The annual Convocation Ceremony during Clinical Congress has been described as transformative, not only for new initiates, but also for their family members, surgeon leaders, and other attendees who experience the pomp and circumstance and celebrate the admirable achievements of surgeons around the world.
Newly installed ACS President E. Christopher Ellison, MD, FACS, MAMSE, dedicated his Presidential Address to the initiates—all 2,355 of them who can now proudly add FACS to their credentials.
“Those in attendance have come from many different places, by many different means and roads. Likewise, our journey in our careers has begun at a thousand different points, both literally and figuratively. We have taken many different paths to get where we are today. Tonight, all of these roads intersect here in San Diego at the 103rd ACS Congress,” he said.
Dr. Ellison described being a surgeon as the most honorable and professionally rewarding among the many specialties in medicine and acknowledged that the past few years—because of COVID-19 and political turmoil—have been difficult. “It is apparent to me that the profession of surgery must be more united than ever before. As we take our professional journey, we as a College must be united across generations anchored by the ideals of our founders for the good of our patients and society,” he said.
Those ideals include quality, integrity, and professionalism. He went on to describe the symbolism behind the ACS seal and explain the motto, which is now translated as “To Heal All with Skill and Trust.”
“My seeds of hope to promote excellence in surgical care include bringing the House of Surgery closer together, expanding diversity in our workforce to eliminate social disparities in access and to solve the rural surgeon shortage, and for each of us to learn how our patients wish to be treated,” Dr. Ellison said.
You can learn more about Dr. Ellison and why he chose the presidential theme, Surgeons United, in a short video that kicked off the Opening Ceremony during Clinical Congress.
You also can access the text of Dr. Ellison’s Presidential Address, “Our Professional Journey: Surgeons United,” in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons and watch the full Convocation Ceremony on the ACS Website.