By Hal C. Lawrence, III, MD
ACOG CEO and Executive Vice President
On behalf of the Executive Board and Committee on Scientific Program, I am pleased to welcome you to Austin and ACOG’s 66th Annual Meeting.
The year’s meeting focuses on Medical and Surgical Innovations in Health Care. With technology rapidly advancing, it is sometimes difficult to know what can be safely integrated into a medical practice. This year’s meeting focuses on clinically relevant innovations that are practice-ready.
It is critical that we take the time to learn from the experts and sharpen our skills on everything from the business of medicine and pain management, to patient safety and surgical care. The ACOG Annual Meeting is the foremost gathering of women’s health care experts, and we are pleased to count you among the participants.
ACOG’s Committee on Scientific Program, along with our Education Department, led by Sandra A. Carson, MD, have put together a robust education program designed to optimize your learning experience.
I encourage you to make the most of your time here. New this year, all Annual Meeting sessions are organized within subject matter topics to help you organize your educational experience. Consult the meeting app to build your itinerary according to the topics you care about most. All talks are also mapped to the ABOG examination topics, so learning can be focused exactly where you need it for your education needs.
With efficiency in mind, we’ve frontloaded all colloquia, clinical seminars, and other vital talks to Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29. You told us you wanted the meeting to begin on Friday to minimize your time out of the office, and that is exactly what we did!
The final day of the meeting, Monday now focuses exclusively on three-hour and six-hour postgraduate and hands-on courses—an important addition to your Annual Meeting experience. There is still time to add one of these courses onto your itinerary if you wish; simply inquire at the Registration desk. We are pleased to report that all hands-on courses this year qualify for ABOG Maintenance of Certification Part IV credit.
To ensure you miss nothing of importance, I urge you to consider purchasing the Virtual Meeting. This valuable package includes over 100 hours of keynote talks, clinical seminars, and other content from the meeting that you can watch at your leisure after leaving Austin. Stop by the Registration desk for details.
Be sure to fully engage with your colleagues on the Annual Meeting Twitter channel (@ACOG_AM) and Facebook page (ACOGAnnualMeeting) by using the #ACOG18. These social media tools make it easier than ever to connect and participate. ACOG TV airs again this year on monitors around the convention center and on specific hotel channels.
As a testament to the vibrancy of our profession and the quality of the program, I am pleased to report that registration for this meeting has continued its recent growth trend and far surpassed registration for the last several meetings.
The meeting begins this morning at 8 am with ACOG President Haywood L. Brown, MD, calling the meeting to order and providing a review of our profession and his presidential year. This is followed by the President’s Panel, featuring 15-minute presentations by three top authorities, and then a roundtable discussion on “The New Postpartum Visit: Beginning of Lifelong Health.” Three notable authorities join Dr. Brown for this stirring panel discussion:
Wanda D. Barfield, MD, MPH, director, division of reproductive health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® organization
Mary (Minnow) Walsh, MD, president of the American College of Cardiology
If you happen to miss any of these great talks, you may stream them by visiting www.acog.org/colloquia. This new initiative was introduced last year, and proved to be quite popular. All other colloquia talks will also be streamed live and on-demand, available to all members after the meeting for a limited time.
Attendees will find other innovative sessions that incorporate many latest advances in adult education, such as Flipped Classrooms, where attendees receive educational materials before the meeting to review so the live session focuses on discussions and collaborative work instead of lectures. The new Trifecta Clinical Seminars feature three distinct presentations taking place in the same room at the same time. Attendees will have headphones that allow them to tune into any one of the three presentations and switch between them at any time.
An exciting new event this year is the ACOG Innovation Rodeo. It is the latest example of ACOG’s well-earned reputation for producing original, entertaining, and engaging educational programming. It features educational games, learning labs, digital activations, networking opportunities, and two virtual reality stations focusing on vaginal hysterectomy. You will find it near the registration area. The Innovation Rodeo will be open Thursday through Sunday.
I also encourage all attendees to stop by the ACOG Resource Center in the Innovation Rodeo near the registration desk to meet the latest class in the ACOG Hall of Fame. They will be in attendance at the Rodeo at the days and times indicated below. These luminaries have made an indelible mark on our profession:
Nancy C. Chescheir, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Obstetrics & Gynecology Friday, 11:30 am – 12 pm
John J. Sciarra, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Saturday, 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
Baha M. Sibai, MD, Professor, Department of the Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Saturday, 11:30 am – 12 pm
Catherine Yvonne Spong, MD, Deputy Director of NICHD at National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sunday, 10 am – 10:30 am
Be sure to get a photo or autograph and collect their special “Rodeo” card.
On Sunday, don’t miss the stirring inauguration of ACOG’s 69th president, Lisa M. Hollier, MD, MPH, and the introduction of new members. This ceremony, address, and call to action by our new president will make you proud to be an ACOG member.
With eclectic and “weird” Austin as a backdrop, we are looking forward to a great meeting that features the very best in innovative practices in surgery, science, and research. Take the time to connect (and reconnect) with colleagues so we can all learn from each other. We are happy you are here to join us in dedicating ourselves to understanding and incorporating Medical and Surgical Innovations in Health Care.
ACOG is also committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all participants at the Annual Meeting. All participants are expected to abide by the ACOG Meeting’s Anti-Harassment Policy, which applies in all venues and events, including ancillary or unofficial social gatherings held in conjunction with the meeting. The policy can be found at www.acog.org/meetingspolicy.
If you are being harassed, or see someone else being harassed, please call 443-308-8119. ACOG will provide prompt assistance. For reports that are not time sensitive, or if you have other comments and concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I and the entire ACOG staff welcome you to our 66th Annual Meeting, and want you to have an enjoyable, educational, and safe time in Austin.