Community Surgeons Travel Awards available for 2020

The International Relations Committee of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has announced travel awards for international surgeons. These awards, in the amount of $4,000 each, provide international surgeons with the opportunity to attend and participate fully in the educational activities of the annual ACS Clinical Congress. They are proposed to specifically assist surgeons who work in community or regional hospitals or clinics in countries other than the U.S. and Canada, or who are from poorly resourced academic departments of surgery in poorly resourced countries. A new award has been established, honoring Gomasha and Abduwahab Al-Foraih, to commence in 2020. Another Community Surgeons Travel Award has been donated through the generosity of the Doctors Duremdes family, designated for Filipino surgeons, which gives preference to meritorious applications from Iloilo Province, Panay Island, and non-urban Philippine communities.

Each awardee will receive gratis registration to the annual Clinical Congress and to one available postgraduate course held during the conference. Assistance will be provided to obtain preferential housing in an economical hotel in the host city for Clinical Congress, which in 2020 will take place in Chicago, IL.

Applicant and awardee requirements

Requirements for applicants and awardees are as follows:

  • Applicants must be graduates of schools of medicine who have completed their surgical training.
  • Applicants must be 30–50 years old on the date that the complete application is filed.
  • Applicants must submit their applications from their intended permanent location. Applications will be accepted for processing only when the applicants have been in surgical practice, teaching, or research for a minimum of one year at their intended permanent location, following completion of all formal training (including fellowships and scholarships).
  • Applicants must show evidence of commitment to high-quality surgery, to surgical teaching, and to improving access to surgical care in their community.
  • Applicants must submit a fully completed application form provided by the College on its website. The application and accompanying materials must be submitted in English. Submission of a curriculum vitae only is not acceptable.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have not already experienced training or surgical fellowships in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Applicants must submit independently prepared letters of recommendation from three of their colleagues. One letter must be from the chair of the department in which they hold a clinical or academic appointment or from a Fellow of the ACS residing in their country. The chair’s or the Fellow’s letter is to directly address the applicant’s commitment to high-quality surgery, surgical teaching, and improving access to surgical care locally. Letters of recommendation should be submitted by the persons making the recommendations.
  • The Community Surgeon Travel Awards must be used in the year for which they are designated. They cannot be postponed.
  • Awardees are expected to provide a written report upon their return home, specifically focusing on the value of the visit to the awardee and the potential beneficial effect to patients in the country of origin.
  • Unsuccessful applicants may reapply only twice and only by completing and submitting a new application together with new supporting documentation.

In order to qualify for consideration by the selection committee, all of the requirements must be fulfilled.

All applications for the year 2020 and all the supporting documentation must be received by the International Liaison prior to July 1, 2019, in order for an applicant to receive consideration by the selection committee. Supporting materials and questions should be directed to the International Liaison at or via fax at 312-202-5021.

All applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision in November 2019. Applicants are urged to submit their completed applications and supporting documents as early as possible in order to provide sufficient time for processing.

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