The Upper Hand: Chuck & Chris Talk Hand Surgery

Chuck and Chris discuss the ASSH Annual Meeting with Glenn Gaston and Peter Rhee

May 29, 2022 Chuck and Chris with Glenn Gaston and Peter Rhee Season 3 Episode 20
The Upper Hand: Chuck & Chris Talk Hand Surgery
Chuck and Chris discuss the ASSH Annual Meeting with Glenn Gaston and Peter Rhee
Show Notes Transcript

Season 3, Episode 20.  Chuck and Chris welcome ASSH Annual Meeting 2022 Chairs Glenn Gaston and Peter Rhee.  We discuss the September/ October meeting including all the planning and work that goes into the final product.  We discuss highlights of what we expect to be a fantastic meeting in Boston!

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theupperhandpodcast.wustl.edu.  And thanks to Eric Zhu, aspiring physician and podcast intern.

Charles Goldfarb:

Welcome to the upper hand, where Chuck and Chris talk hand surgery.

Chris Dy:

We are two hand surgeons at Washington University in St. Louis here to talk about all aspects of hand surgery from technical to personal.

Charles Goldfarb:

Thank you for subscribing wherever you get your podcasts.

Chris Dy:

And be sure to leave a review that helps us get the word out.

Charles Goldfarb:

Oh, hey, Chris.

Chris Dy:

Hey, Chuck, how are ya?

Charles Goldfarb:

I'm really well, how are you tonight?

Chris Dy:

I am great. Super excited, we've got some friends joining us. It's going to be a great episode.

Charles Goldfarb:

Absolutely. We do have two special guests. But before we introduce them any good news on the podcast review front.

Chris Dy:

Great news. We have received yet another five star review. For whoever was the one person who left a four star review I really need to get your stuff together there. But thank you to while Laura for giving us a five star review entitled such an easy listen. I've truly enjoyed your podcast. I've learned so much from it and find other podcasts related to my CHT career rather dry. Thank you for the great work. Now, we love that it makes us so happy to hear that people are enjoying our banter and find us not dry. That's good.

Charles Goldfarb:

Absolutely. And we are taking this opportunity to talk a little hand society stuff. And we have two really special guests.

Chris Dy:

We do and I will say you're going to talk we're going to talk to Glenn Gaston and Peter Rhee, the co chairs of the 2022 hands society annual meeting which will be occurring in Boston. But Chuck, you have some experience in this role. We talked last time with Amy Moore and John Fowler, and you were one of the meeting chairs. I don't know many many years ago when you were a much younger man with more hair.

Charles Goldfarb:

Yeah, the hair loss may be directly attributable to my meeting chairmanship. I thought it was a piece of cake. I didn't think it was much work at all. And I don't know what Peter and Glenn are going to tell us tonight. But I thought it was super easy. Not much effort.

Chris Dy:

Well, let's let's introduce Peter first. Peter is at the Mayo Clinic. Peter did his residency and fellowship training there and and completed service in the US Air Force. So thank you for that Peter. And he is now back at Mayo. He's large and in charge there. And I believe Peter is the fellowship director there. Is that right Peter?

Peter Rhee:

Yep.

Chris Dy:

And Chuck, why don't you introduce Glenn?

Charles Goldfarb:

Yeah, it's my pleasure. I could spend many, many hours introducing Glenn. I'll just say that Glenn and I've been friends for a long time. We have many shared interests. We're both southerners, although he is on the wrong side of the Alabama Georgia border. Maybe this year on the right side. Glenn's at ortho Carolina runs a great program and yeah, it's my pleasure to call him a good friend.

Glenn Gaston:

Thanks, Chuck. Fun to be on with you guys. And it was a fun year for the dogs too. And you're right it's not it doesn't sadden me one time for finally Georgia to get something over Alabama and on the on the field. So.

Charles Goldfarb:

Perfect. All right.

Chris Dy:

So yeah, what's what's it been like with the meeting? I mean, what a fun, fun, fun experience to have running together. I'm sure you guys just had everything lockstep and work is all done. And you could just cruise control, right?

Peter Rhee:

Yeah. Well, if I could just start the with Jeff Greenberg, had emailed me and said, Hey, I like you to share this code share this. My first question was who's, who's the coach here? And luckily, Glenn and I have known each other for a while. And we share a lot of common interests, mainly around fishing. And it was just it was a no brainer to say yes to that offer, because it's such an honor but also to work with a good friend and just a professional. It's, it's been just a joy.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah and after that, I certainly when Jeff asked me as well, I was excited. But when he told me it was Peter, I was that was when it was a definite yes for me. So I will tell you and Chuck can attest to this as well. Having somebody run it with you, that is a good friend that's organized and it's enjoyable to talk to a lot is a key. So it's gonna be a fun meeting. So I think it's been we've had a good time putting it together. And it's, it's been a lot of fun.

Charles Goldfarb:

Yeah, and I would say this, I hope everyone realized I was being very facetious earlier, it is a huge investment of time and energy. And it's so the annual meeting is critically important to everything the hands study does, and it's this year feels like I don't want to jinx us. I'm sure no one wants to be jinxed, it feels like we'll kind of be back at normal at normal meeting status. And I know that everyone is super excited about this meeting and the content that you guys have planned. So it's been a huge effort. I think you're rounding third and feeling good. Give us a little sense about the dynamic. Who's organized, who's hanging on by a thread, what's going on there.

Glenn Gaston:

That part has been fun, I will tell you, it's been different. So Peter is your like, excel wizard. So he's one of these guys that as soon as something comes out, like I like, type up a Microsoft Word document like longhand, my thoughts, and Peter sends me back like this uber hyper organized Excel sheet, which I'm always scared of, because I'm scared, if I do anything to it, I'm gonna like shift columns or rows, and the whole thing is going to be off. So that's been the one thing that's been a little different. So everything comes like now we've just figured it out our pattern like, Peter does the initial stuff, he sends it to me, I add everything in, then it goes back to Peter for final touch. And he only sends emails directly to the hand society, I never send anything to Selena or her team that always comes from Peter as the final authority on the email.

Peter Rhee:

Well, you know, it's like, that may be the case that I sent, I send the email. But you know, I trust Glenn so much. And this meeting is, I think, poised to be just one of just a great meeting, not taken away from anyone elses. We put a lot of thought into this. And so it's the planning it and doing all these, when I have had a lot of late night, phone calls and things like that. And it's been so much fun. There was a little bit of a learning curve for sure. Because we're using the same cloud service. It's so he'd make a change, I'd make a change and things like that. So now, now we have a don't touch it. I'll correct it on my just refresh, or is it five minutes or something like that? It's been it's worked great.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah, Glenn, you talk, I'll type that's our current thing. Now, basically.

Peter Rhee:

You're such a sweet talker.

Glenn Gaston:

It's been fun to we've built on, I think it's I think this meeting will be fun for a lot of people. I think we've built on a lot of the things that have worked well in past meetings, and we've been able to add our own little flair to it. So I think a lot of the things people will see though instantly recognize like, oh, yeah, I've always enjoyed that, oh, top five papers this year, different things. But then we've added a couple of new things this year, that I think are going to be really neat. We tried to bring it, Jeff's theme was, Dr. Greenberg's theme was back to basics. And we tried to bring some of the meeting back to that old school field that I think some of us miss, when every lecture is in a big hall. And you kind of feel like you're just another person in the crowd to some more small group options. So there's two of those this year that I think Peter can tell you about that are super exciting.

Peter Rhee:

Yeah, we, before we started the the initial planning phase, we looked at all the reviews from the past three years. And I never realized how many comments come into the Hanged society about the meeting. And we went through all of them and thoughtfully tried to come up with what the membership would want and actually worked out that Dr. Greenberg's theme was doing exactly that getting back to basics. And, you know, I think things have changed, because now you have to give someone a reason to leave, work, leave, you know, their home, to go in an in person meeting when you otherwise could get it virtually. And so we try to think about what are the things that a live in person meeting, things that we took for granted, maybe that we can try to bring back and I'll just briefly mentioned to you and Glenn can expand but one is this really neat session where it's it's small groups, and it's you and just a leader in hand surgery, just an icon in hand surgery, and there's, these are educators and innovators that don't need an agenda. You know, you can just the plan is to just have an open room with a whiteboard. And you just ask whatever you want. And these masters can just give all those pearls that, you know are the nuggets that you really, really want from the and society. And then the second one guy, maybe you can describe are, are really innovative surgical skills.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah, so the first ones do the Peter was alluding to so there's only 10 people per room with one legend in hand surgery. And it's roundtable. And it can be clinical it can be How did you start your practice clinical pearls, it could be practice management things or anything. And the second one is the same theme. It's 10 people and one physician and it's going to be a cadaver lab. So it's going to be like for instance, you've learned how to do nerve transfers with Jamie Bertelli, and 10 of you and just him and he's going to walk through those pearls. Who would like to learn how to do an MFT with Jim Higgins because there's just 10 of you and him. And same theme, Jin Bo Tang flexor tendons who'd love to pick up their flexor tendon skill. So that was the thought process. And so those are going to be some new offerings, the time with the Masters in the innovative surgical sessions, I think are two of the most exciting things we've added.

Peter Rhee:

Yeah, we still have a couple of I don't want to say that we're going to have them quite yet because they're still in the works, but some really fun things that are kind of in the wings that we're just waiting to get finalized and hopefully they'll mature. realize, but again, it's just trying to make it so that the meeting is focused on the membership. And it's really practical information. We went through Gosh going I forgot how many scientific papers went over, over like 650 abstracts that were submitted for eventually, the 86 papers. And then a ton of awesome ICL symposiums that came in. But uh, but we eventually chose the ones that are not so esoteric things that you can benefit your practice, just like really, really good practical things.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah, Jeff had a big focus this year too as president, one of the things he wanted was to add a little bit more of a practice management options in there. So you'll see a little bit more on that as well this year. So I think it'll really speak again to the kind of the broad audience that we're hopefully going to offer this to.

Chris Dy:

This is great. I've learned a lot about the meeting. And I'm gonna go sign up for some of these amazing sessions and box out other people because now I've got our heads up. That's great. Can you tell us one crazy off the wall idea that ended up not working?

Glenn Gaston:

Probably, some of this, let's see that we wanted to do battle of the bands was a fun one. So you know how we have Handapalooza and Mark Barrett's, like sagittal band plays. So that's, that's going to still happen, we're still gonna have Handapalooza, it's at House of Blues. In Boston, we thought about having a battle of bands, where we'd invite all the members that are part of any band to bring their band and have like a band war, and that we couldn't make happen.

Peter Rhee:

know, I think a lot of us that are in the academic sphere, I think we're they're just really, really good at innovation and things like that. But, you know, it's it was trying an idea of trying to bring the membership that are just in community or, you know, higher volume private practices that didn't really may not have wanted to come to, you know, learn about kind of like the, like I said, esoteric things. And so we were trying to get more involvement with community surgeons. But that was a little hard to, I guess materialize in terms of getting them involved into the kind of ICL and symposia and, and we hope that with these more small group things, you know, someone like Glenn, who's a master at, you know, all the things that he does, they have someone next to him that says, hey, I'm in practice here. And, you know, wherever, and I do it this way, it's like, oh, my gosh, that's awesome. I never thought about that. So really, just a good mingling of just everyone in hand surgery, just to just to like a symbiotic type of milieu of hand surgery.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah it blended a little bit like it's some of the a couple of the ICLs, this year will look a little different instead of the room setup, the way it is, we've actually got round tables and several of the ICLs. So even the ICLs are going to have instead of the panelists all being at the front at the table on the stage, they'll be spread out at roundtable, thereby they'll be pauses where they within your table, you're interacting. So trying to pull people in a little bit. Again, that tight knit feel a little bit more than sometimes hasn't been there. It's been a common theme and feedback over the last several years. And so hopefully, it's a way we can integrate that a little bit better.

Chris Dy:

I love how the pandemic has made you guys think really hard about how to make the meeting engaging and appealing to the point where people can't wait to go. So I think there gonna be a number of people really excited about the the format changes that you've made. I will say, a big segment of our audience, as you saw from that review earlier, our hand therapists and is there anything in particular you think that would make the meeting super exciting for them?

Peter Rhee:

Yeah, the what I think will be nice is that the symposia, which is such a great venue, just for education. I think I can't remember how many Glenn, but I think 10 or so of them are what we call back to basics, symposia, and we really try to get young and old or not young and old. But let's say more seasoned and more newer surgeons together on the same on the same podium, to try to say, Hey, I've tried that before. It doesn't work or like No, actually, this is really innovative. We should try it. But then also, we tried to integrate a lot of things that are hand therapy colleagues could kind of see the evolution of how we've gotten to where we are, and I'm sure that from there you know, there will be great To communication to get their perspective on how, you know, maybe we're not doing things in terms of rehab as advanced as we probably should. And we definitely try to integrate a lot of therapists into the ICL and symposia. So I think it'll be great for the therapists as well.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah, I'd echo that. And I think some of the things that will help that the back to basic themes I think helped you. I think it's interesting, instead of some of the symposiums being, here's the craziest 25th revision that I did with a free arm from a monkey, you know, it's going to be more like we gave them topics like, hey, what about a long finger metacarpal shaft that's 25 degrees apex dorsal? How are each one of you deal with that something that everyone's going to actually see every therapist, every surgeon, as opposed to? One of the themes you see in some of the feedback is, it's the same people giving the same talks on the same crazy things that I never see in my practice. So we tried to bring a lot of it back to, you know, how are people taking care of because as all of us know, some of the hardest things you deal with every day are simple problems that you're just like, dependent. Do you leave it? And it's those that almost bother you more than some of the craziest things that we see?

Peter Rhee:

Yeah, yep.

Charles Goldfarb:

I think I think that's really well said, The, it sounds like you guys have struck a balance between preserving the kind of core of what the hand society annual meeting is, and why we all love to go with trying to minimize the esoteric stuff, and then innovate a bit, which is not easy to do for the listeners, you know, it's hard to branch out, and you feel like you're rolling the dice a little bit. And you know, as a chair, you want to do something different and you want it to stick and you want it to you know, next year or the next year, you want to be doing some of the things that Peter and Glen came up with. And that's, that's really the ultimate compliment. So walk us through the meeting a little bit. And maybe start with some stuff. So for those of you who just notice that Chris left, he had another commitment. And so we let him fly. So talk us through, we don't want to spend too much time and we encourage everyone to go online to the hands society website to see the meeting and interact with it a little bit, but talk us through each day. So things really get rolling on Tuesday. Is that right?

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah, that's when things really get started. Peter, you can help me out. This is all kind of on top of the head here because I didn't pull up the schedule right in front of me. But Tuesday is a great day, we've got the classic flaps course that's Tuesday, correct, Peter?

Peter Rhee:

Yep.

Glenn Gaston:

Tuesday's a flaps course, which is traditionally a very fellow heavy, it usually sells out very quickly. So if you're listening to this, I would encourage you to sign up early. There's also a resident and fellow's review course on Tuesday afternoon, which has historically been also extremely well attended, it tends to have a good balance of same thing faculty and fellows and residents at each table, and sort of covers the gamut and is a great overall review for us.

Peter Rhee:

Yep, exactly. And then on Wednesday, we have kind of the standard. Adrian Flatt the resident's and fellow's Conference, which is jam packed, I went to it, I think four out of my six years in training and I think it just keeps getting better and better. And, you know, the chairs, Chris and Christina Ward have done a great job to build that. It looks awesome, a lot of cool innovative things. And also, I think they've kept with the same theme of trying to make it information that's practical for residents and fellows, but also realizing that this is a great venue for trainees to present. And so it's a good balance, which is really hard, but a good balance of, you know, sitting there listening to what their peers have researched, but also really practical things about like going to academic medicine, should I not? And how do you get into him fellowship, things like that. And then along that, along with that Wednesday, there's pre courses all day. And I gotta say, we spent a lot of time on our pre courses. And I don't think we really I don't want to say micromanaged. But maybe maybe our faculty, our chair may say that, but we try to just give very loose guidelines saying hey, we don't want any we don't want much overlap. But here are the topics that we really want. And no please pick. Like I said, more more veteran surgeons, middle, middle career surgeons, young surgeons, and let's get a good balance of everyone represented represented on these panels in pre courses, so I think it's just an awesome set of pre courses on on Wednesday.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah, and we challenged some of the faculty too. And, Charles, you can know how this works too. And it's a little tricky to do. We try to limit it to where each person would only be allowed to do one pre course and one thing so that it's not the same people that everyone's always accustomed to we we clearly want the top people in the field with that particular skill set to speak on that. We also really wanted to diversify. So you're listening to new people with New perspectives on the same topics. So we, we limited the number of the people who were allowed to do, which I think will help.

Charles Goldfarb:

Oh, absolutely.

Peter Rhee:

I forgot. Oh, sorry. I was just going to mention, I forgot to say something really cool about Tuesday, it's the end, Glenn mentioned the flap course which, which always sells out, that's all day. But with that, we actually have our first year that we're doing the young surgeon skills bootcamp, which is it's, it's, I don't think you need to feel like you're missing out on either. It's really, for the people that really want to brush up on their soft tissue dissection. There's the flap course. And then the young surgeon skills, bootcamp, is kind of the more like orthopedic bone, ligament tendon type of things. And we've partnered with industry to give us a lot of, of things that we can try that the participants can use, like with their own hands, on specimens. And then there's also a concurrent Arthrex. Dry arthroscopy course that was done last year, that was so well received, that that's also happening on Tuesday. So Tuesday is just there's three kind of parallel things that you can do, which are awesome. And that's in addition to the resident, those reviews, of course, I forgot to mention that. But I think that that's going to be super sweet.

Charles Goldfarb:

Yeah, all of it sounds great. I don't know that we need to go through each of the three courses. I'm feel fortunate that I'm participating in one and I really like how I think this probably exemplifies what you guys were after Peter Waters, who is certainly a more senior member, is leading pediatric and congenital precourse. And Lindley Wall, who is my partner is working with Dr. Waters to lead that course. And I think it it does marry the concept of someone who's always up there as someone who's going to be up there more and more and, and I've looked at that, the plan for that pre course. And it's awesome. And they all are. So kudos to you guys for putting together wonderful, wonderful pre courses.

Peter Rhee:

Thank you.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah, we appreciate it. Yeah, they keep going on Thursday, the pre courses when opening ceremonies gets going. Nothing we tried to do this year, that's a little different. But I think it'll be well received is we tried to win the general paper sessions come out, you know, they land in between symposium and things along those nature's we tried to leave it so that if there's a symposium on nerve, and then right after that are papers that those are the nerve papers, if there's a symposium on pediatrics right after that would be the peds papers, so that likely the same people that would want to hear about that particular topic can stay for that we tried to marry those up, there's a few that just don't always fit into the perfect little bowl. So we have popery papers where you will get a sort of an array of papers, if you do a lot of categories, there may not have been enough of to fulfill one full category. But I think for certain people that have a real vested interest, say in nerve or in peds like you, then they can get a lot of that in one place and not have to feel like they're running all around to get it.

Peter Rhee:

Yeah, and if I could just add to that. I mentioned we had, like over 600 paper submissions, and much thanks to the annual planning committee they went through. As you guys know, they, it's sometimes painstaking to go through and score those, but they did. And Glen and I went through every single one, and pick per those different categories of paper sessions, which, which fits most of the time with the symposia. Like really, really innovative, but also really practical things that you're like, man, like, what do I do this or that? Like? It's a simple question, but no one's answered it. We've picked those type of papers. And so I don't know if I should see this on Zoom. But I'd be the first to admit that on the podcast that a lot of times the paper sessions I peace out and go like talk with friends and stuff like that. But I think these are I think if you just maybe just give us your trust and apply just, if you just go to one of the first paper sessions, I think you'll find that these papers are all really really good that will will influence your practice and somehow.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah, I think that's a great point, Peter, it's exactly what the effort was, is really because there's certain papers that are interesting, but maybe not as practical that we that some years would get in that this year. We tried to really put it towards what is the person that flies to Boston and sits in they're gonna really want to hear and that's what we really tried to target with the papers.

Charles Goldfarb:

Love it, love it. So high level overview. Opening Ceremonies Thursday afternoon, ICL Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and tons of ICLs right I mean just an incredible number of people talking about anything and everything you want to hear about.

Peter Rhee:

Yep, exactly. Yep, there's, there's just a ton. And then I know everyone's probably going to be tired by Saturday, but that's when we have our post course. is there's the award sessions there as well. But the post courses at the end are kind of the non non clinical thing. So there's a, there's a coding and coding and billing reimbursement post course. And there's a really, really awesome balance and wellness post course, which I know sounds kumbaya ish. But we we tasked the chairs to, you know, really pick things that will help us not burn out in our careers. And I think we have some amazing guest speakers, it's going to be really, really good. And at the end, there's a post course on education and how anyone that's interested in education just to give them kind of the up to date, teaching principles and skills to be more effective in that. So it's from start to finish. I think it's just, it's just it's super busy. Good busy.

Glenn Gaston:

14 pre courses, 60 ICLs, 20 symposiums and three post courses, in addition to all the papers and everything else. So there's a lot of content.

Charles Goldfarb:

It's incredible as you grab on who is the Presidential guest speaker?

Glenn Gaston:

So Brazil is the guest nation. And so Portelli is the International guest speaker. And then Dr. Greenberg has a really interesting so the Presidential guest speaker is a master. For those of you who don't know, Dr. Greenberg is a master woodworker and his teacher who is one of the top woodworkers in the world is going to be the President's who guest speaker.

Peter Rhee:

Yeah, exactly. And I actually had to google him when when he said that he was gonna be the guest speaker and I first pulled up his like, bio, and I was like, Ah, this can't be the right person. But the more I looked at it, and Jeff has assured us that he had this relationship with was his teacher, I guess, now friend, that it's just gonna just just, I think it's gonna blow you away. It's gonna be it's gonna be that good. And if you don't know, Dr. Greenberg, and he's, I think he if he could, he would just have everyone just in probably jeans and, and like, collared shirt or something like that. But he wanted to do some things that were true to just his nature, I think the nature that we all really endearing in love. And I think this is just a great start to it. I think everyone will be engaged.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah, I couldn't agree more and then spread right between that and the International to the two founders lectures, which it's hard to get much better than James Chang and Scott Kozin. So there'll be amazing. So really, those four are going to be incredible.

Charles Goldfarb:

Awesome. Well, I was already excited. Just because I haven't been to enough meetings lately. I'm more excited. Now. I know our listeners will agree. And I know you guys are looking forward to the meeting. I know you guys will be super happy when the meeting is a success and is over. But listen, it's been hard work. I know you've had great support from the hand society because Angie and the team do a remarkable job. But thank you, from all of us for everything you put into this and I can't wait to get there.

Peter Rhee:

Thank you so much for letting us talk about this. It's it's been a joy and congratulations on the podcast. It is easy listening. Yeah, you guys just have like the great like, podcast zoom voice.

Glenn Gaston:

Yeah you're setup for it, you guys have done a phenomenal job. It's great to hear my residents and fellows talking about how much they love it.

Peter Rhee:

Yeah.

Glenn Gaston:

You did take time away from your kid who's home from college right now or coming home at second now is even greater. So we appreciate that.

Charles Goldfarb:

Yeah. Thank you guys. I will I'm sure see you guys soon. If not, I will see you in Boston.

Glenn Gaston:

Thanks, buddy.

Charles Goldfarb:

Hey, Chris, that was fun. Let's do it again real soon.

Chris Dy:

Sounds good. Well, be sure to check us out on Twitter @handpodcast. Hey, Chuck, what's your Twitter handle?

Charles Goldfarb:

Mine is @congenitalhand. What about you?

Chris Dy:

Mine is @ChrisDyMD spelled dy. And if you'd like to email us, you can reach us at handpodcast@gmail.com.

Charles Goldfarb:

And remember, please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Chris Dy:

And be sure to leave a review that helps us get the word out.

Charles Goldfarb:

Special thanks to Peter Martin for the amazing music. And remember, keep the upper hand. Come back next time.