Tracy S. Wang, MD, MPH, delivered her Presidential Address to the Society during the 2021 SAAS 6th Annual Meeting, focusing on her thoughts regarding Asian American identity in relation to her role as SAAS president for the past 2 years.
In her talk, she discussed the broad range of Asian identity in America, the dangers of the model minority myth, and Asian involvement in the Civil Rights movement. Throughout history, Asian Americans were often seen as “others” as exemplified by Japanese internment camps and Asian backlash during the Covid pandemic. She stressed the importance of allyship with other societies as well as our individual responsibility to be the change we wish to see. She concluded by noting that while definite progress has been made as exemplified by the increasing number of Asian American surgical chairs (17), we need to continue working hard to advocate for Asian representation within leadership roles. The success of SAAS in supporting the careers of its members is a direct reflection of the strong involvement of the Society’s individuals as well as its collective presence at the national level.