History of the Lebanon Chapter of the American College of Surgeons

Part II - The first decade 1964-1974: Growth and Maturity.
Reported by Fuad S. Haddad, MD, FACS.
Officers of the Lebanon Chapter at the First Surgical Congress, Beirut, Phoenicia Hotel, February 15, 1965.
From left to right: Drs. Saad Al-Issa,
Secretary - Treasurer,
Farid S. Haddad, President,
and Sulayman Abul Husn,
Vice - President.

After its foundation, on November 24, 1963, by a handful of local Surgeons, the Lebanon Chapter received its Charter from the Mother College on August 4, 1964. The Chapter was born and its first President Dr. Farid Haddad. Dr. Alfred Diab, followed him in this chair in 1967. Dr. Sulayman Abul Husn came after him and Dr. Alexander Kouyoumjian succeeded to the latter. The first Secretary-Treasurer was Dr. Saad El-Issa (1963-68) followed by Dr. Najdat Pasha (1968-70), Dr. Samir Shehaded (1970-72), and Dr. Khalil Nahra (1972-74).

Dr. Yervant Jidejian was the first Governor and held this position for three consecutive terms of three years each. In 1975, Dr. Alfred Diab followed him in this position, but his demise, 2 years later, sadly interrupted his tenure. Dr. Fuad S. Haddad succeeded to him in the vacant post.

From the original 12, the membership gradually increased to 27 in 1964, 32 in 1965, and 41 in 1967, reaching the number of 49 members in 1970.

The chapter held several scientific meetings a year. Some were held at the Alumni Club, others at different hospitals in town, namely, the AUB, the Rizk Hospital, Saint-Charles Hospital and the Orient Hospital. Speakers were mostly from the local membership but occasionally foreign guests like Alan Hunt and Donald Ross were invited.

The highlights of our activities were the Congresses, all of which were held at he Phoenicia Hotel, towards the end of February. They were all held under the auspices of the incumbent President of the Republic. The first was held in 1965 in association with the Chicago Chapter, and was a brilliant success with a total attendance of 153 doctors. The Second was held a year later in association with the Massachussets Chapter. At the last minute a number of cancellations occurred and it was impossible to replace those invaluable speakers. At the third Congress, in 1968, world famous surgeons like Judet, Dargent, Cole, Kiesewetter, and others were invited. The foreign speakers at the Fourth Congress, in 1970, were not less famous, Robert Zollinger, Denton Cooley, Christian Bernard, Murray Falconer and others. It was another great success. It gathered a record number of attendees, 632 physicians. The fifth and sixth Congresses were held respectively in 1972 and 1974 and were as successful as the preceding ones.

Early in the life of our Chapter a Committee on Applicants was appointed. Its task was to review the applications sent to the College and to send its recommendations back. Dr. Philip Antypas chaired it, and its members were Drs. Soubhi Barmada, Alexander Kouyoumjian and Fuad S.Haddad.

A regional Committee on Trauma was also founded in 1968, headed by Dr. Walid Mneimneh. It was the first such committee formed within a Chapter outside the United States.

The finances came from the yearly membership dues, which were L.L. 50.00 per fellow per year, from donations, from governmental grants and from revenues from the Congresses.
At the end of 1965, the balance in bank was LL 9209.55. In 1971 it had reached LL. 14894.40.

Today, the Lebanon Chapter is one of the most active regional and international chapters of the American College of Surgeons. It counts 120 Fellows, 10 Associate Fellows and 72 Resident Members.