New England Surgical Society
New England Surgical Society

Late Summer 2017 Newsletter

President's Message

Bruce J. Leavitt, MD, President NESS
Bruce J. Leavitt, MD

The sun is setting a bit earlier in the evening now and the nights are cooler. The air conditioner in the bedroom window has been turned off and the window opened bringing in fresh, cooler air. That means that fall is approaching as well as our 98th Annual Meeting. Summer in New England is short and I hope that everyone made the most of the beautiful weather in our exceptional part of the world.

Our upcoming meeting will occur at the Omni Mt. Washington Hotel, September 8-10, 2017. As we all know the Omni Mt. Washington Hotel is a classic New England Surgical Society meeting place. This year's meeting will have numerous excellent scientific papers from across New England. We will have our specialty group breakfasts which will include sessions on MOC and on surgical resident autonomy. The panel discussion Saturday morning will be on surgeon wellness, moderated by our NESS meeting program director, Dr. Dougald MacGillivray.

The speaker at the annual Saturday evening President's Reception and Dinner will be Dr. Ajai Malhotra, who will relate his experience at Mount Everest Base Camp when an earthquake occurred. Sunday morning we are excited to have Dr. John Meara give the 33rd Annual Samuel Jason Mixter Lecturer, speaking about Global Surgery in the future.

It has been an incredible privilege to be the President of this wonderful Society. It is been a labor of love that I have truly enjoyed. I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for being a member of our Society. I look forward to seeing you in September.


Bruce J. Leavitt MD, FACS

Editor's Corner: Sisyphus Has Nothing on Us!
Thomas J. Miner, MD, Editor NESS
Thomas J. Miner, MD

In Greek mythology Sisyphus was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity. Albert Camus used the myth of Sisyphus as an example of the absurd hero and suggested that the gods had "thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor." The central concern of The Myth of Sisyphus is what Camus calls "the absurd." Camus claims that there is a fundamental conflict between what we want from the universe (meaning, order, or reason) and what we find in the universe (chaos) and concludes that life is meaningless. If life has no meaning, does that mean life is not worth living?

Recently, I've noticed more references to Sisyphus during conversations regarding our profession and more specifically on surgical education. It's an easy analogy to make. On bad days, we feel the rock crashing back down on us as our best intended labors fail. We acknowledge the repetition of what we do with the changing of the guard as our well trained and trusted Chief Residents are replaced each July with a new group of interns. As I edited another version of the Resident Handbook and talked at another intern orientation I joked to my wife that I feel like the Bill Murray character in the film Groundhog's Day. (Good for me the same jokes and stories tend to keep working year after year. Where would I be?) As surgeons we are accustomed to the repetitive efforts needed to care for patients. We repeat the same lessons, correct the same mistakes, and then start over again, and again, and again...

But for surgeons the myth of Sisyphus should be good for no more than a quick chuckle. When surgeons accept the analogy, they run the risk of cynicism, hopelessness and complacency. There is nothing absurd in what we do, nothing futile and certainly nothing meaningless. The heavy lifting we are accustomed to usually results in great things such as outstanding patient care, well-trained surgeons, or a better community. The truth is, we love pushing the rock up the hill and donít mind doing it over and over again. The value of the accomplishment is rewarding as we perpetually complete that task.

As the organization prepares to meet in New Hampshire, let's plan to push some of that mythical granite up Mount Washington! Iím excited to see what we can accomplish together.

Thomas J. Miner MD

2017 Annual Meeting & Preliminary Program

2017 Annual Meeting

Join us for the 2017 Annual Meeting, September 8-10, at the Omni Mount Washington in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. An exciting program has been assembled including stimulating scientific sessions, 41 poster presentations, a panel discussion, networking social events, and award presentations. Attendees will experience a memorable, rewarding, and educational Annual Meeting experience while earning CME with self-assessment.

View the Preliminary Program

Program Highlights

  • Specialty Breakfast Session: Global Surgery: Getting Involved
  • Panel Discussion: Surgeon Wellness
  • 33rd Annual Samuel Jason Mixter Lecture: "Global Surgery 2030: Evidence and Solutions for Achieving Health, Welfare and Economic Development," delivered by Dr. John G. Meara (Sponsored by the NESS Scholars Foundation)
  • Mount Washington Cog Railway Tour: Includes transportation to/from the Omni Mount Washington, boxed lunch, and cog railway ticket; separate registration fee required

Register online now, or, if you prefer, you may download a registration form and fax the completed document to 978-524-0461.

NESS Member Needs Assessment Survey

The New England Surgical Society is conducting a survey of its members to identify and prioritize issues of importance to the Society and profession, and to determine how we can best meet the needs of our members. When you receive your individual link to the survey, please take a few minutes to provide your confidential feedback, as this will lay the groundwork for the future of the Society.

Thank you in advance for helping us with this project. Your assistance with this important research is very much appreciated, and please be assured that at no time will the NESS tie your responses to your name.

Recorder's Message
Walter E. Longo, MD, Recorder NESS
Walter E. Longo, MD

Dear NESS Membership:

Back to Bretton Woods, always a membership favorite. This year the program committee has received a tremendous number of quality abstracts, of which those accepted will be considered for publication. The competition continues to be keen for those that ultimately will go into print. As an organization, one of our goals is to improve on the 27% publication rate of manuscripts received by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, which was reported in our recent Winter Newsletter. Those authors who will be submitting manuscripts are encouraged to work with the Publications Committee member who has been specifically assigned to review your manuscript to best optimize its chance of acceptance by the Journal. The final deadline for submission to the Journal of American College of Surgeons following the annual meeting is October 10th.

I would like once again to thank all members of the Publication Committee for their unending work in reviewing submitted manuscripts. Those Committee members who have completed their three-year appointments will rotate off and those new members to serve as their replacements to the committee will be solicited by their State Representative. This year, The Paper of the Year Award will again be presented at the annual meeting. Please continue to be aware of the passing of NESS members within your individual state and to report any known deaths to your state representative so his/her necrology may appear in the annual meeting book.


Walter E. Longo, MD
NESS Recorder

A Message from the Committee on GME & Candidate Membership

Greetings, from the Committee on Graduate Medical Education and Candidate Membership! We are proud to inform the membership of the Society that we are now into our second year of accepting Candidate Members, who are residents and fellows in the region and have demonstrated commitment to and engagement in NESS! It is our hope that our Candidate Members who become attending surgeons in the region will continue their involvement in the New England Surgical Society and ultimately go on to become full and contributing members. It is through the cultivation of the relationships with these Candidate members that our Society will continue to experience the vitality and scholarly engagement that we all seek in our professional lives, no matter the nature of our practices.

Since last year's Annual Meeting, the following residents have been confirmed as Candidate Members of the New England Surgical Society and will be recognized at our upcoming Annual Meeting in Bretton Woods:

Courtney Collins, MD, Hartford, CT
Isidore Dinga Madou, MD, New Haven, CT
Neeta J. Erinjeri, MD, New Haven, CT
Trenton Foster, MD, Milford, CT
Ryan J. Hendrix, MD, Worcester, MA
Maureen V. Hill, MD, Lebanon, NH
Abraham E. Jaffe, MD, Worcester, MA
Asif K. Mustafa, MD, PhD, New Haven, CT
Conor O'Neill, MD, Burlington, VT
Andrea M. Steely, MD, Burlington, VT
Daniel C. Thomas, MD, MPH, New Haven, CT
Alia Whitehead, MD, Burlington, VT
Calvin Young, MD, New Haven, CT

We encourage all members who have the opportunity to work with residents and fellows to explore whether these hard-working surgeons would be appropriate for Candidate Membership. It is as simple as nominating a member, and we take it from there!

We are looking forward to seeing all of you, our colleagues, at the 2017 Annual Meeting. In keeping with our commitment to providing important offerings to residents, fellows, and attendings alike, the Committee will be sponsoring a breakfast session on Saturday, September 9th at 7:00 am. This year's topic is concentrating on Resident Autonomyócritical for residents to experience in order to provide for excellent patient care in the future. This interactive breakfast session should prove to be an exciting opportunity to share ideas and philosophies on this important topic.

Moving forward, the Committee is highly committed to providing a platform by which residency and fellowship programs are able to share information and collaborate efficiently in the interest of supporting graduate medical education in the attainment of common goals. We encourage Program Directors, Associate Program Directors, and any interested surgical educator in the New England Surgical Society to identify areas of common interest that can be leveraged toward future collaborations. Your representatives on the GME and Candidate Membership Committee look forward to hearing your ideas and challenges!

See you at Mount Washington!

Anne Campbell Larkin, MD, FACS
Chair, Committee on Graduate Medical Education and Candidate Membership

New Members Elected in 2017

Twenty-eight new Active members were elected into the Society in 2017. Please welcome the following:

Wasef Abu-Jaish, MD, Burlington, VT
Gregory T. Banever, MD, Springfield, MA
Aziz Benbrahim, MD, Meriden, CT
Brian J. Carmine, MD, Boston, MA
Emily R. Christison-Lagay, MD, New Haven, CT
Nicolas Jabbour, MD, Springfield, MA
Hiroko Kunitake, MD, MPH, Boston, MA
Peter D. Leff, MD, Meriden, CT
Jamie Loggins, MD, Lewiston, ME
Stephanie N. Lueckel, MD, Providence, RI
Anoop M. Meraney, MD, Hartford, CT
Suniti N. Nimbkar, MD, South Weymouth, MA
Ashling O'Connor, MD, Worcester, MA
Juan Palma Vargas, MD, Portland, ME
Patrick M. Forgione, MD, Burlington, VT
David L Giles, MD, West Hartford, CT
Kristen Glasgow, MD, Bridgeport, CT
Jordan R. Gutweiler, MD, Cambridge, MA
Robert Hagberg, MD, Hartford, CT
Roy Phitayakorn, MD, Boston, MA
Christine M. Rader, MD, Hartford, CT
Erika L. Rangel, MD, Boston, MA
Michael P. Robich, MD, MSPH, Portland, ME
Patricia Sheiner, MD, Hartford, CT
Margaret A. Tandoh, MD, Burlington, VT
Kelly M. Tyler, MD, Springfield, MA
Joseph R. Wagner, MD, Hartford, CT
Sandra L. Wong, MD, Lebanon, NH

Thirteen new members were elected as Candidate members since the last Annual Meeting. Please welcome the following:

Courtney Collins, MD, Hartford, CT
Isidore Dinga Madou, MD, New Haven, CT
Neeta J. Erinjeri, MD, New Haven, CT
Trenton Foster, MD, Milford, CT
Ryan J. Hendrix, MD, Worcester, MA
Maureen V. Hill, MD, Lebanon, NH
Abraham E. Jaffe, MD, Worcester, MA
Asif K. Mustafa, MD, PhD, New Haven, CT
Conor O'Neill, MD, Burlington, VT
Andrea M. Steely, MD, Burlington, VT
Daniel C. Thomas, MD, MPH, New Haven, CT
Alia Whitehead, MD, Burlington, VT
Calvin Young, MD, New Haven, CT

NESS Job Board

If you are seeking a job in surgery, visit the NESS Job Board to:

  • Search for and quickly apply to great, relevant jobs;
  • Set up Job Alerts so you are immediately notified any time a job is posted that matches your skills or interests;
  • Create an anonymous job seeker profile or upload your anonymous resume so employers can find you; and
  • Access job searching tools and tips.

Job seeking is always free.

If you need to hire surgeons, visit the NESS Job Board to:

  • Place your job in front of NESS members;
  • Search our resume database of qualified candidates;
  • Manage jobs and applicant activity right on our site;
  • Limit applicants only to those who are qualified; and
  • Fill your jobs more quickly with great talent

Our hope is that this resource will make a significant difference for NESS members as they navigate their career paths.

Foundation News, including Scholars Research Grant

The New England Surgical Scholars Foundation continues to actively support the NESS by providing funds for educational and research endeavors. During the past year, Dr. Arlet G. Kurkchubasche has served as President and Dr. Charles Salem as Secretary-Treasurer.

At the end of fiscal year 2016, total assets of the Foundation were $231,256. Contributions during the year increased to $29,855. Continuing robust contributions are necessary, since expenses for the year increased to $47,741. Major expenses included:

In 2017, the ACS/NESS Health Policy and Management Scholarship was awarded to Dr. Alik Farber of Boston Medical Center in Boston, MA, and a first-year Scholars Research Grant was awarded to Dr. Eric G. Sheu of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, for his project entitled, "The Role of Intestinal Immunity in the Anti-Diabetic Effects of Sleeve Gastrectomy."

Cumulative contributions to the Foundation are listed in the annual meeting program booklet, and members who have contributed since last year's meeting are further recognized by an assembly ribbon, on-site signage, and walk-in slides.

Members may donate by credit card via the Members Only Area; to donate by check (or to donate with credit card by mail), please download the Contribution Form.

The NESS Scholars Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation organized to provide financial support to enhance the clinical and education opportunities of the membership of NESS in their efforts to strengthen the discipline of surgery in New England.

New England Surgical Society Office
500 Cummings Center, Suite 4400
Beverly, MA 01915
Tel. (978) 927-8330 | Fax: (978) 524-0498