December 1, 2022
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 2022 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 Clinical 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 spiritual and medical symbolism behind the ACS seal, which features Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, and a Native American medicine man sitting under the Tree of Knowledge. The words, Omnibus per artem fidemque prodesse are inscribed at the bottom of the seal as the College motto; it translates as “To Heal All with Skill and Trust.”
Among the ways that Dr. Ellison said he hopes to further the ACS motto are by promoting excellence in surgical care, bringing the House of Surgery closer together, and expanding diversity in the workforce to eliminate social disparities in access, and solve the rural surgeon shortage.
He also said it’s important that surgeons learn the Platinum Rule—treating patients how they wish to be treated, taking into account their unique ethnicity, culture, gender, background, and experiences.
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. Access the video.
You also can access the full text of Dr. Ellison’s Presidential Address in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
View the full Convocation Ceremony, including the procession, awards, and Presidential Address.