Education: Demostene Romanucci, M.D.

The Sunday morning Grand Rounds were superb. Interesting cases
were presented by the moderators, Mr. Moran and Dr. Sugarbaker
with audience participation. It was a give and take experience with
questions at any time. Also “What To Do” was very enlightening. It
was a well-thought-out learning experience. As a result, Grand
Rounds will become a regular part of our CME programs.

The 46th Clinical Congress will be held April 29, 30 and May 1,
2005 at the Study Center in Tampa, Florida.

The 29th Hepato-Biliary Symposium is scheduled for November 5
through 7, 2004 at our Study Center in Tampa. Housing accommodations
are at the Wingate Inn on East Fowler, next door to the
Study Center. Room rate is $72/night plus taxes. Telephone (813)
979-2828; FAX (813) 977-1818.

Friday, November 5, 2004 will be at the Tampa General Hospital.
The morning session will be dedicated to Real Time Surgery, followed
by formal lectures and other presentations. Buses leave at
7:30 am. No later transportation available. Sunday morning, by
popular demand, will be Grand Rounds with Dr. Alexander
Rosemurgy, what he does, what you do and an open Q&A.

Other future meetings to be held at the Study Center will be:

46th Clinical Congress: April 29, 30 and May 1, 2005
30th Hepato-Biliary Symposium: November 4, 5, 6, 2005
47th Clinical Congress: April 28, 29, 30, 2006
31st Hepato-Biliary Symposium: November 3, 4, 5, 2006

Housing will be at the Wingate Inn. Room rates are yet to be

The American Board of Abdominal Surgery has asked The Surgeon
to inform the Diplomates of the Board and the Fellows of the
Society of its intention to submit a petition to the Liaison
Committee for Specialty Boards to be submitted this fall, seeking to
become the 25th Specialty Board approved by ABMS. This will be
the second petition. The first was submitted 1960 – 1962 and
rejected for spurious reasons. These reasons, in detail, will be put
forth at the proper time.

We need all of you to support and lobby for this effort and petition.
A more full presentation will be made to the Diplomates and
Fellows of the Society this fall. All the more reason to attend the
ASAS Hepato-Biliary meeting. This will be a special meeting and
require admission identification. In addition to the advances in
science and technology, our meeting will include an in-depth look
at the proposed one year Fellowship developed as part of the one
year training to become an ABAS Diplomate, in addition to the oral
and written examination. Available at the Hepato-Biliary meeting
will be a session devoted to advances in teaching and learning as it
applies to the Fellowship in Abdominal Surgery.

On Saturday, November 6th @ 10:00 am, our Educational
Consultant, Dr. George Membrino will make a presentation on
Education requirements and the necessary lobbying activities for
petition approval as it moves through the process of approval

Specialty specific CME was first proposed and required by the
American Society of Abdominal Surgeons in 1967. It still remains
in effect today. This in no way means those credits must be obtained
through the ASAS in part or in whole (albeit the Society would be
pleased) but specificity is the “sine qua non”. A starter would be the
revival of the Departmental meetings of the hospital staff whose
CME is State Medical Society approved, is qualified to give credits
for those meetings dealing with abdominal surgery, and are appropriately
recorded. During the era of mergers and consolidations,
too many of these programs have fallen by the wayside and surgical
staff members are unaware that Category 1 credits can be obtained
in that manner.

Future CME of the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons will
be held at the Symposiums and Congresses listed previously.

Our Study Center was selected upon recommendation of the Surgical
Education Committee of the ASAS for our Study Center gives us the
best site quality and is most cost effective for the attendees and the
Society, particularly when physician income is down considerably.
This was re-confirmed at the annual meeting of the Fellows.

See you in November.

Late News Flash…
The Foundation for Abdominal Surgery has purchased video
conferencing equipment which will be operational at our Study
center in Tampa in a few months.

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The American Society of Abdominal Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide Continuing Medical Education for Physicians. The American Society of Abdominal Surgeons is approved by the AMA/CME to grant Category1 credits towards the Physician's Recognition Award of its educational endeavors.

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