Vic Velanovich, MD

Vic Velanovich, MD

When developing programming for DDW® 2018, the SSAT Program Committee aimed to create a broad array of options to meet the demands of society members and DDW attendees of all interests and skill levels.

SSAT Program Committee Chair Vic Velanovich, MD, said the committee’s goal was to develop an educational program aimed at improving surgical care of patients with gastrointestinal disease while offering DDW attendees the opportunity to test the latest technology, learn the latest science and have fun.

“We strive to choose topics with broad application for the practicing GI surgeon as well as cover the latest research,” said Dr. Velanovich, professor of surgery at the University of South Florida, Tampa. “Attendees will find high-quality programming every day throughout the meeting.”

The education begins with the two concurrent hands-on courses on Saturday, June 2. Another Saturday highlight is the Resident Education Committee Panel session Surgical Innovation in an Era of Patient Safety. There will also be a game of Surgical Jeopardy for residents, which Dr. Velanovich said is always a popular event.

For those familiar with SSAT’s international panels, Dr. Velanovich said there would be some format changes this year that he hopes will make it easier for more people to attend. The first international session is Saturday afternoon, with another panel Sunday afternoon, June 3.

“Our international panels are important because they give SSAT members an opportunity to see how problems are approached outside the United States,” Dr. Velanovich said. “Our panelists this year will bring perspectives from South America, Europe and Asia.

Also on Sunday, SSAT President Stanley W. Ashely, MD, FACS, will present his presidential address during the annual Presidential Plenary Session, which will also showcase this year’s best SSAT educational offerings.

On Monday, June 4, SSAT will participate in a new DDW tradition — an academic debate with one of the four DDW sister societies. After a popular debut last year, the debates are back. This year, SSAT and AGA representatives will debate the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease and complex right colon polyps.

“These debates should be a lot of fun,” Dr. Velanovich said. “When you have an opportunity to argue best practices with expert colleagues who have differing perspectives, it works out great and everyone stands to learn something.”

Attendees will also see a variety of other SSAT educational options throughout the meeting, including perennial favorites like Clinical Ward Rounds and Controversies in GI Surgery sessions. There will also be a variety of other symposia, poster presentations, video sessions and lectures.