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International Guest Scholarships: An investment in surgical training around the globe

For nearly half a century, young surgeons have traveled to the U.S. from as far as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, and New Zealand with a common purpose—an international exchange of surgical practice and research information. International Guest Scholarships (IGS) provide surgeons from around the globe the opportunity to visit clinical, teaching, and research facilities in North America with the goal of enhancing the scholars' patient care practices when they return home. The scholarships, in the amount of $10,000 each, also provide scholars with the opportunity to participate in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) annual Clinical Congress.

Most of these scholarship awards are funded through past and current contributions to the ACS Foundation. Some awards-like the Murray F. Brennan, MD, FACS, International Guest Scholarship-have been established in honor of surgical leaders. Since the IGS program was established in 1968, more than 250 surgeons have been selected to receive the awards.

In this article, three previous International Guest Scholars-Pawanindra Lal, MB, BS, MS, FRCS, FACS, a laparoscopic bariatric and general surgeon from New Delhi, India; Alvaro Sanabria, MD, MSc, PhD, FACS, a head and neck surgeon from Medellin, Colombia; and Rauf Shahbazov, MD, PhD, MRCS, Ed, FEBS, a general and transplant surgeon from Baku, Azerbaijan-describe their experiences at U.S. health care facilities and how this exposure to advanced operative techniques has resulted in improved patient outcomes and safer patient care management in their counties of origin.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to American College of Surgeons Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to American College of Surgeons Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Chicago, IL, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to ACS Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to ACS Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to ACS Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and ACS Foundation where you agree to make a gift to ACS Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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