For several years, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) International Relations Committee has suggested uses for funds from a generous donor for surgical education intended to benefit young international surgeons. Initially, support was provided to a few international surgeons to attend the annual Clinical Congress. More recently, the committee proposed that the College’s international chapters compete to develop and present original surgical education courses using local and international Fellows as faculty. The Dr. Pon Fund International Chapter Opportunity program, named for Pon Satitpunwaycha, MD, FACS, who is funding the program, has thus far assisted two international chapters in presenting an original surgical education course.
The Brazil Chapter of the ACS offered the first program, Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Review Course, September 29–October 1, 2016. The 200 participants included 80 medical students, 60 surgical residents, and 60 surgeons. Highlights of the program included a study of digestive hemorrhage and a discussion of “damage control surgery.” Faculty members were from Brazil and several other Latin American countries, in addition to the U.S. The course was offered at Universidade de Santo Amaro, Sao Paulo. The Brazil Chapter presented a plaque commemorating the course to ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, at Clinical Congress 2016, to be forwarded to Dr. Pon with the chapter’s gratitude.
The Greece Chapter presented its course, Global Surgery Emergency Case Studies, May 26–28, 2017. Numerous surgeons, residents, and medical students participated in the course, which incorporated both didactic and hands-on training with realistic mannequins and focused on treatment for a variety of trauma injuries and situations. The chapter’s goals were to help participants become acquainted with the basics of emergency surgery, refresh their knowledge of diagnosis and technique in low-resource settings, and develop awareness and sensitivity in humanitarian surgery. The course was presented at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and participating faculty included 32 Greek surgeons and 13 Fellows from the U.S. and other countries.
At press time, the Lebanon Chapter was preparing to give its presentation, Principles of PeriOperative Safety and Efficiency, as a one-day intensive course in September.
The International Relations Committee and the awarded chapters are grateful for this opportunity to encourage surgical education and are unanimous in thanking Dr. Pon for his generous spirit.