Last night Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) was awarded to six prominent surgeons from Germany, England, Thailand, Mexico, and Malaysia during the Convocation ceremony that preceded the official opening of the 2013 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons. The granting of Honorary Fellowship is one of the highlights of the Clinical Congress, which is one of the largest international meetings of surgeons in the world. The recipients were:
-Prof. Markus W. Büchler
Professor Büchler is a professor of surgery and has been the director of the department of general/abdominal and transplant surgery at the University of Heidelberg since 2001. His clinical and scientific interests have focused on the pancreas, and he has established himself as one of the foremost pancreatic surgeons in the world. He has written sentinel papers on adjuvant treatment of pancreatic cancer, treatment strategies in necrotizing pancreatitis, and highly utilized consensus guidelines for grading complications of pancreatic surgery. With more than 1,800 published papers, an average of 100 each year since 2004, he was the most cited surgeon in Europe in 2012. Professor Büchler is a strong advocate for evidence-based surgical treatment. In 2002, he founded the German Surgical Study Center for Clinical Trials, which has produced 12 randomized controlled multicenter trials to date. His 35-center trial that examined the optimal timing of cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis was the lead presentation at this year's American Surgical Association. Professor Büchler has been awarded five honorary doctorates, 22 international honorary memberships, and he has served on 46 editorial boards.
-Prof. R. J. (Bill) Heald
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
Professor Heald is a professor of surgery at the University of Southampton and a consultant surgeon at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He is also surgical director of the Pelican Cancer Foundation, which educates health professionals in the management of patients with colon and rectal cancer. Professor Heald led the North Hampshire Hospital team in the development of Total Mesorectal Excision (TME), a procedure used to treat rectal cancer by removing a significant length of the bowel around the tumor. A passionate educator, Professor Heald has dedicated himself to training surgeons, both in the U.K. and internationally, in the conduct of TME by broadcasting live video of operations, and holding a dialogue with his audience. He has performed more than 400 of these procedures in more than 30 countries since developing the technique 1988. Professor Heald has close to 150 peer-reviewed publications in surgical literature, mostly in the field of colorectal surgery. Besides teaching and publishing, he has participated in workshops, named lectures, postgraduate courses, master classes, and video productions worldwide.
-Prof. Prinya Sakiyalak
Professor Sakiyalak spent his entire career on the faculty of Siriraj Hospital at Mahidol University in Bangkok, where he became a professor emeritus in 1998. After completing his cardiothoracic surgery residency, Professor Sakiyalak returned to Bangkok to introduce coronary artery surgery there and in other parts of Southeast Asia. He performed the first ever coronary artery surgery in Thailand and established a cardiothoracic surgery residency there. He also established a clinical and training program in Thailand for cardiac transplants. Professor Sakiyalak began to accompany the king and queen of Thailand on volunteer medical missions to serve the poor. He has organized and participated in programs of the Heart Foundation, providing medical care to disadvantaged people in his home country. As a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he served as an ACS Governor for Thailand from 1991 to 1996. Professor Sakiyalak has been president of several surgical associations in Thailand and has also served on a number of editorial boards of medical journals.
-Prof. J. Octavio Ruiz Speare
Mexico City, Mexico
Professor Ruiz has been a pioneer of transplant and laparoscopic surgery in his home country, where his service in the army sparked his professional interest in trauma. Following his military career, Professor Ruiz, who earned a rank equivalent to Lt. General, came to the United States to become an Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS®) instructor. Shortly after he returned to Mexico, an earthquake prompted Professor Ruiz to dedicate himself to improving trauma care there. He has been in charge of Mexico's ATLS program, which has trained more than 1,000 instructors and 45,000 students, since 1986. Professor Ruiz also served as the chief of transplant surgery and chair of the Department of Education at Central Military Hospital in Mexico City. He was then appointed director of the hospital and chief of medical services for the Presidential General Staff. He was the personal surgeon for two Mexican presidents and was the attaché for former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Pope John Paul II. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the ATLS Meritorious Service Award and the Trauma Achievement Award presented by the ACS Committee on Trauma.
-Prof. Norman S. Williams
Professor Williams has had a distinguished career as an internationally-recognized academic colorectal surgeon. His commitment to address the importance of bowel continuity, sphincter preservation, and restoration has been an inspiration to his patients, and he has led scientists to develop innovative trials resulting in evidence-based advances in the management of bowel function. Professor Williams was director of the Academic Surgical Unit at the London Hospital from 1985 to 1995, and then served as the head of the Center for Academic Surgery at London Queen Mary's School. In 2011, he was elected by his peers to be president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, a role that defines international surgical leadership. Professor Williams also developed and raised funds for the National Center for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation, which opened in 2012.
-Prof. Cheng-Har Yip
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Professor Yip is a consultant breast surgeon in Malaysia's Sime Darby Medical Centre and also holds appointments at the University of the West of England and as a clinical professor at the University Tunku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur. Professor Yip first trained in general and pediatric surgery, but subspecialized in breast surgery. After training in the United Kingdom, she created one of the first breast clinics in Malaysia at the University of Malaya Medical Centre, which now sees more than 300 new breast cancer cases every year. Neither medical oncology nor palliative care services were available there, so Professor Yip learned to give her own chemotherapy and provide palliation while she also ran the hospital's general surgery services. In 2010, Professor Yip became the first woman president of the College of Surgeons of Malaysia. She has also consulted for the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other international groups. She continues to serve as research advisor to the Breast Cancer Research Programme, having established a tissue repository and breast cancer database at Sime Darby.
Presenting the Honorary Fellowships on behalf of the College were: Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, FACS, Boston, MA; John K. MacFarlane, MDCM, FACS, FRCSC, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Patricia J. Numann, MD, FACS, FRCSEd (Hon), FRCS(Glas)(Hon), Syracuse, NY; Lenworth M. Jacobs, Jr., MD, FACS, Hartford, CN; Murray F. Brennan, MD, FACS, FRCSI(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon), FRCSEng(Hon), FRCSGlas(Hon), FRACS (Hon), New York, NY; and Benjamin O. Anderson, MD, FACS, Seattle, WA.
Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons is awarded during the Convocation ceremony to surgeons whose education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College. During this year's ceremony, 1,622 surgeons from around the world were admitted into Fellowship. With a membership of more than 79,000, ACS is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.
Sir Rickman Godlee, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, was awarded the first Honorary Fellowship in the ACS during the College's first Convocation in 1913. Since then, 441 internationally prominent surgeons, including the six chosen this year, have been named Honorary Fellows of the American College of Surgeons.
American College of Surgeons