William Richards, M.D., professor and chair of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and director of the USA Surgical Weight Loss Center, will become president of the Southeastern Surgical Congress (SESC) on Feb. 9 at the group’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

Published Feb 5th, 2020

By Lindsay Mott
lmott@health.southalabama.edu

William Richards, M.D., professor and chair of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and director of the USA Surgical Weight Loss Center, will become president of the Southeastern Surgical Congress (SESC) on Feb. 9 at the group’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

Richards has served as president-elect since last year’s annual meeting. As the new president, he will oversee the end of the annual meeting by moderating sessions, running the business meeting and giving a message to the group.

During this year’s annual meeting, he will also give a historical talk about Dean Warren, M.D., who Richards describes as his mentor and someone who was doing “some unbelievable things that were well ahead of his time in terms of surgical research.” He hopes to impart to the group some of the lessons from Warren’s life and his surgical research.

Richards’ presidential duties include selecting people to serve on various committees within the SESC, attending business meetings, nominating others for various positions within the organization, and planning next year’s meeting.

“My job will be to help all committees function at a high level, ensure that papers are being published, that we get our communications out, and that we follow up with the SESC’s organizational initiatives,” Richards said. “As president, my role will include increasing enthusiasm for new surgeons to join this society, as well as encouraging member participation in the annual meeting and through submission of papers to the American Surgeon.”

Over the last year, Richards has also been involved in moving the American Surgeon, the SESC’s journal, from a print publication to an online publication. Richards has been an integral part of modernizing this communication process.

Richards said it is important to have residents and faculty present at meetings to give them the opportunity to communicate their research findings to a large crowd of their peers.

“Presenting new findings reflects that we’re constantly improving our practices through research,” Richards said. “Conducting research advances the practice of surgery and improves the care of patients. As an academic medical center, research is core to what we do. We’re constantly looking at better ways to care for our patients.”

The Southeastern Surgical Congress is the largest regional meeting of general surgeons and more than 600 surgeons are expected to attend the meeting.

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