Kelvin Higa

2007-08 ASMBS President

Most Important Event

Changing the Society’s name from the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) to The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

I think the most important event that occurred during my presidency was started by Phil Schauer – that was changing of our name from the ASBS to ASMBS. The concept of “metabolic” surgery as defined by Henry Buchwald and illuminated by Walter Pories and many others was a turning point for us as a society.

From its inception, the ASBS/ASMBS has been different from many other professional organizations. Its purpose was not to become an authority unto itself or to define a specialty for self-promotion or preservation. It was not mired in the status quo or resistant to new ideas or innovation. The ASBS/ASMBS has and, I hope, will continue to be the voice and instrument for the patients we serve – individuals who have been too long ignored by society and the medical profession as a whole. No other medical organization has been as dedicated to patient advocacy and resolute in its mission to promote health. The ASMBS is not an organization made up of individuals; it is a family sharing a common vision.

Kelvin Higa, MD