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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It’s hard to believe that the 2019 joint AUGS/IUGA Scientific Meeting is only a month away! Our annual meeting is always one of the highlights of the year for me, and this year I have the additional honor of welcoming you to the meeting as your president. I am looking forward to catching up with friends and colleagues and making new connections. I hope you are too!

IUGA is all about education. The meeting will include the usual types of high-caliber sessions you’ve come to expect at our meeting, such as didactic and hands-on workshops, state of the art lectures, debates, panel discussions, roundtables and the like. But even better, our collaboration with AUGS has allowed us to bring you the best educational features of each society’s annual meeting, allowing all of our members and attendees to benefit. Basic scientists can take advantage of a one-day track on Translational Medicine: Re-thinking the Science of the Pelvic Floor, while nurses and physiotherapists will appreciate the Allied Health Track focusing on multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of chronic pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction. Fellows and physicians-in-training will find Fellows’ Day to be a unique educational experience geared to their stage of career development. Others might be interested in the 1.5-day CME course, Fundamentals of Urogynecology, in which some of our specialty’s most renowned experts share their insights and help physicians improve the quality of patient care, or you can attend the Surgical Tutorials on Thursday and Friday.

It seems now more than ever we are all faced with trying to do more with less – less money, less staff, less time – especially in this age of digital multitasking. Learn how to reduce distractions in order to improve productivity at this year’s Keynote Lecture by Paul Mohapel. And, be sure to join us as we look ahead to 2040 with this year’s Ulf Ulmsten Lecture, Curing Pelvic Floor Disorders in 2040: Measuring Sex and Other Aspects of Pelvic Floor Function, presented by our IUJ co-editor-in-chief, Rebecca Rogers.

As practitioners and researchers, we hope that when all is said and done, everything we do on a daily basis improves the quality of care our patients receive and improves their lives. While the Annual Meeting allows us to stay abreast of the latest in urogynecological research and techniques, it’s also important to stay attuned to our patients’ stories and make sure we educate them about their pelvic floor and available treatment options. The media has been flooded recently with negative stories about mesh, and while we do have to acknowledge the controversies around mesh use, we also need to make sure our patients have access to sound information and a balanced perspective. To that end, we have added a new feature to our patient website, www.YourPelvicFloor.org, to allow patients to share their stories and to read the stories of women just like themselves. I encourage you to take a look at this new feature and encourage your patients to share their own story.

I look forward to seeing you all in Nashville. If you are unable to join us this year, don’t be dismayed! A good portion of content will be captured during the meeting and made available in the future on the IUGA Academy.

Best wishes,

Ranee Thakar

Ranee Thakar

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