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Most Interesting Cases

May 31, 2023 | Monterey Bay | 6:00 pm


Debates & Dilemmas Competition

March 29, 2023

On Wednesday, March 29, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (ACS-SWPA) gathered once again at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto. The event, Debates and Dilemmas, attracted over 45 medical students, residents, ACS-SWPA members and their guests to network, socialize, and compete in a debate style competition where regional faculty and residents discussed current surgical dilemmas.

(In photo left to right: 

James Gallagher, MD, Zachary Spigel, MD, Benjamin Kautza, MD, Alessandro Paniccia, MD, Richard Fortunato, DO, ACS-SWPA President, Michael Paolini, MD, and Casey Allen, MD)

Debates and Dilemmas welcomed medical students and residents from Allegheny Health Network, Drexel University, UPMC Mercy, and UPMC Presbyterian. After cocktails and dinner, the debate started off with Michael Paolini, MD, UPMC Mercy (PRO) and Zachary Spigel, MD, AHN (CON) debating on whether residents should unionize. Following the first debate was Casey Allen, MD, AHN, (PRO) and Alessandro Paniccia, MD, UPMC Presbyterian (CON) comparing the pros and cons of neoadjuvant therapy for resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The debates ended with Benjamin Kautza, MD, AHN (PRO) and James Gallagher, MD, AHN (CON) arguing for and against REBOA for Trauma. All three debates had time for rebuttal and audience Q&A.

Ari Reichstein, MD of Allegheny Health Network, and Program Committee Chair of the ACS-SWPA chapter, was a flawless host and kept the debaters in check. Registrants were able to vote on each discussion topic as well as an overall winner. All debate participants walked away with Amazon gift cards and the Grand Prize winner of the coveted Debates and Dilemmas event was Alessandro Paniccia, MD, of UPMC Presbyterian.

Thank you to our sponsor, Guardant Health, who sponsored the dinner portion of the evening. For more information or questions please reach out to Meredith Montgomery at

The ACS-SWPA Chapter looks forward to hosting their Most Interesting Cases event on May 31. Members will be notified by email with details of events. Members are asked to contact Eileen Taylor, chapter administrator by email to  for questions regarding their member status. Physicians interested in joining the society may also contact Ms. Taylor or visit the ACS-SWPA website at

American College Of Surgeons - Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter

850 Ridge Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Chapter Administrator: Eileen Taylor |

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