Members involved in suggesting topics for VAM 2022 sessions

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Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) program planners are finalizing the lineup and topics for several types of educational session for the 2022 Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM). VAM is set for June 15–18 in Boston, with educational programming across all four days.

SVS members are becoming more involved and engaged in proposing topics for many of the sessions they would like to see at VAM, said William Robinson, MD, chair of the SVS Postgraduate Education Committee (PGEC).

For 2022, members submitted 58 proposals for breakfast and concurrent sessions, postgraduate courses and the always popular “Ask the Expert” small-group sessions, explained Robinson.

The number of member submissions has increased steadily since the process began several years ago. For this year, the committee worked to increase awareness and engagement among members. And the PGEC altered the process to provide for blind review of proposals, to enhance fairness and assure “the most well-developed and thoughtful proposals were selected,” said Robinson. “This helps us get the best programming—with both clinical and non-clinical topics—and also lets us look ahead and create a well-balanced program.”

Frequently similar topics come in, so committee members ask those who proposed content to work together and with the PGEC to develop content in more depth. “It gets more people involved and provides for more viewpoints,” said Robinson.

This year, the PGEC also is incorporating programming specifically from and for four SVS membership “sections”: Community Practice (SVSCPS), Outpatient and Office Vascular Care (SOOVC), as well as Women’s and Young Surgeons. Three are new sections. “This allows these section leaders, working with the PGEC, to deliver content their members think is important and relevant to the SVS membership,” said Robinson.

With programs close to finalization and scheduling completed, “I am thrilled with the program that is shaping up” he said. The 21 invited sessions include 13 clinical and eight non-clinical topics. The section sessions, plus one for the Journal of Vascular Surgery publications and others, bring the total to 28.

VAM 2022 organizers also continue the practice of recent years—responding to member feedback— of scheduling days to minimize overlap; the general goal is to have three or fewer similar sessions happening simultaneously. “There’s a balance between hitting a breadth of topics and just having too much going on,” said Robinson.

“We try to be inclusive and incorporate as many ideas as we can if it’s reasonably possible,” he said. “Even really good proposals had to be deferred, because they were similar to sessions last year. It doesn’t mean they are not worthwhile. It just may be better for an upcoming year.”

The committee aims to broadly cover the topics inherent in vascular surgery practice. Not every topic can be covered in detail every year, so planners try to make sure important topics get detailed treatment every two to three years, said Robinson. Generally, topics all vascular beds, plus thoracic outlet syndrome and other less common pathologies. Meanwhile, invited sessions include five “Ask the Expert” small-group sessions.

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