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Presidential Matters: Stephanie V. Blank

Presidential Matters
Feb 22, 2023

The Future is Now: Determining the Fate of Gynecologic Oncology

At the risk of this being a bit of a spoiler alert, this Presidential Matters will focus on the SGO Future of the Profession initiative. Details will follow in a manuscript in Gynecologic Oncology and an interactive session at the SGO 2023 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.

You may recall listening to a podcast in March 2021 featuring past SGO presidents Warner Huh, MD, FACOG, FACS, and David Cohn, MD, MBA, discussing the crossroads of gynecologic oncology. Even then, gynecologic oncologists were witnessing changes in surgeries due to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and the adaptation of sentinel nodes, engaging in more benign gynecology responsibilities, experiencing increased demands from OBGYN departments for teaching and back-up, and examining new treatments with greater complexities than good ole taxol/carbo.

To be sure, today’s field of gynecologic oncology bears little resemblance to what many of us envisioned when we were selecting career paths.

Yes, times have changed. Advances have been made, and importantly, our patients for the most part are living longer and better. So, change is not so bad! We can even go so far as to embrace changes – to adapt and even flourish – as long as we can effectively demonstrate our value. As long as we are in the driver’s seat.

Last fall, a representative group of gynecologic oncologists from across the country and varied practice settings convened at a summit to address these issues. Starting with a group SWOT analysis, this talented group of individuals began to build a framework for reassessing the original vision of gynecologic oncology.

The next step is an interactive session at the SGO 2023 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer, during which involved SGO volunteer leaders will ask for more input from more voices, thereby ensuring that these efforts serve our diverse SGO membership.

There is certainly no one way to be a gynecologic oncologist. As such, representation matters. Come and be heard. We expect a lively interactive session – something not to be missed. Hope to see you there.

Stephanie V. Blank, MD
SGO President