As 2011 winds to a close, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on this first, amazing year of the Plastic Surgery Education Network. The PSEN is truly a bold, innovative undertaking for plastic surgery that has never been attempted before, and I’ve been honored to be able to serve this year as its first editor. The site was originally envisioned as a project to build an enhanced Online Learning website during an ASPS Strategic Planning Meeting in 2008, but the concept quickly evolved and expanded to become a cross-specialty portal housing a huge library of surgical video, CME and Case Report content — a living curriculum of plastic surgery — thanks to the participation of ASAPS, ASMS, ASRM, ASPN, ACAPS and PSRC. It has been a monumental undertaking behind the scenes that most plastic surgeons only became aware of in the past few months.
It has been a busy and exciting first year for PSEN. Since our launch in April, the PSEN team has been working hard to gather and publish new content and traveling across the country to demo the portal to plastic surgeons. While it’s a free member benefit, if they don’t know about it or know how to use it, it’s not much of a benefit. So we’ve been working hard to spread the word. It’s been gratifying to hear from so many people, at so many meetings, the excitement when they see the PSEN for the first time. Surgeons have told me over and over: “this is exactly what we’ve needed for a long time.”
Well… now it’s here.
Each participating society named an editor to manage their topical area, and with their help, over the past few months our initial content — from case reports to lecture recordings to procedure videos – has doubled in content. PSEN has covered everything from fat grafting to cleft palate to rhinoplasty in 2011. And the site includes a vibrant Residents Curriculum filled with selected readings, powerpoints and self assessment tests that is also accessible to the practicing surgeon. An updated curriculum will launch each year on July 1.
All of this could not have been done without the work of our great editorial board, whose help also aided in launching Surgery Spotlight, an exclusive monthly HD video program highlighting a new procedure each month. The program began in September and can be viewed for free by members of the participating societies, or can be viewed within a pre-test/post-test course at a small charge to earn CME.
From New York to New Mexico, the PSEN team attended many meetings and symposia in 2011 to provide demos, record interviews and capture presentations. If you missed the Aesthetic Meeting in May, TIPS in June, Breast and Body in August or Plastic Surgery 11 in September, go to the Presentations page to see some of what you missed. Our YouTube channel also has a collection of news videos from each meeting. We will continue to spread the word at various meetings in 2012. Look for us in the exhibit hall at the AAHS/ASRM/ASPN Annual Meeting in Las Vegas from Jan. 11-17 or at the Aesthetic Meeting this spring in Vancouver.
In 2012, we will continue to build our content library for your use, adding more video, more case reports and more courses every month. In the coming weeks, look for CME courses based around content from Plastic Surgery 11 THE Meeting. We’ll also be launching a monthly scheduled Surgical Chat to connect our members with the experts in the field. From the MOC Study Guide to the “My Learning Plan” section, which allows you to tag content you want to come back to review, PSEN is structured to help members find the information they need quickly and easily… and on your schedule.
We’re sending out a monthly e-newsletter to brief you on what’s new in the portal, but also encourage you to like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to get regular updates on the latest postings, courses and videos from PSEN.
Last, but definitely not least, I would like to thank the PSEN managing editor, John Everson. He has made this project what it is today and continues to find new ways to help the mission of PSEN. He has a wonderful staff that works under him and together they help produce the outstanding learning experience encountered on PSEN.
Leave comments below and let us know what you would like to see on PSEN in 2012. We would love your feedback as we continue to build your home for lifelong learning. PSEN should serve plastic surgeons from residency to retirement. It’s a construct that will continue to expand and grow to suit your needs, year after year.
Happy New Year,
Al Aly, MD