Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery (SCVS)
2023 Winter Newsletter

50th Annual Symposium

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Sean P. Roddy, MD
M. Ashraf Mansour, MD
Jean Bismuth
Alik Farber, MD
Peter L. Faries, MD
Vincent L. Rowe, MD
Caron R. Rockman, MD
William D. Jordan, Jr., MD
Gilbert R. Upchurch Jr., MD
Marc Schermerhorn
Palma M. Shaw, MD
Audra Duncan, MD

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From the Editor
Guillermo Escobar, MD, Editor
Guillermo Escobar, MD

SCVS: 50 years as the OG influencers of vascular surgery meetings

In the late 1960's, a group of vascular surgeons in California were interested in sharing clinical experience and research, so they started a regular dinner meeting with special invited speakers. In 1973, this was officially chartered as the SCVS, and the first meeting at Palm Springs had over 250 attendees and was reportedly standing-room-only! Over the last 50 years, our meeting has become the undisputed "quadruple threat" in vascular surgery conferences by excelling in:

1) Embracing the true future of vascular surgery: The SCVS leads the way in encouraging our future generations to ask questions, share their findings with their peers and interact with their peers. The meeting boasts multiple, FUN focused sessions, competitions and scholarships specifically designed for vascular surgery learners. It even includes BIG prizes for the winners of the Allistair Karmody competitions for the best poster and oral presentations and written papers. I personally love how the generally-muted-poster-competition gets the SCVS adrenaline twist (akin to a sudden conversion to open): in order to win the poster competition the finalists from each poster section have that evening to make an ORAL presentation and present their data to the main audience! The thrill of participating (and winning) the Top Gun competition when I was a 1st year fellow made me want to come back the next year, and I have not stopped coming since! THIS YEAR we have partnered with other regional Societies to hold qualifying competitions of their own and send us “the best of the best” to compete for the crown of the SCVS Top Gun of 2023. Our dedication is reflected by the SCVS being one of 2 Societies who are members of the SVS’s Coalition for Optimization of Vascular Surgery Trainees and Students (COVERS).

2) Comradery and mentorship: This meeting was founded on the idea of sharing vascular surgery experience with our friends and peers in a social setting! The Society fosters mentorship, allyship and friendship throughout its program and activities. We boast members from all edges of the country, and we invite friends from around the world to share their science. It is a place where co-residents and co-fellows reunite with their teachers and subsequently make new friends. For years, our Program Committee invites our members and vascular trainees to be discussants of abstracts and to moderate sessions. This is a directed effort to bring new faces to the spotlight and encourage them to rise in our ranks.

3) Family attendance: It has been said that our Society's 6th President (1985), Dr. Herbert Dardik said that the meeting should always be had at a hotel with a pool. Our meeting always has activities encouraging family attendance, so coming to a conference is not only less work and more fun but has the entire family looking forward to the next SCVS! I have numerous pictures displayed throughout my home of me with my family having a blast at the SCVS (eg. My son hugging the unrestrained Florida gator on the Hotel lawn...). The Society also solidly embraces inclusion and diversity in its foundation, and has spearheaded multiple changes to have a diverse Council and Program committee, thus allowing all to rise through the ranks of our leadership.

4) A meeting focused on practical and clinical Vascular Surgery: The very symbol of the SCVS (originally designed by Peter Samuels in 1971) and is derived from the critical maneuvers of a vascular anastomosis as described by Alexis Carrel: Triangulation of two ends of a vessel (the circle) with a suture. The pentagon represents the five pillars of vascular surgery: anatomy, physiology, pathology, medicine and surgery. The original Bylaws (1970) state that the Society's purpose "shall be the advancement of the art and science of vascular surgery, provide a forum for vascular surgeons, and to improve the delivery of health care in vascular disease to the public." The original meeting was SO focused on findings the best speakers and ensuring that they could learn from them that the meeting’s date would change in accordance to the availability of the invited lecturers! Keeping to the philosophy of learning from the best in the world, in the last 2 years we have had invited Professors from Australia, Hungary, England, and the Netherlands (in addition to many from within the US).

In addition, the SCVS meeting doesn’t stop at cutting-edge clinical papers and case presentations, it tackles literally EVERYTHING faced in a clinical practice! We have focused sessions that have included– social determinants of health, how the FDA approves devices, End of Life: when to stop, are we too cozy with industry? Issues transitioning from residency to faculty and issues affecting minority academic surgeons!

So to all of our >1700 members, I cannot wait to see you in Miami with your friends and family! Let’s enjoy watching a trainee (or even a COLLEGE STUDENT) rise to the podium for the very first time and hit it out of the park. Please come watch someone sweat through an anastomosis while being heckled by the Top Gun MC. Let’s make some new friends while we catch up with some old ones (many older than they will admit). Come listing to the current and future leaders of our field share their findings on critical issues that will change how we practice vascular surgery...and in memory of Dr. Dardik, don’t forget to hit the pool during the breaks!


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