History of the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons – 1994-Present

The 1994 meeting occurred March 10-13. Once again there were three days of scientific papers primarily presented by Georgia surgery residents. The visiting professor was Henry Laws of Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham who presented “General Surgery Applications of Thoracoscopy”. Alvin Watne of Georgia Baptist Cancer Center presented “The Matrix of a Cancer Center”. The number of resident papers reached an all time high of 25. Ultimately the judges could not decide on a clear first place winner so it was declared a tie between Thomas Davis of Mercer and Robert Dinsmore of the Eisenhower Army Medical Center.

The 1995 meeting occurred at the Cloister March 9-12. Once again, there were three days of scientific sessions and twenty-four resident papers were presented. The first place winner was Don Pate of Mercer, second place Kathleen Jeffers of MCG, third place Craig Box of Georgia Baptist and fourth place Patrick Hammen of Memorial Medical Center. Don Pate also won first prize in the golf tournament. Significantly, for the first time, all six surgery residencies in the State of Georgia were represented by competitors in the Resident Paper Competition. The visiting professor was Edward M. Copeland, III, Chairman of Surgery, University of Florida in Gainesville, who spoke on “Controversies in the Management of Breast Cancer”.

The 1996 meeting occurred at the Cloister March 7-10. There were three days of scientific papers presented and a new high of twenty-nine resident papers was reached. First place went to Steve Troum of Mercer, second place David Han of Emory, third place Dennis Choate of Georgia Baptist and fourth place Iqbal Garcha of Georgia Baptist. The visiting professor was John L. Sawyers of Vandebilt who spoke on “Hepatic Resection for Primary and Recurrent Colorectal Metastases”. In the golf tournament, the low net first place went to Rick Harvey, resident at Mercer University School of Medicine.

In 1997, the meeting was held March 13-16 at the Cloister. At the opening ceremony of the annual meeting Martin Dalton, Secretary, presented the Georgia Chapter with the “Blalock” gavel. The gavel bears this inscription “Made from a pecan tree on the grounds where Alfred Blalock was born on April 5, 1899 in Culloden, Georgia. Presented to the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons on March 14, 1997”. The gavel has been used to open each annual meeting since 1997. During the Scientific Session, there were 24 papers presented by residents. First place went to Joseph Rondina of MMC, second place to Richard Harvey of Mercer, third place to David Han of Emory. The visiting professors were Anthony J. Comerota of Temple University who spoke on “Current Concepts and Etiology and Prophylaxis of Postoperative DVT” and Ward O. Griffen, Jr, who spoke on “DECEES in Today’s Medicine”.

In 1998, the meeting was held at the Cloister March 12-15. There were twenty-two resident papers with first place going to Richard Cartledge of Mercer, second place to Ignacio Durat of Emory, third place to Bud Schuler of Georgia Baptist and fourth place to Vinon Thourani of Emory. An excellent paper on “Does Local Control Matter in Breast Cancer Treatment?” by William C. Wood, Chairman of Surgery at Emory University. Jack Lynch was the visitor from the American College of Surgeons office in Chicago.

The 1999 meeting occurred March 11-14 at the Cloister. The visiting professor was Donald Trunkey, Professor of Surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University. There were twenty-five resident papers presented during the three day scientific meeting with first prize going to Vinon Thourani of Emory, second place to R.T. Ross of MMC, third place Hank Schmidt of MCG and fourth place Joseph Rondina of Memorial Medical Center. Prior to this meeting, Robert D. Gongaware, past President of the Georgia Chapter expired due to a brain tumor and it was decided that the first place resident award be named the “Robert D. Gongaware, M.D.” Resident Award. Dr. Bowden designed a plaque that would be given to the first place winner at each meeting. The entire membership was anxious to honor the memory of Dr. Gongaware for his many contributions to the Georgia Chapter.

In 2000, the meeting occurred March 9-12. There were two distinguished visiting professors, J. David Richardson of Louisville spoke on “Evolving Management of Hepatic Trauma” and James C. Thompson, M.D., President of the American College of Surgeons spoke on “Gifts from Surgical Research to Patients and to Surgeons”. There were twenty-seven resident papers presented during the three day Scientific Session with first prize going to Kenny Smart of Mercer, second prize to R.T. Ross of MMC, third prize to Shanda Blackman of Atlanta Medical Center and fourth prize to Jim Foster of Mercer University.

At the council meeting during the March 2000 meeting of the Georgia Chapter, it was decided to adopt the plan presented by Martin Dalton, Secretary, to merge the Georgia Chapter meeting with the annual meeting of the Georgia Surgical Society. Using this format, the Georgia Chapter will convene on Saturday afternoon (1 P.M-6 P.M.) following completion of the Georgia Surgical Society meeting and hear resident papers. The Board of Directors will meet from noon-1 P.M. prior to the start of the Chapter meeting. Also, a golf tournament is planned for Friday afternoon. Visiting speakers presentations and the business meeting of the Chapter plus additional resident papers will occur on Sunday morning from 8:00 A.M. until noon. This would shorten the Georgia Chapter meeting to two sessions instead of three but by meeting with the Georgia Surgical Society, it is hoped that attendance will increase as will interest in the Georgia Chapter. There will be no Spring meeting in 2001 and the next annual Chapter meeting will occur at the conclusion of the Georgia Surgical Society meeting in November 2001 at the Cloister. Because of the cancellation of the Spring 2001 meeting of the Chapter, there will be two interim meetings of the Georgia Chapter Board of Directors. The first will occur during the Georgia Surgical Society meeting September 22, 2000 at the Cloister. There will be an additional interim meeting in March 2001 to be hosted by Emory University. This will get us back in sync with an annual meeting following the Georgia Surgical Society meeting November 15-17, 2001. Our meeting is scheduled for November 17-18, 2001 at the Cloister.