President Richardson, it is my distinct privilege to present you and this assembly Prof. Hernando Abaúnza Orjuela of Bogota, Colombia, a renaissance surgeon and one of the principal thought leaders in South American surgery, for Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.
Professor Abaúnza completed medical school and a residency in general surgery at the National University of Colombia, Bogota. After a few years, he became professor of general surgery and chief, department of surgery at the San Pedro Clever Hospital, a leading medical center in Colombia.
Over the years, he has contributed to the surgical literature with more than 120 scientific papers on breast cancer and complex abdominal surgery.
Professor Abaúnza was the founder, and then president, of the Colombian Association of Surgery.
In 1970, he became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and from 1993 to 1999 he was the ACS Governor for Colombia. He is an honorary member of the majority of the surgical associations in Latin America. Notably, he was President of FELAC, the Latin American Federation of Surgery, and is currently the executive director of the Colombian Association of Surgery.
President Richardson and colleagues, I have summarized for you in a few words the professional life of Professor Abaúnza. Let me tell you now about the man. During the many times I have interacted with him, I have seen a charismatic, gentle, and humble man who leads by example with grace. He personifies the essence of the phrase, “It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.”
President Richardson, Professor Abaúnza is a remarkable individual who has dedicated his professional life to the development of surgery in South America. I am honored to present him for Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.