On May 4, 2019, Demetrius E. M. Litwin, MD, FICS was formally recognized as the 67th President of the United States Section of the International College of Surgeons (ICS-US) for the term commencing January 1, 2020. Prior to his election as President Elect, Dr. Litwin served in the following leadership roles within the section; Treasurer, Secretary, Chair of the Board of Regents, Regent, and Vice President. He is currently completing his term as President-Elect. Dr. Litwin has also served on numerous standing committees such as the CME Committee, the Membership Committee and the Honors Committee, just to name a few. Dr. Litwin has been a member of the International College of Surgeons since 1986 and he also served as the President of the Canadian Section of ICS in 1997. He subsequently came to practice here in the United States and transferred his ICS membership in 1999.
Dr. Litwin addressed the members of the US Section during the Honors Luncheon and spoke of his goals for his year as US Section President. Among several issues, he is particularly focused on advancing the humanitarian outreach efforts of the US Section and highlighted his desire to develop a Continuing Medical Education program next year at our 82nd Annual Surgical Update in Providence, Rhode Island that included a substantial amount of content related to this important initiative of the Section. Dr. Litwin indicated that his belief was that this single aspect of the College made us very unique and would be what separates us from other medical societies.
Dr. Litwin is the Harry M. Haidak Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is an internationally recognized authority in the field of endoscopic, or minimally invasive surgery (MIS).
In 1997, Dr. Litwin joined the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center as Associate Professor of Surgery, Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery Services, and as the first Director of the UMass EndoSurgery Center, a teaching and research resource in the field of minimally invasive surgery designed for developing new surgical devices and new procedures for minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Litwin was a key member of the UMass group that developed Handport™ a hand assist device for MIS. He has performed a number of “firsts” including minimally invasive operative approaches to the stomach and hand-assisted approaches to the aorta. Dr. Litwin has published numerous articles and book chapters highlighting laparoscopic surgery and has been a speaker at more than 200 proceedings worldwide. In 2004, Dr. Litwin was appointed the Harry M. Haidak Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Since then, he has doubled the size of the Department of Surgery, expanded the general surgery residency training program, and established two fully integrated training programs in Vascular Surgery and Plastic Surgery.
Before joining the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Dr. Litwin was Assistant Professor of Surgery and Director of minimal access surgery at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He received his medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1979 and obtained his surgical training at both the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto where he completed a fellowship in Hepatobiliary Surgery. He obtained his certification as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1986.
An early innovator and leader in surgical education, Dr. Litwin trained surgeons in safe minimally invasive techniques, and was recognized for his outstanding achievements in quality improvement by the Saskatchewan Medical Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan. In 1992, he established one of the first fellowship training programs for minimally invasive surgery which continues to this day.
Dr. Litwin continues to have an active practice in minimally invasive surgery, and he has developed a major interest in global surgery. He regularly participates in the University of Massachusetts Medical School Global Surgery initiatives in both Haiti and Honduras.