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Three Memorable Events From This Year’s ASPS Annual Meeting

Well, we’ve been back now for almost a week and it seems like a good time to fill you in on the highlights of our annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). All in all a good, but busy meeting for us. We were in downtown Denver, a city I love for number of reasons (sentimental and otherwise), and were only really able to get away once to Boulder (a place we love even more).

Patients of Courage
The meeting started off with a bang with the opening ceremonies. I gave a plug for the Public Education Fund, but despite what my family thinks, the real highlight was the introduction of this year’s Patients of Courage. These are individuals who have been helped by plastic surgery and have done a lot to “give back” to inspire and support people who are going through the same things they have been through.

Our keynote speaker was Bob Woodruff, the ABC News reporter who was severely injured by an explosion while reporting from Iraq. His story was incredible, and his recovery truly miraculous but the icing on the cake was having him introduce our Patients of Courage, one of whom was a soldier who had wounded in Iraq, and whom Bob had interviewed in Iraq before his own injury. Another Patient of Courage is the subject of a new HBO documentary and is featured in this month’s Elle Magazine for her work bringing healthcare to the needy. These are the people who make us, the plastic surgeons, look good. There were standing ovations and not a dry eye in the house for these heroes.

The other standing ovation that I saw, and participated in, was for Dr.Laurent Lantieri, a plastic surgeon from France who spoke about his pioneering work in face transplantation. It was a truly fascinating presentation which included discussions of other types of transplantation including hand transplantation. The skill and devotion to these undertakings is humbling for me as a surgeon.

Black Tie And A Kilt
That night was our gala black tie dinner and dance. I always enjoy black tie occasions especially when I get to wear my kilt, which I did! And, no, I will not discuss what I wear beneath it so don’t ask!

The real hit of the evening was musical in nature. The band, 50 Amp Fuse, was great but our executive vice president (he’s the guy who really runs the show) Michael Costello gave a sensational performance. This soft spoken, mild mannered fellow was rocking the house on lead guitar to Journey’s finest (something my wife would consider an oxymoron).

Facebook And Plastic Surgery Presentation
Alas, we could not stay to the end of party as my wife Lisa, and I were teaching a course the next morning, at 7 AM (Really? Who chose this time?).  The course was on the use of Facebook by plastic surgery practices. For the time of day it was well attended and it went well.

We had an attorney who is a plastic surgeon in Houston discuss some of the pitfalls, and Lisa and I shared our experience and acquired knowledge about how we use this. Like all good sports commentator teams, I did the play by play, and Lisa did the color commentary. Remember, the ones doing the latter are the pros who really know what they are talking about. We were able to end this with some help from our Facebook fans. We posted a Truth-O-Meter Tuesday question prior to starting the course and were able to share the posts with those attending. This was a really good way to illustrate just how this works so thank you for your comments!

All the best,

David B.

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