Department of Surgery Receives Check from Albuquerque Academy of Surgery

A check recently presented to John Russell, M.D., chair of the UNM School of Medicine Department of Surgery, will benefit surgical students even as it marks the end of an era for a local professional surgical organization.

The check, for $16,873.19, was presented to Russell for use in the department's Residents Teaching Fund.

"We are extremely fortunate to be presented the legacy of this organization," said Russell of the check. "It echoes the generosity of spirit for which the Albuquerque Academy of Surgery was known."

The Albuquerque Academy of Surgery was incorporated in 1988. The organization started as a social gathering of surgeons throughout the area and state and included members of all hospital systems and academics as well as a large number of retired surgeons. The group hosted dinner meetings included spouses, featured topics about social, medical, scientific and art issues and allowed everyone from UNM medical residents to retired surgeons to mingle throughout the evenings.

Unfortunately, some say due to the changing nature of medicine and the increasing polarization and pressures of daily practice life, it became difficult and eventually impossible to sustain the group and its last meeting was held in 2003.

In 2005, efforts were made to find a suitable home for the remaining funds. A survey was conducted and it was the overwhelming opinion of the members that the funds should go to a surgical cause, preferably local, and especially dealing with education. A questionnaire was sent to 51 members. The unanimous opinion of the 37 responses was that the funds should go to the UNM Surgery residents as future leaders and practitioners of the profession.

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Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322