American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

International Café: The ACS Argentina Chapter

Dr. FerreresDuring the Clinical Congress hosted in Chicago, IL, in 1951, Dr. Juan Allende from Córdoba, Argentina, started discussions with the College’s authorities with the goal of establishing an Argentina Chapter. These negotiations were held between Drs. Paul Hawley and H. Prather on behalf of the College and Drs. Allende and Mario Brea, from Argentina. On October 6, 1954, the Argentina Chapter was created in a meeting at the headquarters of the Argentine Medical Association, where the bylaws were approved unanimously.

In October 1972, the Argentina Chapter organized an international course with Dr. Bentley Colcock as guest speaker, and in December 1978, the chapter organized an international meeting with Drs. Thomas Starzl and George Nardi as guest speakers. 

In 1992, the IV Latin American Meeting of American College of Surgeons (ACS) Fellows took place in Buenos Aires under the presidency of Dr. Aldo Bracco. This meeting may be considered as the starting point of the academic activities sponsored by the chapter. The scientific event started another traditional activity, the Annual Symposium. In 2017, the 28th Symposium was held with Dr. Carlos Pellegrini, former ACS President, and Dr. David Flum as invited speakers.

For the last three years, the Argentina Chapter, together with the Argentine Surgical Association, has played a major role in the organization of our National Surgical Meeting. The presence of the ACS President is customary, and in that role, Drs. Carlos Pellegrini, Andrew Warshaw, and Courtney Townsend—all Past-Presidents of the College—have visited Argentina. Later in 2017, Dr. Barbara Bass will attend our National Meeting.

The Argentina Chapter’s Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS®) program began in 1989 under the leadership of Miguel Gómez; the current Chair of Trauma Committee is Dr. Alejandro de Grazia. Annually, approximately 30 ATLS courses are organized. A total of 847 people participated in the 2016 courses. Our chapter also is considering other educational programs, including the General Surgery Review Course.

Another goal of the Argentina Chapter is to increase its international visibility. To that end, the chapter fosters meetings with other chapters of Region XIV (Latin America and the Caribbean). In the next month, a joint meeting with the Uruguay Chapter will be held in Montevideo. Additionally, the chapter hosted the pilgrimage of the New Jersey ACS Chapter headed by Dr. Michael Goldfarb, including an academic session and a typical Argentinian dinner at the National Polo Field.

I am the present Governor of the Argentina Chapter. I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Buenos Aires in 1979 and then trained in general surgery and surgical oncology at the same institution. Since 2002, I have been professor and chair of the department of general surgery at the Dr. Carlos Bocalandro Hospital. I also am the immediate past-president of the International Society of Digestive Surgery and president elect of the Argentine Surgical Academy.

My involvement with the ACS started in 1991 when I was distinguished as one of the College’s International Guest Scholars. I was appointed as a Fellow of the College in 1993. In 2014, Honorary Fellowship of the College was bestowed upon me. That same year, I was distinguished as an Honorary Fellow of the American Surgical Association. I am also the Past-President of the College’s Argentina Chapter and last year was voted as Governor of the Chapter and chosen as Chair of Region XIV. 

Additionally, I belong to the Editorial Board of Annals of Surgery, JAMA Surgery, and Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery and am a reviewer for Surgery and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. I also serve as the editor-in-chief of Ethical Issues in Surgical Care, which should be published in October 2017.