December 2016

President's Message

October was the month for getting down to business!

With the completion of a successful Annual Meeting & Course in Prague, new committee chairs have taken up positions and are getting down to business. We all met during the cabinet meeting in Chicago, October 14-15, 2016. For those who have not been to this meeting, the cabinet meeting is when we invite all committee chairs, together with council chairs and board of director members to meet together.

The aim of the meeting is three-fold; firstly, action plans for the upcoming year, in the form of “committee charges” are put together; secondly, open discussions allow dialogues and inter-committee and inter-council coordination and collaborations; and finally, this is an occasion for informal interactions between the different participants with the Board of Directors and Presidential Line members.

Prior to the cabinet meeting, we had an afternoon retreat on new educational initiatives of SRS. Committee chairs were made aware of the work of the Education Task Force, which was formed after a retreat in Orlando in March 2016.  While I reported briefly on our work during the business meeting in Prague, we wanted greater dissemination of this initiative, and hence organized this afternoon retreat. We also invited an education expert, Joseph Green, PhD to talk to us on adult learning, as well as to comment on some of our work to date.

In brief, the rationale for having an Education Task Force are as follows: while we feel that SRS is a great brand name with highly regarded educational offerings, there are gaps. In particular, our courses are not tiered, format is not consistent, and content is not standardized. The task force consists of myself as the chair, together with the rest of the Presidential Line and Laurel Blakemore, MD; Marinus de Kleuver, MD, PhD; John Dimar, II, MD; Lawrence Haber, MD; Praveen Mummaneni, MD; Luis Munhoz da Rocha, MD; Rajiv Sethi, MD; Daniel Sucato, MD, MS; and Muharrem Yazici, MD. Our aims are multiple, but the two main ones for the coming year are: (1) to develop a new tiered curriculum and (2) to develop SRS-led courses, in which the course will be organized by SRS in close collaboration with local and regional spine societies, and delivering a curriculum designed by SRS.

Dr. Blakemore chairs thEducation Task Forcee curriculum development group and they have been using a Delphi approach, involving some 139-deformity surgeons from around the world, to define the curriculum. They have just completed the second iterative round, and are currently analyzing the results.

Professor De Kleuver and Benny Dahl, MD as past and current chairs of the Worldwide Course committee, are overseeing development of our first SRS regional course titled “SRS Current Concepts in Spine Deformity”. This will be in close cooperation with Eurospine and chaired by Martin Repko, MD (Czech Republic), Alpaslan Senkoylu, MD (Turkey). The course will be held March 30 – April 1, 2017 in Prague. Our aim will be to attract 100-150 participants from the region and around the world to attend. This will be an interactive course based on the SRS core curriculum, with four half-day sessions, ranging from foundation knowledge to early onset scoliosis and degenerative deformities.  We are excited about this course, as this will herald a series of changes in the way that SRS connects and delivers our global deformity education, from these current concepts courses, to hands-on (cadaveric) courses, to live-surgery courses, as well as our flag-ship IMAST and Annual Meeting. When thinking about global deformity education, we realize that this is a huge undertaking, and we shall solicit expert help as we go forward, as well as to regularly review and learn from the changes we make. As members of SRS, we will need all of your to help organize, teach, and disseminate this mission.

With the holiday season upon us, I wish all of you, your family and loved ones a great end-of-year filled with blessings and joy.

Kenneth MC Cheung, MBBS(UK), MD(HK), FRCS, FHKCOS, FHKAM(Orth)
SRS President 2016-2017