George F. Sheldon, MD, FACS, a great humanist and icon of American surgery at home and abroad, died of heart failure June 16, 2013 in Chapel Hill, NC. He was 78 years old. Dr. Sheldon was the Zack D. Owens Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Chairman of the department of surgery, chief of general surgery, and general surgery residency program director at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill.
Dr. Sheldon was a tireless advocate for the American College of Surgeons (ACS). He was elected the 79th President of the organization (1998-1999), after years of service as an ACS Governor and Secretary of the Board of Governors (1979-1982); as a member of the Board of Regents (1983-1992); on key committees and task force groups including the Committee on Trauma, Pre-and Post-Operative Care, and Communications. In 1985, he testified dramatically before Congress on behalf of the College to protect funding for graduate medical education. He was also first Editorial Advisor of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons.
Read full tribute with commentary by A. Brent Eastman, MD, FACS, and Anthony A. Meyer, MD, PhD, FACS, FRCS
Carlos Corvera, M.D. was recently installed as the 64th President of the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society. Dr. Corvera is Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Hepatobiliary and Pancreas Surgery at UCSF. His clinical and research focus is the treatment of benign and malignant hepatobiliary disease. Dr. Corvera earned his MD at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He completed his general surgery residency at UCSF followed by fellowships in surgical oncology and hepatobiliary surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
This year’s annual meeting was held on May 17, 2013 at the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel in San Francisco. The didactic program, “Surgical Education & Training in the 21st Century”, was presented in tandem with the UCSF 2013 Post Graduate Course in General Surgery, chaired by Hobart W. Harris, M.D., M.P.H. The annual Naffziger Lecture, “The Surgeon as a Leader: Improving Quality, Decreasing Costs” was given by Carlos A. Pellegrini, MD, (pictured left) Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington. The highlight of the Annual Naffziger Dinner at One Market Restaurant was the induction of seven graduating UCSF Chief Residents as members of the Society. The Society’s new President for 2013-2014, Carlos U. Corvera, M.D., was formally introduced and the new Executive Council installed. The dinner also featured updates by Dr. Nancy Ascher, Professor & Chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery, and warm anecdotes from other surgeons in attendance.
Full Summary and Highlights of the 2013 Naffziger Annual Meeting
2013-14 UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society Executive Council
The story of James Dials’, a gregarious 62-year-old limousine driver who weighed 4oo lbs. and was down on his luck is riveting. “My life was very uncomfortable,” Dials said. “I was a diabetic and I injected insulin. I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. I was on all kinds of medications.”
That’s when he discovered the UCSF Bariatric Surgery Program, a Level 1 accredited center for weight-loss surgery by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network of the American College of Surgeons, which means they provide complete bariatric surgical care. It is a nationally certified “center of excellence,” which offers a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss. “James had relatively advanced obesity,” says Stanley M. Rogers, (pictured left) MD, chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery and director of the Bariatric Surgery Center and Liver Tumor Ablation Program at UCSF Medical Center. “And we know that weight loss either with or without surgery can significantly impact those medical problems, and can make these medical problems called co-morbidities go away as weight loss occurs.”
“I have all sorts of choices now,” he said. “It’s like a kid getting a new toy on Christmas. That’s how life is to me now. Everything is new in life now. I have more self-esteem and I care more about myself. I ask for help now and I stay teachable.”
Read the full story in UCSF News
“Dr. (Nancy) Ascher excels in her role as Chair of Surgery, not only for her inexplicable foresight, but because she stays connected to trainees and students. This year, Dr. Ascher received the Francis Moore Excellence in Mentorship in the Field of Transplantation Surgery Award from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
Residents and fellows noted that Dr. Ascher is an effective mentor because she treats them like colleagues and not just trainees. Residents and fellows felt “immersed and integral in the program which empowered them and helped their growth.” Dr. Ascher emphasizes that a meaningful mentor-mentee relationship allows an honest exchange about the student’s career path and the mentor’s willingness to be that student’s advocate.
But how personal can a mentorship be, or is it strictly a professional relationship? Dr. Ascher believes that “elements of caring, friendship come from a good mentorship.” However, she acknowledges the fine line that exists to protect the privacy and separate personal lives of the mentor and mentee. The role of an effective mentor is not to judge the mentee but to get to know the student, so that the mentor can advise the student appropriately. Opening up to a mentor helps students understand what’s realistic and reasonable for them.” Excerpted from Synapse, the UCSF student-run weekly
The UCSF Department of Surgery presented the annual Resident Research Symposium funded by the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society on April 9, 2013, an event that showcases the research of residents, fellows and medical students in the Department of Surgery and honors the life and accomplishments of J. Engelbert Dunphy, a legendary surgeon and former Chair of the Department. The award for “Best Abstract” went to Robert Bell, MD with runners-up Jessica Beard, MD, MPH and Randi Smith, MD MPH. Xiaoti Xu, MD received the award for “Best Quick Shot”. Jack Harbell, MD and Cristina O’Donohue, MD received Honorable Mention certificates for their presentations.
* Please click image above to enlarge
More about the 2013 Winners
Complete List of 2013 Resident Research Abstracts
Dr. Maurice Galante, whose professional career at UCSF spanned an incredible 44 years (1945-1989), passed away on February 5, 2013. Dr. Galante was born in Rhodes in 1919 and came to the United States alone to receive his undergraduate and medical education. He entered his residency training in general surgery at UCSF in 1945. He subsequently became a member of the Department of Surgery faculty. As a faculty member at UCSF, Dr. Galante was celebrated as a master surgeon and for his varied interests in medical ethics, music and the arts. His reputation with patients was legendary and his grateful patients helped him and the Department of Surgery establish the Galante Lecture Program, The Galante Research Program and the Maurice Galante Distinguished Professorship.
“Alden H. Harken, M.D. was recently honored with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of University Surgeons (SUS). Dr. Harken is Chief of the UCSF-East Bay Surgery Program, and Chief of Surgery and Chair of the Surgery Department at Alameda Health System’s (AHS). Over the course of his career, His contributions to the field of cardiac electrophysiology include influential early work around mapping and surgical ablation for ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Dr. Harken’s work in this area helped our understanding of the pathophysiology of ventricular tachycardia and shaped today’s methods of ablative treatment of ischemic ventricular tachycardia. According to SUS, “Dr. Harken’s energy, insight, enthusiasm and innovative work have created a legacy that will influence the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias for many years to come. He has clearly been a pioneer in the field, and has been a true role model for his colleagues in the SUS and AAS.” *Excerpts from news release for Alameda Health System’s (AHS)
“A. Brent Eastman, MD, FACS, a general, vascular, and trauma surgeon from San Diego, CA, was installed as the 93rd President of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) during Convocation ceremonies at the 2012 Clinical Congress. Dr. Eastman is corporate senior vice-president and chief medical officer of Scripps Health, the N. Paul Whittier Endowed Chair of Trauma at Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, and a clinical professor of surgery-trauma at the University of California, San Diego………A dedicated trauma surgeon, Dr. Eastman was a particularly active member of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT). He was COT Chair from 1990 to 1994 and helped to create and was the first Chair of the COT Trauma System Consultation Committee (1999–2003). Furthermore, he has served as an instructor for the internationally acclaimed Advanced Trauma Life Support® course since 1982.” Excerpted from Bulletin of American College of Surgeons
Read full announcement at ACS website
“Bariatric surgery has been widely accepted in the medical field, but now we’re trying to apply it to specific patient groups,” said Matthew Y.C. Lin, M.D., a former UCSF MIS/Bariatric surgical fellow**, whose outstanding work led to a faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery. In a pilot study of 26 morbidly obese patients waiting for a kidney or liver transplant, Dr. Lin and colleagues in the UCSF Bariatric Surgery Program showed that laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a procedure that removes most of the stomach and reshapes it into a small tube or sleeve, significantly improved the chances of undergoing successful organ transplantation. “The reason why physicians are skittish about bariatric surgery for organ transplant is that these patients have more medical comorbidities,” said Lin, who is the lead author of the study. “But our study shows that it is safe to proceed.”
* Excerpts Above from American Society For Metabolic And Bariatric Surgery
**Minimally Invasive and Bariaric Surgery Fellowship underwritten by Foundation for Surgical Fellowship