We continue our interview series with Stacy Brethauer, MD, FASMBS. Dr. Brethauer is a Staff Physician in the Section of Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery at Cleveland Clinic. He is the Director of Bariatric Surgery at Fairview Hospital and Associate Program Director for the Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery Fellowship program. He currently serves on the ASMBS Executive Council as President-elect. He is involved in a variety of national committees and task forces focusing on quality and accreditation in bariatric surgery.
Why do you serve on the ASMBS Foundation Board?
I serve because the Foundation serves as an important extension of the ASMBS society as a whole and allows the membership to direct their contributions to the specific mission of the Foundation, namely research, education, and advocacy.
Board members receive no compensation, and fundraising is often difficult. What motivates you?
The mission of the ASMBS and the Foundation motivates me. Those of us that treat obesity are unique because we can make such a positive impact on our patients’ lives. The fact that so many people with the disease of obesity go untreated or can’t get access to effective treatment drives us to work toward that common goal.
How has the ASMBS Foundation supported the ASMBS vision; “to improve public health and well-being by lessening the burden of the disease of obesity and related diseases throughout the world”?
The Foundation provides research grants that can get an investigator started on their quest to answer specific questions about obesity or how our operations work. Additionally, the advocacy and education efforts that are supported by the Foundation have opened the door to treatment for many patients in need and educated physicians and trainees in other specialties that are affected by obesity.
How do you view the future of metabolic and bariatric surgery, and how critical is the ASMBS foundation to actualize these goals?
The future of our specialty is incredibly exciting. There is so much energy and talent in our society and as our field moves forward, I hope that bariatric surgery will become even more mainstream along with other specialties. With the support of the Foundation, we are piloting a new bariatric surgery curriculum and striving to achieve recognition as a unique specialty by the American Board of Surgery, we are providing educational apps and websites to engage medical students and residents about bariatric surgery, and we continue to innovate and investigate less invasive treatment options.