Nowadays nobody in Colombia would question the fact that German surgeon Waldemar Wilhelm is the Father of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in our country. Trained as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Hamburg at the Nordwestdeutsche Kieferklinic under the tutelage of Dr. Karl Schuchardt, Wilhelm traveled to Bogota in 1950 and soon became professor at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where he introduced maxillofacial surgery as a field of dentistry. Eight years later, being head of the division of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Hospital San Jose, he formally started the training of dentists wishing to pursue an advanced degree in oral and maxillofacial surgery. His first residents were Mildardo Sepúlveda, Gabriel Anchique and Alfredo Villamarín. An active person with great passion for his profession, Wilhelm was an outstanding master who shaped the way OMS is performed in this part of the world. A productive writer, counselor and curriculum designer, Wilhelm was among the surgeons that founded the Latin American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 1962, serving as President in 1964. He also served as the 10th President of the Colombian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from 1978 to 1982. After more than 40 years in Colombia, he returned to his native country, where he died on November 17, 1994 in Herremalb.
Conflict of interest: None declared.