Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Leading international medical professionals awarded Honorary Conferrings at Annual Charter Day Meetings

17 February 2010

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has granted Honorary Fellowship to four leading international medical professionals.  Dr. Michael Brennan, President of the Mayo Clinic, USA; Professor John Collins, Dean of Education in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons; Professor Anthony Costello, Professor of Urology in the Royal Melbourne Hospital and University of Melbourne, Australia and Professor Peter Lee, Professor and Head of the Department of Surgery in Penang Medical College in Malaysia received the highest distinction the College can bestow at the Annual Charter Day Meetings on Saturday 20th February 2010.

Dr. Michael Brennan

Dr. Michael Brennan needs no introduction to this College. He is a Dubliner and like many Irish-Americans he retains close links with his heritage and with his Alma Mater. He received his secondary education at BelvedereCollege and completed his undergraduate studies in RCSI, graduating in 1969.  He interned at Jervis St. Hospital where he also commenced training as an SHO in Medicine. Like many young Irish graduates at the time he emigrated to the USA initially to work at The Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, before starting a Residency Program at The Mayo Graduate School in Internal Medicine. Later he obtained his subspecialty boards in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism through Mayo and he has remained in practice there ever since. Michael has now extended his interests to “Professionalism” and this work has brought Michael to Chair of the Mayo Foundation Program in Professionalism and Bioethics and this year he has been recognised by his peers in his election as President of the Staff of the Mayo Clinic.


Pictured from l - r are Professor Frank Keane, Dr Rebecca Bahn, Dr Noreen Keane and Dr Michael Brennan.

Reading his citation, RCSI Council member, Mr Gordan Watson said “Dr. Michael Brennan is a very special Physician and truly worthy of the highest distinction this College has to offer, the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.”

Professor John Collins

Professor John Collins is a native of Roscommon. He left school at 15 to work on the family farm but had a change of heart, matriculated and entered medical school.  He trained in London, Auckland and Leeds and was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Surgery in Auckland in 1979 and subsequently Professor of Surgery. His surgical career has been characterised throughout by an interest in education and the development of others.  As a busy general surgeon he had an interest in Breast Surgery and has served on ministerial review panels on breast screening, task forces for the implementation of a national cancer control strategy as well as producing the National Guidelines for Surgical Management of Breast Cancer and several clinical research papers.


Pictured (l-r) Mrs Jennifer Collins, Professor John Collins, Professor Frank Keane and Dr Noreen Keane

Reading his citation, RCSI Council member, Professor Michael Kerin said “John’s surgical career has been characterised throughout by an interest in education and the development of others. Recently he was been voted educator of the year by his medical students, has been honoured with the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Education and received the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons medal for contribution to surgical education.”


Professor Anthony Costello

Professor Costello was born in Melbourne, Australia. His grandparents were Irish and he can trace his roots back to CountyGalway.  Professor Costello is one of the leading prostate specialists in Australia. He has pioneered the use of laser surgery as a viable alternative to traditional transurethral resection and in 2003 he was the first surgeon in the Southern Hemisphere to perform robotically assisted radical prostatectomy.


Pictured (l-r) Dr Noreen Keane, Professor Frank Keane, Professor Anthony Costello and Mrs Penny Costello  

Professor Costello is an invited faculty member of the American Urological Association where annually he teaches aspects of robotic surgery to an international audience and he is the only Australian member of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons.  Reading his citation, RCSI Council member Mr Joe O’Beirne said “Professor Costello is a world leader in his field, who is proud of his Irish heritage.  He is a friend to Irish surgery and is held in the highest regard by trainees and colleagues.”

Professor Peter Lee

Professor Peter Lee graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1968.  Following qualification his interest in surgery was stimulated as House Surgeon in the University Department of Surgery in Edinburgh. In 1978 he was appointed as Consultant General Surgeon with a specialist interest in diseases of the colon and rectum to the Hull and Yorkshire group of hospitals. In addition to his general surgical work, he developed the colon and rectal services for these hospitals to the extent that he became a full time Colon and Rectal Surgeon.  Professor Lee served on the council of the Association of Coloproctology from 1993 – 1996 and in 2000 he served as President of the Association. In 2003 Professor Lee was appointed Professor of Surgery in PenangMedicalCollege in Malaysia.


Pictured (L-R) Lucy Lee, Tom Lee, Alice Lee, Professor Frank Keane, Professor Peter Lee and Rosemary Lee.

Reading his citation, RCSI Council member, Prof Tom Gorey said “Peter Lee has been our man in Penang! He has given much to surgery, both academic and clinical and he has served the College with distinction in Penang.”