Dear SMRU Members,
It has been an arduously rewarding and challenging journey as a foreign medical graduate and fellow to ascend for more than 30 years to reach this professional milestone as the President of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology (SMRU). I am both humbled and honored, and this cherished opportunity would not be possible without the incredible support and help of many of my mentors and colleagues along the way. I want to take this opportunity to thank our past two SMRU Presidents, Dr. Stanton Honig, and Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, for their strong leadership that has helped guide us through the unbelievable challenges of the past two years of the pandemic. They are still actively working on numerous important projects and fundraising for the SMRU. Thank you so much for your heartfelt contributions, and I will carry the torch to continue your mission this year.
The 2021 ASRM meeting in Baltimore was a great success! We had such an extraordinary meeting in Baltimore, one of the first in-person professional meetings at the national level this year. The 2021 SMRU program was well-received. Approximately 90% of our submissions and proposals for the symposiums, PG courses, interactive sessions, the AUA Bruce Stewart Memorial Lecture, and round-tables discussions were received by the ASRM 2021 Program committee. Moreover, we even had a fully occupied SMRU annual dinner event, and all individuals were carefully checked for their vaccination records. I thank Dr. Matt Coward for his excellent assistance in organizing the 2021 SMRU/ASRM program and Dr. Amin Herati for being a gracious local host of such a wonderful SMRU annual business dinner. The breathtakingly beautiful ocean-bay view near the number 8 Water Taxi Station in Baltimore was special. On behalf of the SMRU board, I also thank Susanna Scarbrough for her dedicated service as SMRU administrator, and I warmly welcome Megan Miller as our new SMRU administrator.
I want to acknowledge our departing SMRU Board member who has served a full term on the SMRU Board, Dr. Kathleen (Kat) Hwang (three-year Member at Large), for her outstanding service. However, Kat does not entirely leave us. Please join me in congratulating her on becoming the President of the Society for Reproductive Surgeons (SRS, 2021-2022). Kat and I have already made some great plans to work together this year. More collaborations with our ASRM-affiliated societies and colleagues are better for all of us. With great efforts made by our SMRU Past President, Dr. Stanton Honig, SMRU now plans to have an SMRU representative to each ASRM affiliated society such as SART, SRBT, SREI, and SRS.
We are so excited to have Dr. James Smith as our SMRU President-elect. He is the current President of the Society for Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR) affiliated with AUA. In addition, Dr. Michael Eisenberg, the Past President of SSMR, joins us as a board member of the Director-at-Large. I feel very fortunate to have both of them with us on the SMRU board simultaneously. They will contribute their leadership and expertise to bring SMRU to a higher professional level.
In addition, our congrats also go to Dr. Akanksha Mehta, a well-established physician-scientist. She has been newly elected ASRM Board Member as the Director-at-Large. She will represent us at the ASRM Board and echo for all SMRU members. In the meantime, Dr. Stanton Honig has been working with our SMRU nomination committee; SMRU will shortly announce the names of our newly elected SMRU Secretary/Treasurer and Director-at-Large.
Our future is super bright! Many thanks for allowing me to lead this elite professional society during this critical time. I feel so honored and grateful. I am humbled and in awe of this great opportunity and responsibility to lead and set up a high professional standard, including the advancement of more culturally diverse and professionally energized young scholars to greater involvement in SMRU's educational and professional mission. This year, we will establish the SMRU Male Infertility Microsurgical Training Scholarship Award/Program and promote international collaborations for a more global presence. Please feel free to reach out to me, as I welcome your opinions, ideas, or thoughts to improve SMRU's appearances domestically and internationally. Together, we can make a big difference. I may run slow, but I never run backward, and I will do my best to cross the finish line and meet your expectations. Thank you, and I look forward to a great year ahead.
All the best,
Philip S. Li, MD
SMRU President (2021-2022)