Thomas E. Rohrer, MD
While we are still in the middle of a pandemic and are all working hard to adapt our practices and provide safe environments for our patients and staff, the Board of Directors is also working hard to enhance all aspects of our society. Two of the board’s main focuses this year are to increase engagement of early career members and expand our multidisciplinary reach. The greater the diversity of our membership the more likely we are to have cross pollination and translation of ideas from one specialty to another. This is what drives innovation and we are launching several new initiatives and enhancing many of our current programs to foster this.
Early Career Focus
To connect residents and early career members with more senior members of our society we have established the ASLMS Mentorship Program (AMP). Mentees will work on a specific project over a one-year period with their mentor that will enhance the society, answer some burning questions, and build relationships. The projects can be chosen from a board directed list or created by the mentor and mentee. The program is virtual and can adapt based on the mentor and mentee’s schedules. AMP is available to all ASLMS members that play a role in lasers and energy-based devices. All positions and specialties are welcome to participate.
We have also enhanced our Visiting Expert program. The idea of the program is to fill in training gaps by offering laser experts from ASLMS to come to the residency programs and give lectures they may not otherwise be able to hear. While this had been an in-person program in the past, we are now including virtual options, making it easier for an institution to bring a laser and energy-based device teaching segment into their curriculum.
We are also launching the Fundamentals in Lasers and Energy Based Devices lecture series. This is a monthly series of lectures - the complete gamut of topics (such as laser physics and tissue interaction, laser safety, vascular lasers, pigmented lesion lasers, resurfacing devices, body contouring, skin tightening, female health, urologic devices, ophthalmology, photobiomodulation, and many more).
Multidisciplinary and Multispecialty Focus
ASLMS was founded as a multidisciplinary and multispecialty society. A diverse membership serves as an incubator of ideas and new applications. Enhancement of multispecialty interaction is one of our strategic goals and continues to be a high priority.
I have begun the process to establish a President's Multispecialty Advisory Council, bringing together key opinion leaders in different fields to provide input on current and potential ASLMS activities. By getting this information, ASLMS can work to better attract and retain members of all specialties that are using lasers and energy-based devices. We will also be working to identify key opinion leaders in each field to address our membership in both webinars and at our next live meeting.
The Board of Directors is also developing a Collaborative and Cooperative task force to explore opportunities with other organizations to cooperate through cross-promotion and/or collaborate at live activities.
Stay tuned for the launching of our new Lasers in Surgery and Medicine Journal Club. Each month we will highlight the best articles in LSM and discuss
them in a journal club format with experts in the field as well as the original authors themselves. This will be a multidisciplinary educational session and available to all of our members.
We are well underway with program planning for ASLMS 2021, focusing on a hybrid format with both onsite and virtual attendance options. The program offers a great deal of diversity and includes the best talks from all of the various specialties in a plenary session format. We have also enhanced the abstract categories and included an Industry White Paper submission category, which will allow industry partners to participate in the educational program and present their most groundbreaking developments. As part of this effort, we have also clarified the guidelines for industry participation in CME activities.
Abstract submission is now open so please submit your abstracts at your earliest convenience so you do not miss out! The 2021 Annual Conference is sure to be a spectacular event!
Thank you once again for electing me to serve you this year, it is an honor. Stay healthy.