Dear Colleagues and APSS Members,
It is a real honour and privilege to take over as the President of the Asia Pacific Spine Society (APSS) and I am sure that, with all your help and active involvement, our society will make tremendous strides in the next two years.
The Society is immensely grateful to Professor Emeritus Keith Dip Kei Luk, Immediate Past President, for his contribution, guidance, and commitment towards the APSS. We also welcome Dato’ Dr Mun-Keong Kwan as the new President-Elect (2021-2023).
Although the COVID virus posed major challenges on many fronts, we have exhibited resilience and innovation to excel in all the activities of APSS. I congratulate everyone for rising to the crisis and continuing our best care to our patients despite the situation.
The highlight for the first half of the year has been the 13th Combined Meeting of APSS and APPOS (APSS-APPOS 2021) organised in Kobe, Japan. The co-chairmen of the Congress, Dr Morio Matsumoto, and Dr Yukihiro Matsuyama had persevered through the impact of COVID-19 to organise a remarkably successful online meeting that shattered three (3) records. First, we have recorded the highest number of registrations to our annual scientific meeting over the years with 699 participants. Secondly, over 600 participants were recorded daily during live sessions from 10 – 12 June. Lastly, the meeting also documented a record-high of 546 submissions of abstracts. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I would like to applaud the team for setting a new standard for all upcoming Annual Scientific Meetings. Congratulations again!
This year, we also celebrated APSS Orator of 2021, Professor Emeritus Shoichi Kokubun who continued to stay active in research, especially on pain from the high tone of the muscle (myogelosis) despite having retired from the University.
Research is, indeed, an important aspect in development and progress in this medical field. I have taken upon myself as one of my manifestos as the President of APSS to create more research opportunities for the members of APSS and to bridge knowledge between spine surgeons globally through research of spine surgery. Please keep an eye out for announcement from the Society.
In the second half of the year, the implementation of the postponed fellowship programme shall commence for the APSS DePuy Synthes Clinical Fellowship, APSS Medtronic Fellowship, APSS-SICOT Spine Fellowship, APSS-Ganga Hospital Fellowship and APSS Miraclus Fellowship. The Society continues to monitor the situation regionally and prioritises the safety of our fellows without compromising their experience in engaging new knowledge and learning new systems that will enhance their practices after the fellowship.
While we continue to adapt to the new normalcy, APSS has also evolved in its education and outreach programme. With the exceptional effort from the Online Education Committee, I am pleased to report that three (3) webinars had been successfully conducted up to this month, and there will be another in the remainder of the year.
As the world around us continues the rollercoaster ride that started last year, APSS will continue to innovate and explore new methods to reengage and reconnect to you. We would like to invite you to stay curious to explore and receive, as we strive to bring you novel and worthwhile educational experience albeit online.
In the meantime, I hope you will continue to stay safe, and I look forward to meeting you in person soon.
Please continue to take good care of yourselves and your families.
President of APSS (2021-2023)