September 2020

President's Message

Paul D. Sponseller, MD, MBA
SRS President 2019-2020

Dear Fellow SRS Members,

What a year! I trust that you were able to learn much from the SRS Pre-Meeting Course and Annual Meeting last week. If there is a positive to this format, it could be your ability to target more precisely the information that you want to learn. I would like to tell all members how resourceful your SRS staff has been in pivoting to this new format with no loss of information. Equally amazing is that our financial losses are much lower than we had feared. COVID-19 has affected all of us but we have moved our Hands-on and other Global Courses to next year. Plans for IMAST 2021 will be announced soon.

A major new endeavor for SRS is to modernize our education format. SRS “iExperience” is now available for viewing, starting with Early Onset Scoliosis. This engaging platform offers technique videos, interactive queries, and narrated factual content which builds on our Educational Resources. The EOS module was led by your President, Muharrem Yazici. Please log on to the Website and learn from this offering. Other subject-areas will be developed in the near future to cover the whole range of Spine Deformity.

Interdisciplinary education is now recognized as critical for our patients. We need to learn from our colleagues in related specialties about issues which affect the deformity patient. We also need to teach them about our goals of care, and potential complications which may arise. Think of spine surgical teams which have been proven to improve care. Also remember the interaction between the thoracic skeleton and ribs with pulmonary function, as Greg Redding has taught us. Or the consultations with Infectious Diseases to care for an implant-related infection or a vertebral infection. All of these interactions highlight the need for inter-disciplinary education around Spine Deformity, and we can help to lead this. Baron Lonner’s Pre-Meeting Course was a start for this. The new Needs Assessment Task Force led by Haluk Berk is tackling this opportunity. Also a Fund for Interdisciplinary Education has been established within SRS. We hope you can join on this effort.

Early career surgeons are our Society’s future. We are making their engagement a regular part of each of our major meetings. Their ideas will help to transform spinal care in the coming years. Thanks to Brian Smith, Bob Cho, Kariman Abelin-Genvois, Caglar Yilgor and Kenny Kwan for their work on this.

It has been a privilege to serve as SRS President over the past year. I know that the SRS is in excellent hands for the future.

Paul Sponseller