Gilbert Dechambenoit, James I. Ausman
  1. CMCO Côte d’Opale; Boulogne, France

Correspondence Address:
James I. Ausman
CMCO Côte d’Opale; Boulogne, France


Copyright: © 2014 Dechambenoit G. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

How to cite this article: Dechambenoit G, Ausman JI. A Tribute to Atos de Sousa, MD. Surg Neurol Int 29-Mar-2014;5:44

How to cite this URL: Dechambenoit G, Ausman JI. A Tribute to Atos de Sousa, MD. Surg Neurol Int 29-Mar-2014;5:44. Available from:

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On November 17, our friend and colleague, Atos Alves de Sousa, M.D., Ph.D., Honorary President of the WFNS, Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery, Santa Casa and Lifecenter Hospitals, Belo Horizonte - Minas Gerais, Brazil, passed away during the night from a fulminant heart attack. The international neurosurgical community lost one of its most brilliant members.

His passionate desire and will to spontaneously share neurosurgical knowledge propelled him everywhere around the globe with a total availability. He devoted a particular attention to and for Africa. In spite of his “world” repute and statute, Atos did not play “neuropolitics”. He practiced neurosurgery. He taught neurosurgery. He was offering neurosurgery with a calm and serene passion. By listening to him, the complexity of a procedure became simple. His modesty commanded respect.

An epitome of excellence, humanity, ethics.

I have known Atos and his family for 30 years. He and his older brothers-Jorge and Carlos-were all very active in Brazilian neurosurgery. Jorge was the President of the Brazilian Academy of Medicine and was a great leader of that organization. Carlos was head of the Brazilian Society of Neurosurgery and was responsible for shaping it into one of the most powerful national neurosurgical societies in the world. He personally travelled to visit most of the neurosurgeons in Brazil during his Presidency to understand their concerns so that he could develop an agreement with the government to raise the quality of care in neurosurgery for the Brazilian people. His work also benefitted the neurosurgeons and established standards for residency training and education in Brazil. Atos took the route of serving the international community of neurosurgeons. He travelled extensively all over the world teaching neurosurgeons everywhere, including many trips to Africa. Thus, Gilbert's statement above reflects the commitment of Atos. All of the brothers were modest-but determined to do what was best for the people.

Atos de Sousa, MD (1947-2013)


I had the honor of operating on Jorge for a carotid endarterectomy, even though Atos was an accomplished carotid surgeon. He did not want to operate on his own brother.

These are all fine people, fine citizens, and outstanding neurosurgeons who have contributed greatly to improve the world. Atos’ wife is a psychiatrist and they have lovely children who were raised in their mold. The Brazilian Neurosurgeons and World Neurosurgery have lost a friend, accomplished surgeon, honest and fair human being, and major force for good in the world.

Atos was one of the founding members of Surgical Neurology International as his international travels told him that people everywhere would like a free journal that they could access anytime, because many did not have this information. He was right. That was what Atos was about-helping people. I agree with everything that Gilbert has written about Atos.

Atos spoke French from his training in France and was also very active in the French-speaking Society of Neurosurgery.

Atos was a good man, a fair man, an honest man, and an excellent neurosurgeon. He cared about people. He did not do what he did for himself but for others. He, personally, has affected many people around the world as an example of what one human being can do to change the world. That, in itself, is his legacy to the world.

I will miss Atos as a friend and colleague. I was shocked to hear of his sudden death. My condolences to his wife and family and to Carlos and his family on this great loss. Brazil has produced another person who has had an impact on the world.

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