Baltimore, Maryland—Nearly 4,000 obstetric and gynecologic health care professionals and researchers will gather this weekend in Baltimore, Maryland, at the Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting (ACSM) of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). This year’s meeting theme is Excellence in Action. The program offers attendees a wide range of sessions that touch on all corners of the complex, dynamic field of obstetrics and gynecology and encompasses a diverse range of learning opportunities.
Renowned experts in the field will offer their expertise in and perspectives on critical subjects including race and racism in medicine, transgender care, menopause, perinatal mental health, the ongoing legal challenges to mifepristone, and late-breaking developments from the FDA affecting obstetric and gynecologic care.
“This year’s meeting comes at a tumultuous time for obstetrician–gynecologists and our patients across the country,” said ACOG President Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, MD, FACOG. “In the midst of a pandemic and a worsening maternal mortality crisis, we have additionally been met with threats to our freedom and livelihoods for providing essential reproductive health care. This all while trying daily to maintain our mental health—a primary concern of mine as I see the impact of these daily challenges on the well-being of my colleagues in the field. The ACSM will give attendees an opportunity to acknowledge the ways we have risen to meet these many challenges—recognizing the toll they have taken—while also learning from and inspiring one another.”
Dr. Hoskins will open the meeting on Friday with the President’s Panel, Minding Our Mental Health: Resilience amid Turbulence, which reflects an aspect of her presidential focus. It will address how physicians can protect their mental health on professional and individual levels in the face of crises, challenges, and an endlessly complicated practice environment. She will be joined by facilitator Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH, University of North Carolina School of Medicine; Angela Gantt, MD, MPH, FACOG, WakeMed Health & Hospitals; Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MEd, MPH, FACOG, UMass Chan Medical School/UMass Memorial Health; and Eve Espey, MD, MPH, FACOG, University of New Mexico.
Michele Bratcher Goodwin, a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, will give this year’s keynote address, The Long Arc to Reproductive Freedom and Justice. As a trailblazer in the health law field, Goodwin will provide a better understanding of current and historical U.S. reproductive laws, including American slavery and eugenics, and examine the intersections of race, class, and LGBTQ+ concerns in contemporary reproductive health, rights, and justice.
New to the ACSM this year will be sessions dedicated to the emerging challenges of practicing in a post-Dobbs v. Jackson era, covering topics such as medication abortion and previable pregnancy care, and the Advocacy Academy, including special sessions on how obstetrician–gynecologists can advocate for patients and drive positive change. Attendees will also have access to surgical tutorials; ePoster sessions on research topics that span obstetric and gynecologic care; and EdTalks, which will allow attendees to hear three experts speak for 10 minutes each, consecutively, on one topic.
“After all we have endured and overcome in the past year,” said Hoskins, “I welcome the opportunity to come together with my colleagues and connect based on our shared experiences; explore new ideas; and learn ways to be better for ourselves, our families, and our patients.”