• Congratulations to the 2023-2024 SAAS Visiting Professors!
  • Zhi Fong, MD is the recipient of the 2024 SAAS Junior Faculty Award!
  • Radhika Rastogi, MD is the recipient of the 2024 Esther Tsai Sugg Award for the highest scoring SAAS abstract to 2024 Academic Surgical Congress!
  • Christy Chai, MD is the recipient of the 2024 SAAS-SUS Mid-Career Award!
  • Areeba Saif, MD is the recipient of the 2023 SAAS-AWS Resident Research Travel Award!
  • Raja Narayan, MD, MPH is the recipient of the 2023 SAAS Resident/Fellow Development Scholarship!
  • Jeremy Chang, MD is the winner of the 2023 SAAS Annual Meeting Travel Award!
  • Russell Woo, MD is the recipient of the 2023 SAAS-SUS Leadership Agility Program Scholarship!

The inaugural Society of Asian Academic Surgeons Executive Healthcare Leadership Academy took place from Jan. 26-28, 2023 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The course consisted of sessions with current leaders in surgery, the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons leadership, and the experts in health leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions. Attendees had a unique opportunity to prepare for a future as a leader in academic medicine and to learn how to address the challenges uniquely faced by surgeon leaders. We look forward to seeing you in 2024 at the 2nd Annual Society of Asian Academic Surgeons Executive Healthcare Leadership Academy.

SAAS is happy to share program faculty and attendee reflections on the course after they participated:

I was so thrilled to be part of the faculty of this inaugural course which was developed to fulfill the mission of SAAS. I’ve attended several leadership courses over the years, this was high impact. I love learning new things and brought several pearls away with me that I’m already using! The decision to partner with the Dept of Health Services admin was brilliant as it provided a balance of academic experts with those of us practicing leadership on a daily basis- and speaking from our experience. Keeping the numbers limited allowed for a highly interactive environment and facilitated networking.

Mary T. Killackey, MD

Department of Surgery Chair and Pediatric Kidney Transplant Director, Tulane School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of New Orleans

This was an incredible two-day course interfacing with healthcare administrative leaders, surgical chiefs, and chairs, along with a motivated set of selected surgical peers. The SAAS Executive Healthcare Leadership Academy didactics on standard competencies were really helpful and established a strong framework for discussion and thought. But the key element across these special events were the deep conversations, connections, and networking in surgery that will last a lifetime.

Mayur B. Patel, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair of Professional Development / Assistant Chief of Surgical Services and Chief of Division/Section of General Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center / Tennessee Valley Healthcare System

As this program was my first SAAS experience, I thought it was fantastic. It was a very collegial atmosphere. The faculty gave excellent presentations, shared personal experiences, and were approachable. There was an excellent balance between the formal activities of the leadership seminar and the social aspects of the event which were great for networking. I would highly recommend this program to anyone at any level looking to improve on leadership skills.

Bartley Pickron, MD

Professor of Surgery and Section Chief of Colon and Rectal Surgery, University of Utah

I had really no idea what to expect from this leadership course. The reason I participated was that I was curious about Dr. Chen’s leadership role at UAB from having seen…how he has been able to change the culture in a relatively short period of time at UAB Surgery. The course itself exceeded any expectations I could have had. I loved especially Dr. Lemak’s input and encouraging interactions. And the icing on the cake was Dr. Rogers, he is such a kind and compassionate individual… I would definitely recommend this course to all junior faculty. It is never too early to start thinking about leadership.

Young M. Erben, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery and Medical Director for the Southeastern Vascular Study Group, Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville

Impactful topics for a surgeon wanting to make that journey into leadership roles. All the faculty were top-notch and willing to stay to discuss their expertise. There was great networking. We met with surgical leaders from all over the country with common missions and goals. It was great hearing their career stories and struggles. The UAB surgery team also chose great venues to expand the time for meeting others. Hearing from SAAS leadership was inspiring. Asians in healthcare have a long way to go, and it will be through avenues like SAAS that the next generation of surgeons will have a chance to be equally represented in surgical leadership roles.

Byrne Lee, MD

Associate Surgical Director of the Stanford Cancer Center and Clinical Professor of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine


SAAS Foundation 2024-2025 Visiting Professorships

Congratulations to the 2024-2025 SAAS Visiting Professors, as well as our other recent award and accolade recipients: Drs. Oliver Eng, Annabelle Fonseca, Kevin Koo, Tammy Holm, Victoria Lai, Melanie Ongchin, James Wu, Jessica Zagory, Zhi Ven Fong, Christy Yoon-Hee Chai, Lillian Kao, Sandra Wong, Danny Chu, and Brenessa Lindeman.

An Ultimate Challenge to the Palate

SAAS members attend a Japanese whiskey tasting fundraiser, hosted by Dr. Herbert Chen at the 2023 SAAS Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

A Sansei’s Story

General Surgery Resident Natalie Nadia Hisae Merchant, MD, discusses lessons learned from her family and their history and how they have influenced her experiences, identity and perspective.

SAAS Sips Recap: Acing the Residency Interview

The SAAS Sips for Medical Students Series is a casual, low-stress setting for trainees to interact with SAAS leaders. The Nov. 2, 2023, event focused on “Acing the Residency Interview.”

Kuo Family Lectureship: Jason Kalirai, PhD

This year’s Kuo Family Lecture was given by Jason Kalirai, PhD, at the 2023 SAAS Annual Meeting. Dr Kalirai is the Mission Area Executive for Civil Space in the Space Exploration Sector of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

SAAS 2023 Presidential Address: Susan Tsai, MD, MHS

Susan Tsai, MD, MHS, delivered her Presidential Address to the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons at the 2023 SAAS Annual Meeting, titled “Navigating the Bamboo Ceiling: Empowering AAPI Surgeons for Success.”

SAAS Leadership Highlights

Congratulations to our members for their recent accomplishments, including Dr. Mayur B. Patel who has been named Chief of the Division of Acute Care Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

A Moment with SAAS: Herbert Chen

This season’s “A Moment with SAAS” features one of our founding members, Dr. Herbert Chen, chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

SAAS Leadership Highlights

SAAS congratulates Drs. Kenric Murayama, Thomas Varghese, Ankush Gosain, Shaun Kunisaki, and Vikas Dudeja for their recent accomplishments.

Medical Student Student Reflections

Medical students Gopika SenthilKumar and Nate Verhagen attended their first SAAS meeting in September and said the meeting offered a place for trainees to build new, lasting relationships.

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.

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.

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.

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.