History of the Surgical Society

Frederick A. Coller

The Frederick A. Coller Surgical Society was founded in 1947 by his former University of Michigan residents as an expression of the esteem, respect, and affection for Dr. Coller. The Society currently has approximately 400 members representing many geographic areas of the united States and several foreign countries. Educational endeavors supported by the Society since its inception have been energetic and notable.

The annual October Clinical Meeting commencing in 1955 embodies the Society's founding Principles to:

  • promote the Art and Science of Surgery
  • foster Education
  • perpetuate Friendships

In 1949 the Coller Clinical Tour for residents was established with eight selected each year. The Frederick A. Coller Professorship in Surgery at the University of Michigan was endowed by the Society membership in 1974 and is the Surgery Department Chairman's Professorship. The Coller Research Fellowship which award each year grants for surgery resident research was endowed in 1993. In 2000 the Richard E. Fry Memorial Lectureship at the annual clinical meeting was established. The first of many International Coller Tours began in 1979.

The Jobst Vascular Surgery Award (1972) and the Resident Research Award (1985) are presented to resident presenters at the annual clinical meeting.

Dr. Coller came to the University of Michigan Department of Surgery in 1920 from Harvard and was appointed Chairman of Surgery in 1930 serving in that position until 1957. He then continued practicing surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan until his death in 1964.

Dr. Coller's career was highlighted by his surgical skills, dedication to improving the general surgery residency training programs, and enhancing the expansion of post-graduate education. He enriched medical students with lectures on the history of medicine. Notably, numerous renowned surgeons throughout the world were invited by Dr. Coller to Ann Arbor.

Many honors were bestowed upon Dr. Coller during his life. Especially significant ones were President of the American Surgical Association in 1943, President of the American College of Surgeons in 1949, and the first Chairman of the RRC for Surgery in 1954.

Members of the Frederick A. Coller Surgical Society continue to honor Dr. Coller by the excellence of their educational programs, through the annual clinical meeting, their perpetual friendships, and their enduring fellowship.