Dear ISSM members,
I hope you are all well and safe.
We are still facing difficult times around the world. Many countries are in their 2nd or 3rd wave of COVID-19 infections, and face many challenges, whilst other countries are beginning to open their societies. The pandemic also has an impact on our society and our members. During the last months we have lost members to COVID-19, and others have been ill but recovered or may still struggle with the recovery. Others may be challenged on their daily practice and work. Wherever you are, I hope you are safe and manage to get through these difficult times.
A major challenge is that the situation is still very unsecure, and most people cannot plan to travel. Because of the situation, the ISSM directors have decided to change the Japan World Meeting on Sexual Medicine (WMSM) to a virtual meeting to take place on 19-21 November 2021. We really had hoped that it would have been possible to meet in person – and I personally had looked forward to meeting all you good colleagues in Japan. I know that the APSSM (Asia Pacific Society for Sexual Medicine) and the JSSM (Japanese Society for Sexual Medicine) also had looked forward to welcome you all in Japan.
HOWEVER, the meeting is not cancelled. At this moment the local organizers and the scientific committee are working hard together with our office to change the program so you can join the high-quality program online. I want to express a special thank you to Prof. Koichi Nagao, local organizing committee chair of the WMSM2021, to Prof. Yoshikazu Sato, local organizing committee secretary general, to Prof. Bang-Ping Jiann, President of APSSM, and also to Prof. Eric Chung, chair of the scientific committee, for their tremendous work, effort and flexibility which has been remarkable. More detailed information will follow through a separate e-mailing next week, where you will also have the opportunity to register for the virtual World Meeting on Sexual Medicine.
As a consequence of the pandemic and postponement of the WMSM last year the ISSM introduced the monthly webinar series. We are now celebrating our 12th webinar on May 27, 2021. The topic is ‘Testosterone Abuse and Sexual Health’. Our webinars have been a huge success. We have hundreds of participants at each webinar and managed to have attendees from all continents at several meeting including the Antarctic. This is quite remarkable and wonderful to see as ISSM president as providing knowledge on sexual medicine throughout the world is an important part of ISSM’s mission. Our series of webinars have even drawn attention to the publisher of our journals, Elsevier, who will soon share our experiences with other societies they are collaborating with. I hope you will all continue to follow the webinars. I also want to thank the education committee for the huge work they have put into the webinars lead by the vice-chair Patrícia M. Pascoal from Portugal.
Several other projects and initiatives are happening in our Society now. Soon you will be introduced to a new initiative “Ask the Experts” which is initiated and lead by Dr. Gerald Brock from Canada. The ISSM has also started to work on a diversity, equity and inclusion policy and has engaged the Ethics committee in this work lead by Dr. Daniela Wittmann from the USA and initiated by Dr. Arthur Burnett from the USA. We look forward to informing more about these projects in the near future.
Please remember that if you have ideas or suggestions for projects, you can always contact the members of the ISSM Executive Committee or contact our Executive Office.
Meanwhile, please stay safe – hopefully we are moving towards easier times where we can meet in person.