Voices: First Impressions from the SGO Winter Meeting

First Impressions from the SGO Winter Meeting | B.J. Rimel, MD

Breckenridge, Colorado, was the site of this year’s SGO Winter Meeting on Feb. 20-22. A record-breaking 216 Society members attended despite of (or perhaps because of) the immense amount of fresh snow (over 280% of snowpack). I must confess that this was my first Winter Meeting. Not being a particularly athletic soul, racing downhill at high speed has never had much appeal. That said, I will be back next year. It’s a GREAT meeting.
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Organizers John Brown, MD, FACOG, FACS, and William Peters, III, MD, have created an incredible format for a critical, practical review of relevant science. Molecular tumor profiling for gynecologic cancers, robotic surgery cost effectiveness, intraperitoneal versus dose dense chemotherapy for primary ovarian cancer, physical activity for endometrial cancer survivors, integrative medicine and social media for physicians were among the topics presented.

For the first time in my short life, I witnessed open discussion amongst the participants after every single presentation. Unlike the sound of crickets that usually follows many large meeting presentations, this was an intimate and thoughtful group that discussed the issues raised with both professionalism and good humor. This is an especially impressive accomplishment given the complexity and emotion that surrounds issues such as loss of privacy for physicians on social media and how aggressive should primary surgery be for ovarian cancer.

Next year the meeting will be in Snowbird, Utah. The location is a return to the original site of the very first Winter Meeting. Having recently learned an important lesson about office politics, I already blocked my calendar for the dates (Feb. 19-21, 2015). This is so that my senior partners don’t put me on call so they can all go to the meeting and leave me covering.