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Koller recognized with women’s surgery honor

Published on Monday, September 13, 2021

By: Ruth Cummins

Dr. Felicitas Koller, associate professor of transplant surgery, is winner of the Dr. Sally Abston Distinguished Member Award bestowed by the Association of Women Surgeons Foundation.

Felicitas Koller

The association will honor Koller, whose specialty is abdominal transplant, at its Oct. 18 virtual awards event. She is one of seven physicians being celebrated with an annual award.

The award is named for Abston, a general, burn and trauma surgeon at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. According to the Foundation’s website, Abston “gave her utmost to the betterment of her patients and was a staunch defender of her residents and students, insisting on collegial treatment for them, in a time when there was less awareness of quality patient care and resident well-being.”

Nominees for the Abston award are an Association of Women Surgeon member who, in addition to nationally recognized clinical expertise and providing outstanding mentorship, is a role model of "what I want my surgeon to be like."

Koller “is an excellent surgical educator and a strong advocate for medical students,” said Dr. Christopher Anderson, James D. Hardy Professor and chair of the Medical Center’s Department of Surgery.

“She has worked hard to improve the medical student experience during UMMC rotations.  While doing this, she sets the strongest example with her own hard work and excellent surgical outcomes,” Anderson said. “The part of the award that really spoke to me was the part asking for the nominees to be ‘what I want my surgeon to be like.’  That describes Dr. Koller perfectly.  She is truly deserving of this national recognition.”