American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

The Communication Pulse: Leadership and Member Perspectives

100 Words

The ACS’ increased emphasis on championing diversity, equity, and inclusion and our action to address racism in surgery ultimately will result in the demographics of our Fellows more closely matching those of their patients. Our “image” will significantly change, as the surgical workforce must increasingly include more women and underrepresented minorities. What are other ways that we portray our image to patients? I insist that my residents wear professional attire and a clean white lab coat rather than scrubs in the clinic and on rounds; no scrubs are permitted out of the hospital environment. Does this preference make me “old fashioned?”

L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS, Chair, American College of Surgeons Board of Regents

Surgeon Voices

In this issue, Steven D. Wexner, MD, FACS, FRCSEng, FRCSEd, FRCSI(Hon), FRCSGlasg(Hon), Vice-Chair, American College of Surgeons Board of Regents, and Director, Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, FL, interviews:

Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, Director, ACS Division of Member Services, and Christian Shalgian, Director, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, on what to expect at the upcoming virtual 2021 ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit.

Herbert Chen, MD, FACS, chair, department of surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and chair, American Board of Surgery Research Committee, on the ABS virtual certifying examination (oral boards) process that was developed in response to safety precautions for COVID-19.

A Humbling Reminder of the Privilege of Fellowship

by Bryan K. Richmond, MD, MBA, FACS, Board of Governors Communications Pillar Lead

Over the last seven years, I have had the privilege to serve both as an ACS Chapter President and as the Governor-at-Large from West Virginia. I am grateful for these opportunities and for the personal growth that these positions have allowed me. I feel that I have developed as a surgeon, as a leader and as an individual. Working with so many outstanding leaders within the College has humbled me, but perhaps the most humbling moment that I have experienced in my tenure as an ACS leader occurred at the Convocation at Clinical Congress 2015.

As a new Governor, I understood that one of my responsibilities was to attend the Convocation. The 2015 Convocation would be the first that I had attended. I was unable to participate in the Clinical Congress the year that I was inducted as a Fellow, so I received my certificate by mail. To be honest, I did not really think much about it. I was happy to have been elected to Fellowship, and I really did not feel that the ceremony added much to the honor. The pomp and circumstance seemed superfluous to me at the time.

But at the 2015 Convocation, I was impressed with the formality of the ceremony. The Presidential Address was moving, and I enjoyed the fellowship with the other members of the Board of Governors. The most dramatic—and humbling—moment for me, however, occurred as the Governors were leaving the stage at the conclusion of the ceremony. As I walked down the aisle, I saw a group of international Fellows with their families. I do not recall the countries they were representing, but it was clear that they had come from what was likely several thousand miles away to receive this honor. I remember these brothers and sisters in the House of Surgery and their families hugging each other in tears. They were overwhelmed with the realization that they were now Fellows of our great organization—the American College of Surgeons.

At this point, I too was overwhelmed and, frankly, a little ashamed, because too often, I think, we take for granted the privileges that we have as Fellows of the College. Like everything else, you get out of Fellowship in the College what you put into Fellowship with the College. This experience prompted me to be more appreciative of the opportunities I had been afforded, to smile a little more and to work a little harder to excel in my role as a leader.

I share this as my term as a Governor draws to a close, so that the incoming Governors, chapter leaders and new Fellows may better understand all that it means to share in the wealth of this great organization.