Citation for Prof. Prinya Sakiyalak, MD, FACS

Professor Prinya

Mr. President, it is my privilege to present to you Prof. Prinya Sakiyalak of Bangkok, Thailand, for Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons. Professor Sakiyalak was born in Bangkok, where he obtained his medical degree with honors from Mahidol University of Medical Sciences, Siriraj Hospital. Following a residency in general surgery at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, he went to Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, to pursue his true love, cardiac surgery. Following completion of his cardiothoracic residency, he returned to Bangkok to introduce coronary artery surgery to Thailand and Southeast Asia. He performed the first coronary artery surgery in Thailand and established a cardiothoracic surgery residency. He is responsible for the training of most cardiac surgeons in Thailand. When cardiac transplant became a reality, he established a clinical and training program for that surgical discipline in Thailand.

Soon after returning to his home country, he began to accompany the King and Queen of Thailand on volunteer medical missions to serve the poor and became the personal physician to the Queen. In 1992, he attended and received a diploma from the National Defense College of Thailand, which he added to his certifications from the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the Thai Board of Thoracic Surgery, and the Thai Board of Cardiology. He remained on the faculty of Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, for his entire career, becoming professor emeritus in 1998. Dr. Prinya, as he is called in Thailand, also has organized and participated in public service programs of the Heart Foundation, providing medical care to disadvantaged populations in outlying areas of Thailand. He remains active in teaching and service and has been honored five times by the King of Thailand for service to his country.

Dr. Prinya has remained loyal to his American training, becoming a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1975 and serving as Governor for Thailand from 1991 to 1996. He is a generous host to visiting American colleagues.

Dr. Prinya personifies service. He has been president of the Heart Association of Thailand, ASEAN Federation of Cardiology, Society of Thoracic Surgeons of Thailand, and Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand. He serves on a number of editorial boards and contributes to their literature. He was also made an honorary member of the Asian Society for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery in 2011.

Dr. Prinya and Usana, his wife of 46 years, have three children. Pranya is a cardiac surgeon and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons; Don is a hospital administrator; and Solaya is an executive financial analyst. They are all devoted to their Buddhist faith.

Additionally, Usana has been honored by the Queen three times. Dr. Prinya has a magnificent singing voice and is a noted songwriter. He has written the Thai lyrics of songs in several popular historical movies as well as the lyrics for the song for the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand. Dr. Prinya still plays tennis most days. He is beloved by his family, friends, colleagues, and country.

President Eastman, it is with great pride that I present Dr. Prinya Sakiyalak, a surgeon of incredible dedication and service to our profession and his country, for Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.

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