Report from the 2015 Murray F. Brennan,
MD, FACS, International Guest Scholar
In 2015, I was fortunate to
be awarded the American
College of Surgeons (ACS)
Murray F. Brennan, MD, FACS,
International Guest Scholarship.
As the recipient of this award,
I attended the ACS Clinical
Congress 2015, October 4− 8, in
Chicago, IL, and then traveled
to a number of renowned
institutions of my choosing.
Although this was an amazing
opportunity, the thought of
organizing such a complex trip
was daunting. However, with
the advice of the ever-patient
Kate Early, ACS International
Liaison, and my assigned
mentor, Quyen Chu, MD, the
scholarship began to take shape.
As an oncoplastic breast
surgeon, I selected each
institution for its particular area
of research or expertise. Visits
to these institutions would
help clarify situations we found
challenging in our weekly
multidisciplinary tumor board
meetings and allow me to fine-
tune my operating techniques.
In surgery, decision making
is a key aspect of successful
outcomes, and I thought that by
spending one week in a number
of institutions I would get a feel
for how similar patients are
managed in different centers.
The first stop on my trip was
the Windy City for the ACS
Clinical Congress. It was the
first U.S. clinical meeting I
had attended, and I had never
experienced anything on this
scale. McCormick Place is a vast
conference hall, and the number
of participants far exceeded
attendance at the Royal College
of Surgeons annual meeting.
Convocation on Sunday,
October 4, gave me a sense of
what was to come. As I viewed
the flags on stage, I was struck
by how we are united across the
globe by a common purpose.
Incoming ACS President J.
David Richardson, MD, FACS,
was unable to attend, but his
message was clear. We practice in
challenging times, and the future
is in our hands. My philosophy is
that it is better to do than to be
done to, and this speech resonated
with me. Health and politics
often are entwined, and we must
take ownership of our profession
for the benefit of our patients.
APR 2016 BULLETIN American College of Surgeons
Dr. Irvine (right)
with Dr. Brennan
at Memorial Sloan
Kettering Cancer Center
by Tracey Irvine, MB, BS, MSc, MA, FRCS