International Members of AAGL

Article Conference CoverageFrom American Association of Gynecological LaparoscopistsOrlando, Florida, November 2000

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Dr. Larry Demco:  “I’m Dr. Demco reporting from Orlando at the 29th Conference of the AAGL.  I’d like to interview Dr. Ronald Levine, a past President of the AAGL, and the topic we’d like to discuss is the international members here at the Conference.  Dr. Levine, the AAGL has always been a World Congress, could you give us a little idea of the number and scope of the international members here?”

Dr. Ronald Levine:  “As you know, Larry, we truly are a World Congress and that we have increased essentially our numbers of foreign attendees.  We have represented at this Conference people from more than forty countries, and probably forty-percent of the attendees at this Conference are from out of country so that’s about where we’re at.”

Dr. Larry Demco:  “International members have always had a great contribution.  Is there any breakdown as to the percentage from, say, Europe and Asia?”

Dr. Ronald Levine:  “I’m not aware of the exact percentages but we have a large number of people here from Italy, Germany, France, from all over Europe, and we have members coming from the Middle East.  I think we have about twelve representatives here from Israel, and as always a large number of people from South America and Mexico.  I don’t have to talk about here, but we have a lot of Americans, North Americans, and Canadians certainly.  We have people from the Pacific Rim countries, Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese.  I don’t have the breakdown of the numbers but it’s significant.”

Dr. Larry Demco:  “One of the common concerns has been that although there’s always been a large proportion of international members, they had little say at the Board level of some of these societies.  Has this society addressed this problem?”

Dr. Ronald Levine:  “Yes, we have.  We now have made a change in our bylaws to allow the International Advisory Committee to have an election or put up representatives and they can be elected to the Board.  For instance, this past year we’ve had Dr. Dubison from Paris and he has been our representative, and we now have that slot to have a foreign representative sitting on the Board because of this large representation from foreign countries.”

Dr. Larry Demco:  “Great, one of the events here at the AAGL that in the past has been a major event is that the AAGL makes strides to recognize some of the work that some of the people have done.  A lot of the people may not be aware of the various awards and competitions that the AAGL has at this meeting.  Could you briefly review some of the awards for people that may want to go in for the competition for next year?”

Dr. Ronald Levine:  “We have a number of awards; we have one starting at the lower level which is best resident paper or best resident fellow paper, and certainly anyone who’s listening to this who is in the position of being either a resident or fellow we certainly encourage to submit their papers for a prize.  We have a best video award, a best and outstanding hysteroscopic award, and an outstanding laparoscopic award where they award a golden laparoscope and a golden hysteroscope.  There are several other awards that are available for people to get prizes.  The outstanding video is always a very interesting competition so there are a number of awards out there for people presenting their papers.”

Dr. Larry Demco:  “I think this is important because there is recognition in just presenting and publishing but I think it’s important that a society recognizes that extra work for the people that do this.  What other directions is the AAGL going or are you making strides to move to other countries with programs?”

Dr. Ronald Levine:  “We always have had and we co-sponsor programs around the world and, in fact, we are now going to co-sponsor a new program of the First World Congress in Croatia in 2002 in Dubrovnik.  We have people here from Croatia who brought information regarding that and we have conferences that we co-sponsor around the world so, yes, we’ve been really active with these countries and especially in getting new countries like Croatia involved.  This is going to be the first Croatian Laparoscopic Society and so we’re very proud to help these people to spread the word so to speak.  We will also be sponsoring a meeting in Rome in June 2003.”

Dr. Larry Demco:  “One of your successes has been in Russia, could you give us a little idea of what’s happened in Russia?”

Dr. Ronald Levine:  “Certainly, through Dr. Leila Adamyan and her interest in AAGL, she came here and then we had meetings there and then through her expertise and her interest and with the help of AAGL, laparoscopy is now going through all of Russia whereas just a few years ago it really was nonexistent there.”

Dr. Larry Demco:  “That’s great, I really appreciate you taking this time to give us an international flair to the meeting here, and I’d like to thank you very much.”

Dr. Ronald Levine:  “Thank you very much for having me, it’s my pleasure.  We would like to invite everyone to attend our next World Congress, November 15-19, 2001, in San Francisco.”

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