RCSI awards Honorary Fellowship on Professor Noel Williams

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Professor Laura Viani, President of RCSI, and Professor Noel Williams, Honorary Fellow, RCSI at the presentation ceremony.

Professor Noel Williams has been awarded Honorary Fellowship of RCSI. The Honorary Fellowship of RCSI is the highest distinction the College bestows, recognising outstanding achievement in surgery and in other areas.

Professor Williams is the Rhoads-Harrington Professor of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania where he has served as the Medical Director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery for Penn Medicine for over 20 years, leading one of the largest academic programmes in the US. 

Following in his father’s and two uncles’ footsteps, Professor Williams graduated from RCSI in 1981. After internship at the Richmond Hospital and pre-fellowship surgical training in Dublin, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania and Wistar Institute in Philadelphia as a Harrison Research Fellow. 

He completed registrar, senior registrar, and lecturer posts in Ireland before returning to the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 as Chief Resident. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Surgery and Attending Surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. He rapidly rose through the ranks to Professor of Surgery in the GI Division and was named the Rhoads-Harrington Professor of Surgery in 2017.  

At Penn, Professor Williams specialises in minimally invasive surgery, and to date has performed more than 6,500 bariatric procedures. In addition, he serves as the director of robotic surgery and director of surgical simulation at Penn and he is the director of the Comprehensive American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institute.  

He is Associate Programme Director for the General Surgery Residency programme and has successfully placed more than 125 international graduates into surgical internships throughout the US, many of whom are graduates ofIrish medical schools, including RCSI.  

Professor Laura Viani, President of RCSI, congratulated Professor Williams: “We are proud to award Honorary Fellowship to Professor Noel Williams. Across his career, Professor Williams has demonstrated a commitment to excellence, to progress, and to nurturing the next generation of surgeons.

“His many patients have benefitted from his expertise, but so too have countless medical students and trainee surgeons who have gone on to practise in health systems across the world. Professor Williams is a most worthy recipient of this Honorary Fellowship.”

Learn more about Honorary Fellowship of RCSI here.