SGO Issues Jan 23, 2020

SGO Issues Jan. 23, 2020

Article in press: SGO wellness curriculum pilot
Adrianne Mallen, MD, named next SGO Coding Fellow
Gynecologic Oncology January 2020: Volume 156, Issue 1
Deadline extended: Cast vote for SGO Board before midnight
Nominate a colleague for an SGO award

Article in press: SGO wellness curriculum pilot

The SGO Wellness Task Force has an article in press in Gynecologic Oncology, The Society of Gynecologic Oncology wellness curriculum pilot: A groundbreaking initiative for fellowship training, which will be published in the journal next month. The evidence-based review describes a fellow wellness curriculum that was successfully piloted at 15 gynecologic oncology fellowships and was well received by faculty and fellows. The curriculum satisfies Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements and can be implemented nationwide.

According to the journal article, the SGO Wellness Task Force designed and created a four-module curriculum for this pilot study based on experiential consensus-based assessment of fellows’ needs. The module topics were Resiliency, Managing Priorities, Empathy and Positivity, and Communicating Bad News. Topics were chosen based on some previously-studied wellness strategies and topics that were felt to be specific stressors to gynecologic oncologists.

Two faculty leaders from each fellowship program were required to attend a full-day training course with hands on training for the implementation of each module. Each module was provided to the program leaders for implementation and one module per month was used in each beta-test fellowship site. Participation in the pilot program was voluntary on the part of the fellowship leaders, and participation requirements for fellows was left to the discretion each site.

Lead authors Taylor B. Turner, MD, and Kenneth Kim, MD, MHPE, noted that Taskforce members have been working on additional modules, which will be form a full two-year curriculum with the original modules. Fellowship directors will have access to the full wellness curriculum for their use.

Dr. Turner also suggested wellness resources that could be available to health care practitioners in the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology who are more established in their careers, or work outside of a major institution.

“Wellness resources for gynecologic oncologists fall into two equally important categories: personal resources, and institutional resources. These can include books, courses, or information on burnout or wellness, and strategies to identify and work on both topics. Institutional resources are becoming more common, but many hospitals lack them,” he said. “A chief wellness officer, for example, or a wellness committee that is actively working to make work easier and less burdensome for providers, are both important institutional resources that take some responsibility for improving the workplace and reducing burnout.”

Dr. Turner added that following the lead of SGO past president Jeffrey Fowler, MD, SGO members have demonstrated an interest in wellness, both at the SGO Annual Meeting and throughout the year working with the SGO Wellness Taskforce.

“We have seen senior SGO leadership demonstrate a sincere interest in member wellbeing, and that is being carried out on the ground both by individuals finding ways to improve their wellness, and powerful research identifying at-risk populations and finding real-world solutions,” said Dr. Turner. “The recent practice survey included many wellness and burnout questions and we are starting the analysis of that data to see what progress has been made. SGO remains at the forefront of wellness among other professional societies.”

Adrianne Mallen, MD, named next SGO Coding Fellow

Adrianne Mallen, MD

The SGO Coding Taskforce has named Adrianne Mallen, MD, from the University of South Florida/Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, as the next SGO Coding Fellow. The goal of this two-year program is to nurture and educate physicians on coding and health economics issues, providing the fellow with the tools necessary to advocate on the national level, develop educational tools for membership and take a leadership role in this vital area in the future. Dr. Mallen’s fellowship starts at the SGO 2020 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Toronto.

As a Coding Fellow, Dr. Mallen will work with members of the Coding Task Force of the Health Policy and Socioeconomic Committee (HPSE) on various projects, including:

  • Educational platform development such as establishment of coding webinars
  • Practice management resource development updates to ICD-10 or CPT coding references
  • National advocacy efforts to develop new codes through CMS
  • Poster/oral presentation of coding work at American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) or SGO meetings

“Ensuring the integrity of patient care and data is an integral and essential role of any health care system,” said Dr. Mallen. “And ensuring accurate payment for physicians is also important for any health care system.

Dr. Mallen explained why medical coding can be challenging for a subspecialty like gynecologic oncology.

“Cancer distorts normal anatomy. Patients can be medically complex and relatively sicker at time of diagnosis compared to other surgical specialties,” she said. “Obesity is becoming more of a crisis and increases a patient’s risk for many of the gynecologic cancers, which then makes their surgery more challenging. Benign gynecologic cases that are complex are oftentimes referred to gynecologic oncologists. Gynecologic oncologists may be called upon by their ob/gyn colleagues for intraoperative consultation for complicated scenarios.”

Dr. Mallen added that her program director at the University of South Florida/Moffitt Cancer Center, Thomas Rutherford, PhD, MD, can name any code by memory and encourages all the fellows to attend the SGO coding workshop. “It is nice to see how much more efficient a daily workflow is by having an expert understanding of coding, and we see that directly when working with our Program Director.”

Dr. Mallen noted that learning about the 50-year history of the Society during the 2019 SGO Annual Meeting and the advancements made in the field of gynecologic oncology was awe inspiring.

“I could not believe what happened with comparison of Relative Value Units (RVUs) for female versus male procedures and how much meaningful change was created by, one, recognizing there was even a problem, and two, fixing it,” she said. “By truly understanding a vital part of my duty as a gynecologic oncologist–accurate coding—I can provide the best care for my patients and also be able to be a resource for fellows and in the future, my colleagues.”

Gynecologic Oncology January 2020: Volume 156, Issue 1

Editor’s Choice:
Genomic heterogeneity in peritoneal implants: A differential analysis of gene expression using nanostring Human Cancer Reference panel identifies a malignant signature
Paulette Mhawech-Fauceglia, Iyare Izevbaye, Tassja Spindler, Guisong Wang, Helena Hwang, Damanzoopinder Samrao, Ester Elishaev, G. Larry Maxwell, Kate Lawrenson, Kathleen M. Darcy

Editorial: Not all peritoneal implants are created equal
Aaron Varghese, Ie-Ming Shih

Deadline tonight: Cast vote for SGO Board before midnight

The deadline for the 2020 SGO Board of Directors election is this evening, Jan. 23, at 11:59 p.m. CST. The ballot emailed to all members on Dec. 12, 2019, from contains the position(s) for which you are eligible to vote. Candidate information is available on the online ballot. To cast your vote, please click on or copy and paste the entire URL into your browser address bar. Full Members are eligible to cast votes for the following positions: President Elect II, Secretary-Treasurer Elect, and Board Member. Fellow-in-Training Members are eligible to vote for the Fellow-in-Training Member Representative. For more information, contact SGO Manager of Governance, Jennifer Ocampo-Martinez at 1 312 676-3916 or

Nominate a colleague for an SGO award

The SGO seeks nominees for two awards to be presented at the SGO 2020 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer® in Toronto, Canada: The Harry Long Multidisciplinary Award, recognizing an outstanding SGO member for their contributions to multidisciplinary mentorship, collegiality or teaching in the field of gynecologic oncology, and the Humanitarianism and Volunteerism Award for exemplary volunteer outreach efforts in women’s cancer care, research or teaching. If you know someone who is deserving of either award, please fill out and submit the online nomination form to SGO Headquarters by Friday, Jan. 31, 11:59 p.m. CT. Please review the nomination forms for eligibility and submission requirements.