The Surgical Outcomes Club is a consortium of surgeons and scientists committed to understanding and improving the practice of surgery. Despite remarkable advances in the field of surgery, the profession faces many ongoing challenges. These include technological innovation and proliferation in an era of tightening constraints on spending; concerns about disparities in patient access and outcomes; and variations in surgical quality across both hospitals and surgeons.
Our mission is to help develop the knowledge base and policy framework for meeting these challenges. Toward this end, SOC provides a forum for the sharing of ideas, facilitate networking among researchers, and help develop the outcomes research leaders of the future.
Beginning in the late 1990s, a small group of motivated surgeons interested in health services and outcomes research began meeting for a dinner organized by Drs. John Birkmeyer and John Clarke each year in conjunction with the annual American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress. SOC as it exists today held its first Annual Scientific Session in 2005 in San Francisco, CA. Conceived and sponsored by Dr. Michael Zinner and the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Caprice Greenberg (then Caprice Christian), Dr. John Clarke, Dr. John Birkmeyer and Dr. Selwyn Rogers organized the meeting.
SOC organizers sought to structure the club similar to that of other small, but successful, surgical organizations. To that end, initial bylaws were created and a leadership committee with a Secretary and Treasurer established at the first business meeting. Dr. John Birkmeyer was elected as the first Secretary and served as the leader for SOC.
The second meeting was held in Chicago, IL and was again sponsored by the generous donations of Dr. Michael Zinner, the Department of Surgery and the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The following year, SOC instituted the payment of “membership dues” for its participants as a means to offset costs associated with holding the Annual Scientific Session. Since that time, SOC has continued to provide a forum for the sharing of ideas, facilitate networking among researchers, and help develop the surgical outcomes research leaders of the future.
Since then, there has been several people that have served in leadership roles to continue what was started by Drs. John Birkmeyer and John Clarke in the late 90s.
To read more about the history of the Surgical Outcomes Club, check out the viewpoint “Past and Future Role of the Surgical Outcomes Club in Advancing Surgical Outcomes and Health Services Research”, which was published in JAMA Surgery.