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Message from the SMSNA President

Dear SMSNA members and friends:

I wanted to personally reach out to you during this extremely challenging time. Bombarded with seemingly endless medical, social, financial and demographic information about the COVID-19 pandemic daily, we have been forced into a new reality, adapting to our new lives. Office visits have been mostly transformed to virtual visits, operations on all elective cases, much of what our specialty is about, have been postponed, and some have been asked to serve on medical COVID-19 units. Some have witnessed and shared the experiences of our young men and women in training who at once feel needed, but vulnerable and inadequately trained for fighting the devastation wrought by the virus. Many have seen close friends and family members, or people they simply knew from a distance, admitted to emergency departments and hospitals gravely ill and fighting for their lives. Though I pray this not to be the case, some of you may have even lost someone you knew. You may feel increasingly isolated, deprived of the simple pleasures that only a few weeks ago would have countered your daily stresses, those that seem so trivial now. Hugs, handshakes, and many expressions of affection are actively discouraged and may seem a thing of the past.

On a positive note, we are increasingly aware that we are all in this together. Although we may skip the handshakes and hugs for now, the smile, even behind a mask, will help. Apart from the heroic acts of many physicians, mental health specialists, nurses, residents, and ancillary staff, we are seeing a new dedication to learning and excellence in what we do. Energies are channeled in different productive directions and groups are collaborating to produce new educational materials. Although the SMSNA Scientific Program at the AUA was cancelled, we are going the extra mile to be sure the November meeting surpasses all your expectations. Through an initiative started by the AUA, we are also working on a “virtual” plenary session focused on sexual medicine, one that will feature many of you who were part of the original AUA plenary program. Our administrators are as dedicated as ever and are working hard to organize not only our next meetings, but also to plan for many other SMSNA projects – special thanks to the Status Plus team! We will continue to keep you updated and informed through our newsletters and websites.

Lastly, we have been collectively reminded of all that truly matters, relationships with our family, friends, and colleagues. I wish you good health, strength and happiness – until we meet again.

As in Aesop’s little reed bending to the force of the wind, we too will stand upright again when the storm passes over.

Hossein Sadeghi-Nejad, MD