International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand


Marc Garcia-Elias

My dear colleagues

I wish to thank you, members of the Member Societies of this Federation, for having placed your trust and confidence in me. Being asked to serve as the 19th President of the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand is an honour, and an undeserved privilege which I will treasure all my life.

As you probably know, I am a wrist surgeon, and a basic science enthusiast, fascinated by the anatomy and mechanics of the wrist. Maybe because of this, I know that even the most simple structure becomes complex when you look at it carefully enough. Yet, we should not regard complexity as a threat, but as an opportunity to see further, a challenge to overcome. Complexity is only a problem if one is afraid of facing it. This is how I think we should work in this Federation. Let us not see "the different" as a threat, but as another indispensable face of the polyhedron, we live in.

In the IFSSH there is no place for qualifying adjectives that set borders, but only for those that erase them.

Aside from an anti-supremacist, I am also a compulsory optimist, a positive thinking type of person who is not afraid of facing problems as a part of life. I like seeing the glass half full rather than half empty. I believe in finding solutions where others only see problems, and I wish I could contaminate you all with this attitude. To me that is the only way to do things. This does not mean that I disregard how significant this commitment is. I know it will be hard, but I am ready to build upon the successes of the past and do whatever I can to fulfill our mission, which is no other than to promote hand surgery throughout the world, to protect your interests worldwide, and to look after the wider community of hand patients.

Let’s not finish this without expressing our gratitude to the outgoing Immediate Past President Michael Tonkin. Always kind, always humble, he provided the IFSSH with direction and leadership over the last few years. He handled many difficult issues effectively. I learned from him what "keep calm" means, despite my pronunciation was never being right. But above all, he was effective at keeping non-essential issues out of the boardroom. These traits I intend to continue during my term.

Thank you, Michael, and thank you all so much again.
Best wishes!
Marc Garcia-Elias
IFSSH President

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