A Note From the President

And the Survey Says...

Published in July/August Issue             

We recently sent out a survey to get membersí thoughts on the ASMBS Annual Meeting and the Obesity Week Concept. We utilized the state chapter presidents to initiate the survey and follow-up with their members individually. This was done because the typical response rate to ASMBS surveys and elections is around 10%. So, we thought we would try something new to get more people to respond to the critical questions for our society. Rachel Moore, our State Chapter Committee Chair, was instrumental in implementing this new process.

Overall, I would say that this new method worked pretty well for a first effort and we were able to increase participation with each round of reminders. We were able to get a 26% response rate from the available membership so it moved us in the right direction. Having said that, we will work toward an even more robust response so we will continue to refine this method to get your input on the most important issues for our societyís future.

The survey itself consisted of 10 questions about our annual meeting. The bottom line is that, after running a combined meeting with TOS at Obesity Week for four years, it was time to take a look at what people like and donít like about the combined meeting.

There were over 520 individual comments submitted. We have compiled these into the good, the bad, and the ugly and I am asking every member of the Executive Council and the Program Committee to read them.

Overall, a majority of members like having a joint meeting and are in favor of continuing the concept. They like the quality of the program content and the surgical sessions, and believe the joint meeting has the visibility and prominence of the conference and our specialty.

Areas members would like us to revisit include the timing of the meeting. Some would prefer a month other than October/November. Others feel in some ways the meeting has become too large and some of the ASMBS meeting culture has been lost as a result. Additionally, there was a desire to try to increase private practice representation at the meeting, and others told us that funding to attend meetings like ours is becoming increasingly difficult
to obtain.

We hear you and we will continue to work to improve our meeting every year!

We will look into other timing options for the meeting, but a meeting of this size requires us to commit to a city and venue at least 8 years in advance. So, we are committed to the October/November timeframe until 2025, but will look at other possibilities and determine the best possible timing.

In terms of amplifying the ASMBS culture at the meeting, we are making some changes. We will have our own area this year for the welcome reception and we are incorporating a stronger private practice/practice management program in response to those requests. And while the program continues to receive high praise, we are working hard to keep the program and the speakers fresh and interesting.

The bottom line is that we want to make the meeting a must attend. That means we must continue to evolve the meeting and develop new and innovative ways to run it and make it more accessible.

Thanks to all of those who returned this survey. I hope we get more responses using the state chapter process for our elections and other key surveys in the future. Itís your society, so make your voice heard.

Hope you have a great summer.