September 1, 2022
Clinical Congress is steeped in tradition and ceremony. From the welcoming of initiates—including 3 years of new Fellows in 2022—to the swearing in of new leaders, the event is unforgettable.
Since 1957, an annual highlight has been when the ACS bestows the Distinguished Service Award—its highest honor—to one eminently qualified surgeon. The award is in recognition of exceptional and continuous service as an ACS Fellow, as well as a career distinguished by devotion to patient care and the principles and ideals that guide all surgeons in their professional practice.
When the Congress convenes next month, that honor will go to Mark A. Malangoni, MD, FACS, a former member of the ACS Board of Regents (B/R) and Board of Governors (B/G).
“I cannot think of someone who exemplifies what this award and the American College of Surgeons exemplifies more than Dr. Malangoni,” said Lewis Flint, MD, FACS, who served with Dr. Malangoni at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Kentucky, for nearly a decade and remembers his patient-first philosophy. “In every stage of his career, Dr. Malangoni made surgeons better by instilling in them the philosophy that how the patient fares is the most important thing in all of surgery. He has always known and stressed that better surgeons come from better patient outcomes.”
A recently retired general surgeon who lives in Lyndhurst, OH, Dr. Malangoni has been an ACS Fellow since 1983. In addition to serving on the B/R, he chaired both the B/G and Advisory Council for General Surgery, as well as serving on multiple other committees for the College. He also is a past president of the Ohio Chapter of the ACS and received the Chapter’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005.
“I consider this award to be the greatest honor of my career,” Dr. Malangoni said. “Since my induction, the College has provided opportunities to work with a multitude of talented surgeons, as well as the wonderfully resourceful American College of Surgeons’ staff. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with colleagues on various governance bodies, and I am grateful to the College for contributing to my professional growth. I stand in awe of the many ACS contributions to advance patient care.”
As Dr. Flint reflected on his time with Dr. Malangoni, he remembered the philosophy that guided them at the University of Louisville.
“We were instructed to track the outcome of every patient; if there was something learned, we were to write it down and, if possible, publish it,” Dr. Flint said. “Dr. Malangoni never refused a chance to teach others about lessons he learned in the profession.”
In fact, Dr. Malangoni has authored or coauthored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and 50 book chapters. He is a member or former member of the editorial boards for the American Journal of Surgery, Annals of Surgery, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Surgery, Surgical Infections, and World Journal of Emergency Surgery.
A former adjunct professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Dr. Malangoni served for more than 20 years as a professor of surgery at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He served as chair of the department of surgery and as surgeon-in-chief at MetroHealth Medical Center, both in Cleveland, Ohio, during those same 20 years.
He is a past-president of the Central Surgical Association, the Surgical Infection Society, and the Cleveland Surgical Society. Dr. Malangoni served as vice-president of the American Surgical Association and the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. He is a senior director and past chair of the American Board of Surgery and has held leadership roles for the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He also served as vice-chair of the Residency Review Committee for Surgery for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Dr. Malangoni was the associate executive director of the American Board of Surgery 2011–2019.