Peter A Hilger, M.D., honored as 2022 Schoenrock Award Recipient

“I am flattered and appreciative of the honor the ABFPRS has extended to me through the Larry D. Schoenrock Award,” relates Dr. Peter Hilger. “It highlights the value of professionalism in medicine. I grew up in a medical family and professionalism was modeled as a core value. My Dad was my earliest and most profound mentor. He was AAFPRS President in 1979 and my cousin, Jack Hilger, was AAFPRS President in 1987. I followed in 2006 which suggests there might be a genetic connection. The opportunity to work with like-minded colleagues and the terrific staff at the ABFPRS, along with the collegial nature of friends, has been a sustaining motivator to make the work fun,” confesses Dr. Hilger.

“This award has special meaning for me since I met Larry early in my career. His devotion to facial plastic surgery and his desire to set high standards were always evident. The gracious and family attitudes were reinforced by Diane’s regular engagement with us even after we lost Larry in 1997. I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since he’s been gone. Luckily, for all of us who have achieved ABFPRS certification, Larry’s reputation and recognition of his contributions will never fade.”

Hilger continues, “As a fellow working with Dr. Richard Webster, another facial plastic surgery icon, my education extended beyond surgical technique and excellent patient care to the value and enjoyment of work with colleagues to better our vocation. Dr. Webster shared with us the challenges facial plastic surgery faced and the results of collective thinking resulting from regular conference calls with Gaylon McCollough, Jack Anderson, Bobby Simons, Billy Silver, and others—many of whom have received this award. Even though the subjects of their discussions were thorny issues and strong opinions varied, there was always a sense of joy and comradery among those working for a right cause.”

“One cause that was near and dear to those I mentioned above was the ABFPRS.

Bobby Simons ‘encouraged’ me to get involved with the Board using tactics many of us know well that demonstrated he is an irresistible force. At one point, I oversaw the oral protocols and had all of those protocol questions in my basement where I made a few ‘refinements’ with the partnership of Laurie, Missy, and others at the ABFPRS office. It was during this time that two of our AAFPRS fellows received the Anderson Award (both of whom are now examiners) and my friends humorously charged me with collusion. For over a decade as an examiner, I tried to show up each year with a new protocol to enhance our resources. I encourage current examiners to do the same. During my time of service, lifelong friendships evolved including Howard Smith, Wayne Larrabee, and Ira Papel. I feel very privileged to be among the list of previous recipients who are my ‘Jedi Masters’ and friends,” relates Hilger.

“Dr. Hilger is extremely modest,” states Dr. Catherine Winslow, ABFPRS President. “He didn’t mention that he has served on almost every ABFPRS Committee, including serving as Chairman of the Resource Development Committee and Chairman of the Bylaws and Publications Committee. He then was elected to serve as the ABFPRS Secretary from 2000-2003, the ABFPRS Treasurer from 2003-2006, and has served as an ABFPRS Senior Adviser from 2006 until the present. He has been an ABFPRS examiner for decades and has befriended and mentored countless residents and fellows through the AAFPRS fellowship program. Those young surgeons, through Dr. Hilger’s example, have gone on to serve the ABFPRS as examiners, committee members, and board members. In fact, I personally interviewed for his fellowship decades ago, and although I did a different fellowship, I was immensely impressed with Peter’s warmth and humility. Peter continues to serve as a wellspring of inspired dedication to the ABFPRS as well as our specialty and it is a privilege to honor him as this year’s Larry D. Schoenrock Award winner,” concludes Dr. Winslow.

Nominations for the 2023 Schoenrock Award should be addressed to the ABFPRS Executive Committee in care of ABFPRS, 115-C South Saint Asaph Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, or e-mail [email protected].