Philosophy

History - ICPOICPO would have not been what it is today without honoring its original founder: Dr. Miguel A. Vargas-Busquests.

Dr. Miguel Vargas Busquets, better known as Mickey, was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico in 1936. He completed his college education at the Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico and his medical studies at the Medical School of the University of Zaragoza in Spain, graduating in 1964.

 

While in Medical school he demonstrated his deep commitment to science and medicine and his outstanding organizing ability. During his time as a student, he published works on microbiology due to his research for his PhD in Microbiology. Mickey also organized the Association of Hispanic Student in Zaragoza which helped to cement the excellent relationships between the Latin-American Students and the city. Dr. Vargas trained in surgery at the District Hospital of the University Of Puerto Rico School Of Medicine in 1967 and finished his surgical training at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital (1968-1970). He took his training in plastic surgery at the Parkland and affiliated Hospital of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (1971-1972) and become Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1974.

 

After his training Dr. Vargas returned to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and became very active in the medical community especially in the practice of hand and plastic surgery. In 1981 Dr. Vargas founded the first clinic for ambulatory surgery in Puerto Rico, and named it Instituto de Cirugía Plástica del Oeste, Inc.

 

Dr. Vargas was the founder member of the Puerto Rico Society for Plastic Surgery and was President for four different years. HE was the driving force behind the acceptance of the Puerto Rico Society for Surgery of the Hand. Additionally to his role and active membership with the society in Puerto Rico, Dr. Vargas also became an active member American Society for Surgery of the hand and the American Society of Plastic Surgery. Due to his passion for his field he was very active in teaching hand surgery in Puerto Rico and traveled the whole world spreading the gospel of excellence in surgery of the hand. Due to his outstanding job with previous mentioned organizations he was elected as Secretary General of the International Societies of Surgery of the Hand in 1989 until the time of his sudden death on November 17th, 1993.

 

Due to his accomplishments the American Society for Surgery of the Hand named one of its library rooms in his honor. It was at The Jewish Hospital Medical Center in Louisville, Kentuky, where they establish an international hand library and conference room which will houses rare books and serves as a gathering place for physicians and scholars.

 

The American Association for Hand Surgery also gives an award in the name of Dr. Miguel A. Vargas for a student in Hand Surgery. The purpose of the American Association for the Hand Surgery shall be to foster and to promote the highest quality of hand care through the development and sponsorship of educational programs related to the hand and the upper extremity, through communications with health professionals and the public, and through the endowment of research.

 

Even though the passing of Mickey Vargas left an empty space in many people’s life, his legacy and dreams lived on through ICPO and his Children Oscar and Alberto who are the head of the board of directors. ICPO has been carrying out Mickey’s dream and serving the public for over 25 years and becoming a well established institution in Medical field. Mickey Vargas was an innovative businessman, skilled physician and was an incredible human being. His legacy could be remember by segment he wrote to the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand: "Each of us in the Executive World are working hard for you but we are a small grain of sand in this endless beautiful beach. I ask you to be our scout of new hand leadership that will join us Around the world, to save more hands and help in the world’s economy since "the hands are the Heart of the Economy"".