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ISSLS Focus Groups – A Call for Proposals

ISSLS Focus Groups gives a chance to meet with colleagues from around the world on a specialty topic of your choice. Information about Focus Groups at the ISSLS 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting will be posted soon.

The International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) has been a leading scientific society in the area of low back pathology for over 40 years. Our Annual Meeting serves a forum for the exchange of information between members and non-­members in the basic science and clinical areas related to low back pain, disability, and other lumbar spine problems.

The distinctive strengths of ISSLS include the broad international attendance at our Annual Meeting and the multidisciplinary nature of the attendees.

Given this multidiscplinary focus of our Annual Meeting, some clinicians and basic scientists may not attend, rather preferring a more focused meeting in their area of specialty. For example, some surgeons may prefer a very focused meeting on surgical issues in the lumbar spine rather than the broad mix that is presented at ISSLS.

The Idea
To take advantage of our broad attendance from international leaders at the Annual Meeting, we would like to provide our members with the opportunity to organize focused sub-­specialty sessions prior to the Annual Meeting. These Focus Groups would enable advanced discussion and possible collaboration amongst a subset of interested members & non-­members. There is no limit to the nature of the topic to be discussed, apart from it being relevant to the mission of ISSLS. Possibilities include genetics, disc biology, registry, radiology etc., but ultimately are up to the creative energies of our membership.

The Focus Group sessions could be one day before the Annual Meeting and there is no time limit (i.e. could be half-­day, full-­day). The suggested time slots for the meeting in Melbourne, Australia is April 27 (afternoon session) or April 28 (morning session).

Each Focus Group will be provided a small meeting room at the Congress venue with the requisite audio-­visual facilities. The administrative organization of each Focus Group meeting must be provided by its Chair and members -­ not the ISSLS Office.

Next Steps
Each Focus Group must have a Chair who is an ISSLS member. The Chair is responsible for submitting a proposal that outlines the topic and describes briefly the rationale for a Focus Group (max. 1 page). The Focus Group Chair should be prepared to provide a brief report on progress at the Focus Group Report session during the ISSLS meeting. It is anticipated that some Focus Groups may meet in several consecutive years, while others may meet only once.

The Focus Group proposals are due to the ISSLS Administrative Secretary by November 15. A maximum of four Focus Group proposals will be approved. E-mail proposals can be sent to: [javascript protected email address]