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SVS Vows to Learn From Journal Episode

BY RONALD L. DALMAN, MD

The recent publication and retraction in the Journal of Vascular Surgery (JVS) of the article entitled “Prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons” has prompted significant dialogue and outreach from Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) members to the leadership of the Society. We have listened and continue to welcome your feedback and thoughts, particularly from members in the early stages of their career.

SVS LEADERSHIP CONCURS WITH THE DECISION of the editor-in chief of JVS to retract the publication and agrees there was clear unconscious bias and methodologic flaws in both the paper and the review process. 

In its constitution and bylaws, the SVS embraces the core values of diversity, inclusion, fairness, and equity. As a professional medical and membership Society, the SVS is fully dedicated and focused on embracing and supporting the individual and collective efforts of its members in their pursuit of excellence. The publication of this paper in the Society’s journal was not aligned with these essential core values and has prompted the SVS to accelerate changes already underway to significantly improve the culture of the JVS, the Society and the specialty.

Over one year ago, the SVS formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force to look at the breadth and scope of the SVS and make recommendations to strengthen the Society’s alignment to its core value on diversity, equity and inclusion. The report of the Task Force and its recommendations were presented to the Executive Board on July 29. The SVS leadership looks forward to communicating the outcome of this deliberation to its membership as we all shape the future of the SVS together.

While the judgment and decision-making regarding the publication of this paper is unfortunate in the negative light it cast on our specialty, both deserved and undeserved, it represents an opportunity for the Society— and all of its members—to embrace the moment and fully commit to working together to solidify positive change for the future. We will learn from this experience and emerge stronger as a result.

Thank you for making your voices heard. The SVS will continue to work hard to earn your trust, respect and ensure you are proud to be a vascular surgeon and member of the SVS.