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SVS: Building bridges between twin tracks of academic and private practice

By Beth Bales

For Laurel Hadley Hastings, MD, membership in the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) provides a great collection of valuable benefits.

THEY INCLUDE AN ONGOING CONNECTION to academia and research, potential mentoring, interacting and working with more experienced surgeons and with leaders, camaraderie, the Journal of Vascular Surgery (JVS) publications that keep her up to date with the latest research and developments and the SVSConnect message board.

“I’m enjoying being an Active Member,” said Hastings, previously a Candidate Member who became an Active Member in July.

“I’m in private practice in central Louisiana and I wanted to still have some academic ties,” she said. “SVS kind of bridges the gap between academic and private practice. It gives me access to the whole realm of vascular surgery. That’s one of the nicest things for me.”

While a Candidate Member, she said, training consumed so much of her time and attention, she didn’t feel she had the extra bandwidth to become more involved with the Society as a whole. That’s changed. She thoroughly enjoys the camaraderie—not to mention answers to important clinical questions—via a couple of SVS online discussion groups that were created shortly after the start of the pandemic. She also hopes to become part of an SVS committee next year, to volunteer within the Society itself.

Hastings is looking forward to feeding her interest in research, hoping to become a reviewer with the JVS publications. “The more literature and research you’re exposed to, the better researcher you can become,” she said. And she’s keenly aware that the SVS Foundation offers many award opportunities for young researchers.

As is the case with many Candidate members and trainees, Hastings has attended several previous iterations of the Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM), including the 2017 session in San Diego, the site for the upcoming 2021 version. She’s excited to return to the West Coast city and to VAM itself.

After all, she pointed out, her involvement in the worldwide discussion board has introduced her—and other members—to colleagues around the world. “If you need help at 2 a.m., there’s probably someone in South Africa or Hong Kong who can help,” she explained. “It’s the best thing that will ever come out of this COVID crisis.”

VAM 2021, she said, means a chance for these presences on her computer to become real. “It’s going to be great to see each other in person,” she said.