SGO Issues July 26, 2018
Registration, call for abstracts for SGO’s 50th Annual Meeting now open
No Man is an Island | Kathleen Essel, MD
Three SGO members named to ABOG board
Allied Health Workshop includes new pharmacology pre-session
Save the date: SGO coding webinar on Sept. 25
FWC hosting patient webinar on sexual health Aug. 2
Registration is open for the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s 50th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer, March 16-19, 2019, in Honolulu, HI. Pre-conference programs on March 15 include a special interest session on coding as well as topics of interest to early career, allied health, international and patient audiences. Abstracts and surgical films may be submitted through Sept. 12.The international session abstract submission deadline is Nov. 12.
Over the past year, I have had the distinct pleasure of attending three separate lectures on burnout. At the first lecture, I listened and tried to pay attention to the speaker, acutely aware of my own sleepiness and desire to be elsewhere. During the second lecture, I at least pretended to pay attention in an attempt to show that I wasn’t just there for the free fancy dinner. It wasn’t until the third lecture that I started to pay attention: The risk factors that predominate and are independently associated with burnout in almost every study ever conducted are younger age, long work hours and being female [Ann Surg 2009; 250: 463-71; J Am Coll Surg 2016;223:440]. As I sat listening to these numbers, it finally dawned on me: that’s me.
As physicians, we jump through a lot of hoops to get to where we are. We succeeded through high school, college, and medical school followed by rigorous training in residency and fellowship; we’ve taken board exam after board exam after board exam. In many circumstances it seems like we’ve all beaten the odds. So, I’m not surprised to know that most physicians don’t recognize their own burnout – or even realize that they are at risk.
What is there to do? Our various wellness curricula have a handful of recommendations: awareness, self-care, maintaining a positive outlook, remaining resilient. While all these are excellent strategies, I recently have come to recognize another valuable tool.
“Hey Katie, I just wanted to check in with you. I know it’s been a rough 48 hours, I just wanted to make sure you’re doing okay.”
Half-way through a particularly eventful call week full of sad outcomes, my attending called me specifically to ask me how I was doing. It’s funny how such a simple gesture can mean so much. Over the course of my training, one of my greatest assets and sources of encouragement has been in the camaraderie amongst my co-residents, and now, co-fellows.
I think that if we all made an effort to reach out and care for those around us–our students, trainees, attendings, partners–at some point we would also be taken care of. I think that John Donne put it best when he said, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” None of us is ever alone, regardless of how much we might think that for ourselves, or for others.
Kathleen Essel, MD, is a Fellow in Gynecologic Oncology at Stephenson Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, OK.
Three SGO members have assumed leadership positions in the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), effective July 1: ABOG Treasurer Laurel W. Rice, MD (SGO past president) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health; ABOG Director-at-Large Ronald D. Alvarez, MD, MBA (SGO past president), from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and Fidel A. Valea, MD, who will serve as Chair of Subspecialty Divisions in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology.
Physician assistants, nurse practitioners and registered nurses are invited to register for SGO’s 2018 Allied Health Professionals Workshop: Solutions to Practice Challenges, Sept. 22-23 in Chicago. New this year, there will be a half-day pre-conference session, “The 411 on Chemotherapy, Pharmacology and Supportive Care,” on Sept. 21. Attendees can save $50 when they register before Aug. 10. Credit hours will be awarded for both the pre-session and the conference.
The pharmacology pre-conference session, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, will cover the following topics:
- Insights into selection of chemotherapy regimens in gynecologic oncology patients
- Prevention and treatment of common chemotherapy adverse effects
- Understanding the impact of pharmacokinetics on chemotherapy dosing
- Management of treatment complications in gynecologic oncology
- Differentiating between consolidation and maintenance chemotherapy options for gynecologic oncology patients
The full workshop, starting at 8:00 a.m. Saturday and ending at noon Sunday, will cover the following subject matter:
- Operative management of the gynecologic oncology patient
- Post-operative management of complications related to gynecologic surgery in the cancer patient
- Dermatology and urologic issues in gynecologic oncology
- Ovarian cancer update
- Discussion of gynecologic oncology
SGO will host a 90-minute coding webinar, “Coding Bootcamp: Back to Basics,” on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT, geared towards gynecologic oncology fellows and junior faculty, allied staff (PA and NPs) and coding staff. Andrew Menzin, MD, will discuss “Basics of Coding Office and Hospital Visits,” Eileen Segreti, MD, will present “Basics of Coding Surgery,” and Mary Cunningham, MD, will be the discussant for a 30-minute question and answer session. To receive an email when it is time to register, contact Traci Schwendner at Traci.Schwendner@sgo.org.
The Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC) will host a free 75-minute webinar on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. ET on “Sexual Health After Cancer” hosted by Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO, and Joanne K. Rash, MPAS, PA-C. The patient-focused webinar will describe common sexual changes associated with menopause, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and endocrine therapy; review the importance of partner communication for intimacy; outline strategies to assist with vaginal health after cancer care; and provide suggestions for reconnecting with one’s partner and finding sexual pleasure.
“Assessing intimacy is highly variable across medical practices,” said Rash, who is a Physician Assistant at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center in Madison, WI. “With the adoption of survivorship care plans and greater awareness overall, it is my hope that this important topic will be addressed by oncology practitioners and patients as standard of care.”
Rash added that women should discuss sexual health after cancer care with their providers. “The first step for both patients and providers is to start having the conversation about any changes noted while undergoing cancer care or after treatment is complete,” she said.