Fortunately for me, my Presidency was fairly calm and there were no great crises to contend with. Behind the scenes I did manage to improve the relationship between SRC and ASMBS. It had been very rocky. Poor Kelvin Higa spent most of his year fighting with the SRC leadership. I reached out to them and created a new dialog. My efforts to repair the relationship had a role in the ability to the two organizations to come together and sign a new the business contract that held up until last year
My biggest achievement however, was the creation and construction of the ASMBS Obesity Compendium. This is a web based, interactive, e-learning, CME program covering most of the components of bariatric surgery. This program is unprecedented in scope and design and has been a major source of educational materials for bariatric clinicians. This program was totally financed by industry and also was a source of revenue for ASMBS. It is accessed from the ASMBS web site.
I joined the ASBS as a senior resident. My first meeting was the one at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. There were maybe 100 or so surgeons attending (few if any Integrated Health people). The meeting was a lot of fun and the food at the breaks was great. However, there was essentially no science presented – only the reporting of small retrospective experiences. Since that time, I have witnessed (and hopefully contributed to) the growth, evolution, and maturation of the now ASMBS into a well-recognized major surgical society. The ASMBS has help elevate bariatric surgery to a level of respectability, we never anticipated we could ever achieve. It created the path through difficult times and always advocated for our colleagues and our patients. Additionally, the society was maybe the first surgical society to develop a Center of Excellence program to promote improved patient safety. Because of the good work of the leadership of the ASMBS, we can now proudly proclaim that we are bariatric surgeons.
The memories and years are too numerous to mention in a few words.
Scott Shikora, MD