SGO Issues April 30, 2015
2015 RVUs for procedures commonly performed by SGO members now available
SGO Winter Meeting co-founder John L. Currie dies
ACOG, SGO release Committee Opinion on endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia
SGO Robotics Academy presents free, live webinar on port placement
Voices: SGO Annual Meeting: A Latin American perspective
World Ovarian Cancer Day on May 8
The updated 2015 Relative Value Units (RVUs) for procedures commonly performed by SGO members are now available on the SGO website. This resource contains codes for surgery, evaluation and management, radiology, and chemotherapy. For questions about GYN/ONC coding please contact SGO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fellow organizers and regular attendees of the SGO Winter Meeting are remembering John L. Currie, MD, who passed away at the age of 72 on April 22 after a long illness. Dr. Currie was one of the five co-founders of the SGO Winter Meeting, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this February at the Snowbird Resort in Salt Lake City, UT.
Dr. Currie worked with William “Buck” Peters, MD; John “Jeb” Brown, MD; Roland Barrett, MD; and Christopher Crum, MD, to develop the SGO Winter Meeting as an annual educational experience in a more intimate setting that would also allow participants to enjoy winter sports activities.
“I will always remember Dr. Currie as a colleague and a friend. He was a well-respected GYN oncologist who was truly a Renaissance Man. He was a talented musician, carpenter and even playwright,” said Dr. Brown. “My fondest memory, though, will always be the session on musical therapy that he organized for the Winter Meeting. It was so enjoyable watching him play the banjo, and sing songs about GYN oncology. His candid opinions, insight, and personality will be dearly missed.”
Dr. Peters noted that in addition to Dr. Brown, Dr. Currie was the only other SGO member who had attended every SGO Winter Meeting since its inception, and even when health issues prevented him from skiing, Dr. Currie continued to contribute to the scientific sessions.
“He could have easily made a career in music,” said Dr. Peters. “He painted and wrote one novel and was planning another. He built four or five homes himself and was a certified ski instructor. He went to law school in his late 50s, passed the New Hampshire bar exam, and practiced law part time. I doubt if he slept more than four hours a night.
“Because of all the other facets of his life, his medical career is often mentioned last and it shouldn’t be. He loved the clinical practice of medicine and was an exceptional clinician. He felt strongly about education in GYN surgery as well as in GYN oncology. John L. always could see the big picture—whether it was for an individual patient, our subspecialty, or medicine in general.”
The father of five grown children, Dr. Currie was born on Oct.14, 1942, in Carthage, NC. He earned his MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) in 1967. His early career included an internship and residency at the University of Pennsylvania and a two-year stint in the United States Air Force, plus seven years in private practice in Chapel Hill.
Dr. Currie was also a gynecologic oncology fellow at Duke University before joining the medical faculty at UNC-CH. SGO Past President Dan Clarke-Pearson, MD, was his “junior fellow,” which was the start of a lifelong friendship. This past September, Dr. Currie’s bluegrass band gave a “wedding gift” to Dr. Clarke-Pearson’s daughter, Emily, by playing at their wedding celebration.
In 1987 Dr. Currie became Chief of the Division of GYN Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and later was named Chairman of the Department of OB-GYN at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical School in New Hampshire. He served academic and surgical appointments at the University of Connecticut and Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, finishing his medical career by establishing a GYN oncology practice at the John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus, GA.
A full obituary is available here.
On April 21, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and SGO released a Committee Opinion on Endometrial Intraepithelial Neoplasia, which will be published in the May 2015 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Geared towards an audience comprised of OB/GYNs and gynecologic oncologists, the document covers the transition from an endometrial hyperplasia classification system describing “atypical hyperplasia” to a system describing “endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia.”
“Both groups of providers will be seeing these patients, and the generalists need to know both how to manage [them], and also which patients should be referred to a subspecialist,” said SGO Clinical Practice Committee chair Lee-may Chen, MD, from the University of California San Francisco. “This guide will hopefully help with management decisions and follow-up.
“ACOG and SGO have been collaborating to develop this committee opinion for several years. With the important work published by Drs. Cornelia Trimble and Richard Zaino through GOG 167, we now recognize that 43 percent of women with an endometrial biopsy of atypical endometrial hyperplasia actually have an underlying invasive endometrial carcinoma at hysterectomy, and that pathologists are not very consistent at discerning hyperplasia from cancer at this point in the spectrum of disease,” Dr. Chen added. “The endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia classification system has been developed both to help guide clinical management, as well as improve reproducibility in diagnosis.”
On May 19 SGO Connect Ed presents a free, live webinar at 7:00 p.m. ET titled, “Ports Ports Ports: Variations of Port Placement for Successful Clinical Application.” This 1.5-hour program is the first installment of the new SGO Robotics Academy: Clinical Application of Robotic Surgery in Gynecologic Oncology.
Course faculty Peter Lim, MD, FACOG, from the Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, NV, and Kenneth Kim, MD, FACOG, from the University of North Carolina Medical School in Chapel Hill, NC, will cover the following topics:
- Variations and maximization of port placement
- Placement for pelvic targets
- Placement for mid-abdomen and mid- to upper-abdominal surgery targets
There will be a 30-minute question and answer session after a one-hour lecture with a demonstration and video. This non-CME program will be available on demand via SGO ConnectEd through May 19, 2016.
Register for this free educational activity here.
By Erick Estrada, MD
Latin America is a region with tremendous potential, diverse cultures and languages, our own unique problems but a very genuine mission to eradicate women´s cancer. The local economy plays an important role in dictating access to health care but we are determined to overcome any barriers, because our mission is based upon knowledge instead of bureaucracy.
The 2015 SGO Annual Meeting was the first time I was invited to be a speaker at such an important meeting. Chicago is a beautiful city. The knowledge we gained in the “Windy City” will never blow away. It will stand deep in our minds and settle in our hearts. This was an opportunity for friends and colleagues from Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala and the United States to exchange information and experience and, above all, to collaborate with each other.
The meeting had a tremendous amount of people involved and record-breaking attendance, and the research presented was one-of-a-kind. Participating in my first SGO Annual Meeting was truly an experience that left me with so many ideas I want to replicate in my home country, and to continue fighting for those women in need. The perspective that I have is shared by my friends who left their families and loved ones to attend this meeting and discuss these important topics in women´s health.
I don´t have the words to express my gratitude to those who organized this year’s SGO Annual Meeting and those friends who kindly invited us–I will always think of them as mentors. Latin America is a region struggling to stand by itself, but SGO has been a platform to those of us who want more participation in the name of science.
Friday, May 8, marks the third annual World Ovarian Cancer Day, aimed at raising global awareness about a disease that claims the lives of 140,000 women each year. Supporters of this movement are encouraged to sign an online pledge to increase ovarian cancer awareness, and to participate in local events. SGO’s website includes resources for ovarian cancer patients, and the DVD/booklet “Understanding Ovarian Cancer” for members to distribute to patients are available through the SGO store.