SPECIALTY SOCIETIES Society for the Study of Male Reproduction Annual Symposium: Male Infertility Care in the Modern Era

By: ames M. Dupree, MD, MPH; James F. Smith, MD, MS | Posted on: 01 May 2022

The Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR) is thrilled to hold its Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Sunday, May 15 (1:00–5:00 pm, LaNouvelle Orleans Ballroom C of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center). While outstanding scientific and clinical research will be presented throughout the AUA Meeting, we will use the SSMR Annual Meeting to reflect on the 2 years since we last met in person and to build a better future for our patients. Our theme will be “Male Infertility Care in the Modern Era: Building a Better Future for Our Patients.” Dr. Jim Dupree, the 2022 SSMR Program Chair, has organized an outstanding lineup of engaging speakers, including leaders in the fields of urology, andrology and reproductive medicine. These sessions will be moderated by several exceptional SSMR members including Drs. Jim Smith, David Shin and Christopher Deibert.

We will start the SSMR meeting where we start our work—with the patient. After hearing the patient’s perspective on the past 2 years, we will next discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on male reproductive health and our clinical practices. We will first have a debate between Drs. Jim Hotaling and Ranjith Ramasamy about the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on spermatogenesis and male reproductive health. Expect a lively debate. Drs. Akanksha Mehta and Sarah Vij will then debate a technology that is more prevalent today than ever before—telemedicine. Specifically, they will debate whether telemedicine is able to replace our in-person evaluations for men with infertility.

The pandemic of 2020 and 2021 also shone an even brighter light on the long-standing discrimination and systemic racism that impact Black communities and other communities of color. The SSMR released a statement on racism and diversity in response to numerous events in 2020.1 Moving forward, the SSMR Board of Directors has committed to several initiatives to address existing disparities and inequities, including highlighting these topics during the Annual Meeting. This year, we are honored to have Dr. Tracy Downs, Chair of the AUA’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and Dr. Simone Thavaseelan, provide our SSMR Keynote address. Drs. Downs and Thavaseelan will speak about the impact of systemic racism on male infertility patients and our practices from the perspective of physicians outside the field of reproductive medicine. Dr. Tolu Bakare will then speak about building male infertility practices that support our multicultural patients. Finally, we have launched the SSMR/Fellow Health Diverse Leadership Scholar award focused on mentoring a diverse class of future academic and clinical leaders in our field. We are selecting and highlighting our inaugural 5 scholars at this year’s meeting.

Our final session will be devoted to the future of male infertility care, imagining care in the year 2026. Drs. Dolores Lamb and Kathleen Hwang will discuss advanced diagnostics and advanced therapeutics in our field, focusing on what will be needed in 5 years to care for patients with male infertility. Dr. Jim Dupree will then discuss the new SSMR/SMRU white paper about the impact of physician productivity models on access to infertility care, including what will be needed to ensure patients can access our services for years to come.2

Urology residents, fellows and medical students are strongly encouraged to attend the SSMR Symposium as well. We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) to co-sponsor the joint SSMR & SMSNA Traveling Fellowship Program. This opportunity is open to current urology residents who are interested in our respective fields. Additionally, we are proud to continue to offer the Arnold Belker Traveling Fellowship to current reproductive urology fellows.

The 2021 SSMR meeting will be patient-centered, practical and dynamic, aiming for all attendees to take home new learning that will influence their patients and practices. We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans where we can continue to drive SSMR’s mission of encouraging the study, elevating the practice and improving the quality of care of the subfertile male.

  1. Society for the Study of Male Reproduction: SSMR Statement on Racism and Diversity: Available at https://ssmr.org/news/ssmr-statement-on-diversity.aspx.
  2. Dupree JM, Coward RM, Hsieh M et al: Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR) and Society for Male Reproduction and Urology (SMRU): The impact of physician productivity models on access to subspecialty care: a white paper from the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction and the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology. Urology 2021; 153: 28.
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