In 1969, the founding members of the Nathan A. Womack Surgical Society created an endowment to support to Womack Scholarship Award. This award was to be given to an outstanding individual who had served as a surgical house officer in the Department of Surgery of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. House officers of all divisions of the Department were eligible to receive the award. It was envisioned that the award would be given to one senior house officer and need not ge given each year. The purpose of the award was to recognize in a surgical house officer those qualities of general academic excellence epitomized by Dr. Womack. The candidates for the award should have demonstrated excellence in teaching, investigation, and patien care, and contributed to the residency and the Department by exemplifying the personal attributes and professional commitment that reflect credit on Surgery and on its residency programs. The original award was $500 plus $500 to further the recipient’s surgical education. The recipient’s name would be engraved on a plaque displayed in the surgical conference room, the presentation made at a time and date set by the Chairman of the Department of Surgery. It was anticipated that members of the Womack Surgical Society would be invited to attend these presentations, and that the presentation would be held at a time that would be relatively convenient for at least some members to attend. The Womack Society has volunteered to increase the endowment and monetary awards, and does so from time to time when requested by the Department.
As of 2010, 45 residents have been named Womack Scholars. They represent all the surgical disciplines and have had distinguished careers. As leaders in American surgery, they bring credit to themselves and to the Department of Surgery and the University of North Carolina.
(Paul Rieseneman, MD receiving the 2010 award from Dr. Anthony Meyer)