Letter from the ISSM President Gerald Brock
Dear Fellow members of the ISSM,
It is with great pleasure that I write this brief holiday greetings note to you all. I was honored to become your new President in Miami earlier this year at the ISSM/SMSNA Scientific Meeting. While I acknowledge that it is expected in letters such as these, that homage is paid to the membership and all the officers and staff, I genuinely believe we have a truly outstanding group of dedicated members who make our Society great. We are a diverse group of researchers, clinicians, healthcare professionals from all parts of the globe, coming from different backgrounds working within an extended spectrum of healthcare systems, and yet when we meet or collaborate on projects our goals align to produce improved patient outcomes, enhanced understanding of sexual issues and greater knowledge among providers and patients alike.
Over the past few years since the Covid pandemic has altered all of our lives, work environments and ability to meet in person, the ISSM has developed novel approaches to achieve our goals of enhancing sexual awareness and improve healthcare delivery through programming, support of research initiatives, educational events and virtual meetings. Our membership which now exceeds 3,000 active healthcare professionals around the globe continues to produce innovative research and improved patient care approaches shared with others through our multiple platforms (Journals, website, webinars, virtual meetings and in-person conferences).
Perhaps Walt Disney said it best “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”. At ISSM we have plans to convene an International Consultation of Sexual Medicine (ICSM) in June 2024, likely in Southern Europe, although the precise dates and venue are still being vetted. This major event with Dr. Hossein Sadeghi Nejad as Chairperson, will bring together world experts across all aspects of sexual medicine to discuss state of the art advances in the field that have occurred since the last such conference now almost 8 years ago.
The ISSM is now holding annual World meetings and will host our next such event in Dubai UAE, in December 2023 in partnership with the Middle Eastern Sexual Medicine Society (MESSM). The program is still evolving but will have a pre-program Female Sexual Medicine workshop and likely a surgical course with hands-on learning. Our plans for 2024 are already well underway, with an exciting meeting being developed in partnership with the Latin American Society for Sexual Medicine (SLAMS), likely in Brazil. Our plans are to have another surgical course prior to that meeting where hands-on skills development will be possible, in addition to having the worlds’ experts across all aspects of sexual medicine present innovative research and original clinical care ideas.
Our journals continue to demonstrate their rising profile, enhanced importance and vital role within sexual medicine as evidenced by their increasing impact factors, diverse topics and growing readership, under the dedicated leadership of the editorial staff and specifically the editors in chief. The ability of ISSM to own these journals and have a truly independent editorial teams, provides a vehicle through which we all can share our research and clinical approaches with others, knowing that all papers have gone through a rigorous peer-review process.
Dr. “Bud” Burnett has taken the lead on an exciting new initiative at ISSM. We recognize that the long-term viability of our society are the young members who will be our future leaders. During medical school, or specialty training or even post-graduate training, few of us are given mentorship or take courses on leadership, a skill that is so critical for the advancement of medical societies in todays complex world. Development of a curriculum and identification of mentors is underway, with a goal of launching this leadership program in 2023. Stay tuned for this new program in the coming weeks!
Drs Landon Trost, Cobi Reisman and their whole team within the education committee have expanded our video content, housed within the ISSM website, and are developing a wide array of educational programs and webcasts/podcasts that are innovative, interactive and truly state of the art. The goal is to have the ISSM be the repository of a huge wealth of practical and cutting edge knowledge related to all aspects of sexual function and dysfunction in a format that is user friendly and easily accessed by our membership.
Importantly, I would ask all members who read this to submit your own name in nomination for a committee post or nominate another member who is interested in being on one of the many ISSM committees which do so much of the incredibly important work to make our organization the success it is.
Finally, I would like to extend to all who read this, their families and loved ones, a wonderful, safe, healthy and happy holiday season and New Year for 2022/2023.