By Jesse Logan, Veins1 Staff
Over 1,500 members of the vascular community gathered for the 29th annual Veith Symposium held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York City from November 21-24. The program highlighted the latest and most significant advances in the treatment of vascular and endovascular diseases. This year's meeting engaged attendees with over 150 rapid-fire abstracts and discussions about new clinical practices, research and interventions.
Among this year's meeting was its original namesake, Dr. Frank J. Veith himself, who serves as the symposium's host and chair. Veith is currently professor and vice-chair of surgery at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY.
In a press interview, Dr. Veith explained his motivations for starting the program, one of which is to bring vascular surgeons and specialists up-to-date on advancements in technology, pharmacology, and management of venous system disorders.
"Someone who's specializing in the area needs to be acquainted with the things occurring in the vascular surgery world," Veith said.
For instance, he pointed out that some of the greatest improvements have been made in endovascular repair, using grafts, balloon angioplasty and thrombolytic treatments.
Veith also addressed what he perceives as setbacks, saying that vascular surgery can only progress if it is recognized as a medical specialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Right now, as it stands, general surgeons can attain certification to do vascular surgery, as a subspecialty, according to the ABMS.
"Vascular surgery should be done by vascular specialists, not by amateurs," Veith said, who wants a unique vascular surgery board to train specialists. "Our thrust to develop it as a specialty is driven by a desire to improve medical care."
He said the symposium demonstrates how vascular surgery has evolved over the last two decades to include dozens of journals and textbooks and thousands of specialists the world over.
"Obviously, if you have four days of over 150 speakers, that's a specialty," he said. "If vascular surgery is to survive as a specialty, it needs to be recognized as one."
On December 18, the Liasion Committee for Speciality Boards is expected to have an initial review meeting with a group of vascular specialists who have applied to be an independent board.
Veith is an internationally renown teacher, researcher, and pioneer in single lung transplantation and the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral vascular diseases. He has authored and coauthored over 1,000 articles and chapters in medical journals. He serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Vascular Surgery, Annals of Vascular Surgery and Vascular Surgery Outlook. He is former president of the regional Eastern Vascular Society and served as the fiftieth president of the Society for Vascular Surgery.
The annual Veith Symposium, which stands for Vascular and Endovascular Issues, Techniques and Horizons, is sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center. Next year, the conference will once again be held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York, from November 20-23. It will be the 30th anniversary for the conference.