Almost 45 years after its foundation, the Asociación Mexicana de Cirugía General, A. C., has consolidated as the highest surgical organization in Mexico, by joining most of the almost twelve thousand general surgeons in the country and many others from Latin American countries who attend the different education and training events that the Association organizes.
Among these are the Ecos Internacionales meeting; courses and symposia held in different states around the country, endorsed or accredited by the Association; the national surgeons’ meeting (Encuentro Nacional del Cirujano); technology-assisted sessions broadcast online; theoretical and practical training at the center for minimally invasive surgery (Centro de Enseñanza de Cirugía de Mínima Invasión); and, finally, the International Surgery Congress, attended by over three thousand surgeons.
There is also an extensive editorial production, highlighting our journal, Cirujano General, published quarterly, which is the official organ of the Association. It also includes Boletín, a bulletin focusing on cultural and social events, as well as relevant information on the Associates.
Furthermore, books edited by Mexican surgeons are published with support from the Association. Among them, it is worth mentioning an extraordinary book on general surgery, Tratado de Cirugía General, currently in its third edition. It is made up by two volumes consisting of 35 modules and 263 chapters written by surgeons, all of them leaders in their areas. In 2017, it was designated by the Mexican Board of General Surgery (Consejo Mexicano de Cirugía General) as the basic and fundamental reference to prepare for certification and re-certification board examinations. This is an innovative work, unique in its kind, with a novel structure, state-of-the-art educational techniques and the highest quality standards, including recent scientific and technological developments; it may be used by both grade and postgraduate students, as well as for continuous medical education and updating, and thus is an essential reference book for all surgeons and other healthcare professionals.
Members of the Association are grouped in several categories, in particular Resident, Active and Standing Member (Residentes, Activos y Titulares), who are entitled to special benefits by simply fulfilling the requirements for each category stated in the current bylaws. Among such benefits are the recognition of membership with the corresponding certificate; attendance to the course “Ecos Internacionales en Cirugía” and to the International Surgery Congress at no cost; special fees for attendance to educational and training events organized by the Association; and receiving the journal (Cirujano General), supplements and the bulletin for free. Besides, some of the books published may be obtained at no cost, and others at discount prices.
Other benefits include receiving counsel in case of medical legal conflicts, support on research methodology and surgical advice on request from the members; life insurance and, in case of a member’s death, support for funeral expenses; reaching the category of standing members, who are exempt from membership fees; voting and being voted for the various posts in the Executive Board; and a number of other privileges that members are entitled to as long as their corporate rights are valid.
Aware of the dynamics that modern organizations are subject to, knowing that change is the only constant in life and that one should always be prepared to adapt to different circumstances, and recognizing the legal limitations of civil associations, the “Colegio de Postgraduados en Cirugía General, A. C.”, was created in October 2003 in order to acquire the rights granted to Colleges of Professionals (colegios) by the Directorate General for Professions (Dirección General de Profesiones) and to undertake the legal representation of surgeons before government authorities.
From that point on, all state surgeons’ associations or societies around Mexico were encouraged to become colleges, duly recognized by the General Directorate for Professions in each state, in order to create a national federation that was eventually founded in February 2006 under the name of “Federación Nacional de Colegios y Asociaciones de Especialistas en Cirugía General”. Later on, in 2014, the national college federation was fully recognized, with all legal attributes, by the General Directorate for Professions, under the name of “Federación Mexicana de Colegios de Especialistas en Cirugía General”.
To round up all this process of changes, in 2015 the “Colegio de Postgraduados en Cirugía General” became independent from the Association; it was renamed “Colegio de Especialistas en Cirugía General de la Ciudad de México y Área Metropolitana”, grouping only surgeons from the geographic area of Mexico City and its metropolitan area, and was integrated as another college in the aforementioned federation, thus, the Asociación Mexicana de Cirugía General, A. C., prevails as the foremost surgical organization in Mexico, to promote surgery in its two main facets, i.e., surgery as an art and science and surgery as a profession. This also supports surgeons throughout the country, who can profit from continuous improvements in order to achieve excellence-based surgery, since it is a fact that surgery is a humanly performed science and an expertly executed art.