ACS President Brent Eastman receives RCSEd Honour
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) has recognised the achievements of the President of the American College of Surgeons at a diploma ceremony on Friday 12 October.
Dr Brent Eastman, who is also Chief Medical Officer of Scripps Health in San Diego, was awarded RCSEd's Honorary Fellowship in recognition of the significant impact he has made to surgical advancement in recent decades, in particular through the key role he has played in improving the management of trauma care in several countries worldwide and his substantial contribution to humanitarian relief.
Dr Eastman is one of the co-founders of the San Diego Trauma System, widely regarded as having helped to develop trauma systems throughout the U.S., England, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, India and Pakistan.
In May 2012, RCSEd published a report demonstrating that Scotland was falling behind the rest of the world in its provision of care for victims of major trauma and recommended the development of a trauma system across Scotland - equivalent to the San Diego model - to improve the management of trauma care in Scotland.
Explaining more about Dr Eastman's nomination to receive the Honorary Fellowship, RCSEd President, Mr David Tolley said:
"Dr Eastman is the pre-eminent trauma surgeon in the United States and a world authority on the development of trauma systems. Such is the effectiveness of the San Diego model which he designed, that there has been a reduction in the number of preventable trauma deaths from 22% to less than 1% over a period of some 25 years.
"He is also a natural leader, a quality that has extended beyond political and professional leadership to the practical leadership of humanitarian relief programmes. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he led a support team in response to a request from Federal Government, and again, in 2010 he was one of the first response surgeons to the earthquake in Haiti, where he had to amputate the limbs of many trapped in the rubble of the main hospital, in conditions likened to those last observed in the American Civil War.
"There is a shared theme between Dr Eastman's aspirations for the American College of Surgeons and our own objectives for RCSEd. Both organisations recognise the need to respond to the challenges of training young surgeons in the fewer working hours available each week, and share a desire to provide equality of access to the highest standards of surgical care for our patients. These are international problems and in admitting Dr Eastman to the Honorary Fellowship, I believe we have taken a small step forward towards working together more closely to address these and other issues common to the worldwide surgical community and to the patients we serve."