June 2021

President's Message

Muharrem Yazici, MD
SRS President 2020-2021

After the depressing email pieces that we have published one after the other throughout the year, I want to greet you with much more pleasant and positive news.

Let's begin with the IMAST news. David Skaggs and his team worked hard to create a more successful congress in terms of duration, scheduling, and content, based on the lessons learnt from last year’s experience. These efforts were rewarded. The program's sessions, which spanned for three days, have been viewed a total of 1235 times. The very small number of participants from various geographic locations is an issue that has to be addressed. As SRS, we are aware that we can now utilize virtual technologies more efficiently. However, it is evident that we must make further efforts to better understand the requirements and interests of our colleagues who live in different time zones and locations. We hope that we will not have to convene any more all-virtual conferences in the coming years. However, the virtual component of our congresses will take up more space than before, and we must improve ourselves in this area.

I'd like to share some extremely fantastic news concerning the Annual Meeting. In late May, I had the chance to join our executive director, Mrs. Ashtin Neuschaefer, on a site visit to St Louis. (For our OUS members, I'd want to emphasize that I can enter the United States without difficulty). We had a pretty fascinating process starting on the first day in terms of preparing for the Annual Meeting. We were first skeptical that whether if we would be able to host a meeting with an in-person component. We were told at the end of last year that the meeting rooms could only hold a maximum of 250 people. This limit was later extended gradually to 650 individuals. We will, however, be required to take at least a 30-minute break between sessions. We were unable to make arrangements because of severe limitations on social gatherings. On the trip to St. Louis, we had a lot of questions. We were, nevertheless, quite pleased with what we saw and heard in St. Louis, including at the Hyatt Regency. I'd like to share excellent news with you: Our capacity has increased to approximately 1300. Participants who have been fully vaccinated will not be required to wear masks indoors. As a result, we will be able to host a NORMAL congress. It will be a congress similar to past ones, not only in terms of scientific content, but also in terms of social gatherings (welcome reception, farewell dinner, etc.).

We really missed both congresses and getting together. This congress will be amazing for all of us. Please set your calendars as soon as possible so that you should not miss out on this fantastic opportunity.