The Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (SESPRS) just had their annual meeting. Aside from getting the opportunity to speak about price transparency in healthcare, my favorite topic, I learned something about the organization that was unexpected.
What makes the SESPRS meeting unique?
I understand that a plastic surgery meeting doesn’t hold much interest for anyone outside of the field of plastic surgery. And a plastic surgery meeting relegated to just the Southeast holds even less interest for those outside of that region. But the SESPRS meeting is more than just a bunch of doctors talking about boob jobs and BBL’s (Brazilian Butt Lifts)!
The meeting is held annually at a resort. This year it was The Cloisters in Sea Island, Georgia. If you haven’t heard of it, The Cloisters was the location for the G8 economic conference of the eight largest economic powers in the world in 2004. The location, as in year’s past, is chosen because it’s family friendly.
SESPRS is one of the few trade organization meetings, and the only plastic surgery meeting that I’m aware of that is designed around the family. Sure there are academic and industry-led presentations and a collegial atmosphere meant to foster scholarly discussion. But more than any meeting I’ve ever been to, there’s also a deliberate attempt to include the plastic surgeon’s family.
A tennis tournament, a golf tournament, parties meant for the whole family. Sure I don’t have any kids and my wife didn’t attend the meeting with me. But the family atmosphere is not lost on me. Making the family a part of the SESPRS meeting is a unique experience that more meetings should emulate. Because, contrary to popular belief, just because surgeons work long hours, they do like their families – the family from their first and second marriage! I jest of course. I can’t afford a second wife.
The focus on bringing your whole family brought back images of summer camp. Since many of these plastic surgeons have attended for so many years, their kids have grown up with other plastic surgeons’ kids over the course of their lives. So when they attend the meeting year after year, the kids reconnect. At this point, they’re not only sharing high school experiences but also their experiences from college and beyond.
SESPRS is a reminder to all plastic surgeons that the only reason we made it this far is the support of our spouse and families.