June 2016

Program Committee Update

Justin S. Smith, MD, PhD
Program Committee Chair


Our Annual Meeting is fast approaching.  Following an exceptionally successful and historic 50th Annual Meeting & Course held in Minneapolis, MN, we now focus our attention on our 51st meeting, to be held in Prague, Czech Republic, arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  We are hopeful that this centrally located European city, often referred to as the “heart of Europe”, will serve as a convenient and desirable location for our international attendees, and as an opportunity for our domestic membership to explore this ancient and modern capital.

The Program and Education Committees have created an outstanding program.  The scientific program was assembled from more than 1,500 abstract submissions.  Each abstract was reviewed by five different reviewers in an authorship-blinded fashion and graded based on average scores and an Olympic scoring method. Members of the Program Committee then met in person to review the ratings and to create a balanced and educational scientific program.  The competition for a podium presentation remained exceptionally high this year with only 8% (129 of 1,541) of submitted abstracts selected for a four-minute podium.  The overall quality of abstract submissions was outstanding, and one of the most challenging aspects of creating a balanced program was the need to decline so many high-quality abstracts, many of which were worthy of podium presentation.  We hope that submitters whose work was not accepted for presentation will recognize the constraints faced in creating a balanced program, with so many great submissions and a limited number of presentation slots, and not be disheartened.  The success and reputation of our Society and Annual Meeting have continued to drive both the volume and quality of submissions to higher levels, and this should be viewed as a tremendous positive. 

Notably, reflective of the growing international reach and representation of the Scoliosis Research Society, podium presenters will hail from 21 different countries and more than one-half of the presenters will be from outside of the United States.  In addition to the four-minute podium presentations, 108 e-posters and 12 case discussions have been accepted for presentation, and competition for acceptance in these categories was remarkably strong as well.

The Education Committee has worked in parallel to create an outstanding educational program that includes the Pre-Meeting Course, Half-Day Courses and multiple Lunchtime Symposia (see report from Theodore Choma, MD; Education Committee Chair). 

I would personally like to thank David Polly, Jr., MD and the other members of the Presidential Line for their support and guidance through this process.  I would also like to thank Ronald Lehman, Jr., MD for his leadership with last year’s Program Committee and his continued support for this year’s meeting.  As always, we owe a debt of gratitude to the Program Committee and ad hoc reviewers who each personally reviewed between 150-200 abstracts.

Registration and housing for our 51st Annual Meeting and Course are currently open (  I look forward to seeing you in Prague!

Chair:  Justin S. Smith, MD, PhD   Committee Members:  Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., MD; Benny T. Dahl, MD, PhD; James F. Mooney, MD; Lawrence L. Haber, MD; John M. Cardi, MD; David W. Gray, MD; Michael P. Kelly, MD; Han Jo Kim, MD; Tyler Koski, MD; Joshua M. Pahys, MD; Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, MD; Fernando Techy, MD; Muharrem Yazici, MD; Yong Qiu, MD