• Congratulations to the 2022-2023 SAAS Visiting Professors!
  • Lily Cheng, MD is the recipient of the 2022 SAAS Junior Faculty Award!
  • Vivek Pamulapati, MD is the recipient of the 2022 Esther Tsai Sugg Award for the highest scoring SAAS abstract to the Academic Surgical Congress!
  • Romeo Ignacio MD, Chee-Chee Stucky MD, and Hop Tran Cao MD are the recipients of the 2022 SAAS – SUS Mid Career Award!
  • Calvin Chao, MD, is the recipient of the 2022 SAAS Resident/Fellow Development Scholarship!
  • Jaewon Lee is the winner of the 2022 SAAS Annual Meeting Travel Award!
  • Romeo Ignacio, MD is the recipient of the SAAS – SUS Leadership Agility Program Scholarship!

With the recent events, there has been a growing enthusiasm for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work within medicine. In surgery, the effects of systemic racism are evident in the current workforce and continue to be striking to those experiencing it on a daily basis. There continues to be a lack of representation of Black, Hispanic, and American Indian surgeons based on US population demographics. When looking at higher ranks and leadership positions, the diversity and representation is even more notably absent.

When DEI committees are formed, Asian Americans have been made to feel that their need for these committees is unsubstantiated, citing “over-representation.” Despite representation in academics, Asian American applicants are very vulnerable to discrimination. There has been an implication that Asian Americans are not as well rounded as other candidates, as seen with the recent District Court ruling regading the admissions process of Thomas Jefferson High School in Virginia and in the Student’s for Fair Admissions, INC v. President and Fellows of Harvard College cases and that their greatest merit lies in test scores, which is untrue.

As Asian Americans, we have a unique shared experience in medicine and surgery that is often untold and unseen. This gives many the false impression of Asian Americans as a privileged class that has sublimated beyond racism.

The narrative of the Asian American experience as one of privilege creates a sense of guilt for Asians on DEI committees not wanting to take attention. Yet, Asian Americans still face overt racism and discrimination which continue to be fueled by the events such as 9/11, and more recently COVID-19 pandemic; and more subtle racism such as continually not being chosen for leadership roles across disciplines.

Therefore, with the current spotlight on DEI issues, it is crucial we take this opportunity to speak up. The answer is not only for Asian Americans to show solidarity with marginalized groups working towards DEI, but to also tell our own narrative. Not feel ashamed to serve as an advocate for, and to be an active voice in DEI groups. This last year, SAAS partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago and offered a virtual Bystander Intervention to provide our members with the tools to intervene for all forms of discrimination, we find these sessions to be valuable and hope to offer future sessions.

As a small first step, we encourage everyone to begin by sharing their stories with each other and their trainees. It will make It easier to bring a collective voice to your local DEI group or committee. For additional support, we also strongly recommend getting involved with SAAS. Standing at the intersection of privilege and discrimination, together we can speak truth to power.

Archives

Kuo Family Lectureship: Debbie Lum

“Why do we always have to play the side part? Why aren’t we the protagonist of the story?” asks award-winning filmmaker Debbie Lum at this year’s 2022 Kuo Family Lectureship.

Kui and Wai Fong Lectureship: David Hu

The 2022 Kui and Wai Fong Lectureship was delivered by Professor David Hu from Georgia Institute of Technology. David Hu is a professor of mechanical engineering who draws inspiration from his observation of nature.

Sustainability in Surgery

Connie Shao, MD, discusses the importance of sustainability in surgery in this issue of the Lotus Scroll.

SAAS Leadership Highlights

The Society of Asian Academic Surgeons would like to congratulate our members on their many recent accomplishments.

Presidential Address: ‘A is for… American. Asian. Ally.’

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 two years.

President’s Message: December 2021

SAAS President Dr. Allan Tsung discusses this year’s SAAS annual meeting, the pandemic and the future of the society in his December 2021 President’s Message.

The Sequelae of Hate

Dr. Lindsey Zhang discusses the recent rise in hate crimes, racial discrimination and violence toward the Asian American community.

A Day in Ramadan as a Surgical Trainee

Dr. Hassan Mashbar, a trauma fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses his experience with Ramadan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q&A: Dr. George Yang

The Lotus Scroll interviews George Yang, MD, PhD, former president of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons.

SAAS Foundation 2018-2019 Visiting Professorships

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 SAAS Foundation Visiting Professors! SAAS Foundation Visiting Professorships support travel to host institutions for junior faculty to give grand rounds and increase the national visibility of rising stars in academic surgery.

SAAS on Twitter!

This year, SAAS was active more than ever on Twitter! In addition to updates and announcements, more content was created for our followers to improve engagement, highlight issues and events important to our society and members, and promote the activities at SAAS.

SAAS Executive Council: Message on the Rise of Racism

First, as the current pandemic continues to affect our communities and families, we want to express our profound gratitude to our surgical colleagues and to all healthcare professionals who are the frontlines of caring for patients with the SARS-CoV2 virus/COVID-19.

Q&A: Dr. Kenric Murayama

The Lotus Scroll is honored to interview Kenric Murayama, MD, this year’s host of the SAAS Annual Meeting.

Resident’s Corner: Work in the Time of Coronavirus

Sterile technique has leaked into the public domain, marked not only by how expensive Purell has become or how frequently we are reminded to wash our hands, but also by the ways we have come to treat one another.

President’s Message: December 2019

SAAS President Dr. Tracy Wang discusses how far the Society has come and what’s in store for 2020 in her December 2019 President’s Message.

SAAS 2019 Meeting Recap

SAAS held its 2019 Annual Meeting at the Boston Medical Center, Sept. 26-27, with more than 148 scientific presentations and breakout sessions.

SAAS 2019 Meeting Highlights

The fourth annual meeting of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, Sept. 26-27, 2019, and promises to be an incredibly fun, impactful and meaningful gathering of academic surgeons, trainees and students from both the U.S. and abroad.

Q&A: Dr. Jennifer Tseng

Jennifer Tseng, MD, MPH, is the James Utley Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine and surgeon-in-chief at Boston Medical Center.

Welcome to the Lotus Scroll

Welcome to the launch of Lotus Scroll, the official newsletter of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons (SAAS). Through the Lotus Scroll, we are excited to distribute and enhance the vision of SAAS: to promote diversity and inclusion in academic surgery through the sponsorship and development of its leaders.