Dr. G. Jan Beekhuis: 1973 – 1974

Education, Representation, Cooperation

G. Jan Beekhuis, MD, was appointed the first chairman of the education program when the Academy was formed; he held the position for eight years. It was no surprise when he became president that his agenda focused on education, inclusion, and cooperation. One of his primary accomplishments was the AMA’s formation of the section of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Additionally, the AAFPRS Board of Directors voted to maintain an open-door policy toward other regional specialists, including dermatologists, an issue important to Beekhuis’s plan.

Much of Beekhuis’s presidential year was spent combatting the issue of plastic surgeons promoting the idea that only they should be allowed to call themselves plastic surgeons. In his presidential address, “What’s in a Name?,” he stated: “It is of vital importance that the general and regional-system plastic surgeons pool their skills and display their talents for the purpose of educating young surgeons and of giving patients the best possible care. In the words of Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, ‘Talent is always conscious of its own abundance and does not object to sharing.’ Sharing to us means the philosophical joining of surgeons’ hands in cooperative efforts to serve best the patients who need our skills. The quibbling about names and titles should end: Our efforts should be directed toward individual improvement and cooperative insistence on observing the ethics of professional competency.”

Note: Summary taken from Academy printed material