Southern Association for Vascular surgery

2007 President's Message

<< Back to President's Message Listing
SAVS President R. James Valentine
SAVS President
R. James Valentine

The 30th annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona was a great success. Attendees were exposed to a superb scientific program while enjoying the amenities of a five-star resort. Meeting highlights included well-balanced plenary sessions and an outstanding postgraduate course on lower extremity endovascular technology. The practice oral examinations were over-subscribed and continue to be a big draw for vascular residents and young surgeons. With the beautiful Arizona desert as a backdrop, the camaraderie of our society was never more evident. The warm days and cool evenings provided a perfect opportunity for members to interact with friends and colleagues. For our next meeting, we will be trading the dry desert air for the warm ocean breezes of Puerto Rico. Planning is already underway to make it educational and enjoyable for the membership and their families.

The past year has witnessed the formal emergence of vascular surgery as an independent discipline. The approval for a primary certificate in vascular surgery represents the crowning achievement in a decade-long evolutionary process, but the cost of change has been high. Our specialty faces many new challenges, and there has never been a more crucial time for unanimity. Graduate medical education has emerged as a top issue in vascular surgery, one that affects our patients as well as our colleagues who are recruiting new partners. Vascular surgeons must ensure that the multiple proposed training pathways lead to an adequate finished product: a surgeon who is proficient in open and endovascular skills and competent to treat all aspects of vascular disease. Many SAVS members are involved in the training of young surgeons and will have a direct influence on this outcome, but the issue will affect everyone. Because of the far-reaching implications for all members of our organization, the issue is certain to be a topic of discussion at our next meeting.

The SAVS remains devoted to its members, and collegiality has always been a main focus. The quality of submitted abstracts, high meeting attendance, and applications for membership attest to the importance of the SAVS as a regional vascular society. However, the real strength of our organization lies in the energy and loyalty of the membership. Excellent educational programs and camaraderie are the hallmarks that make the annual meeting a favorite among SAVS members. I look forward to seeing you in Puerto Rico.

Jim