About the Naffziger Surgical Society

NAFFZIGR The UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society is an organization dedicated to surgical excellence. It has long served as a forum that fosters collegiality between surgeons in multiple diverse settings, from academic medicine to bustling community practices, nationally, internationally, and in the developing world.

Tenure as Chair

In 1929, Dr. Howard C. Naffziger was appointed Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of California, where he developed the first surgical residency program in the western United States.

During World War II, Naffziger was Chair of the Subcommittee for Neurosurgery of the National Research Council, and in 1947 became the Chair of the first Department of Neurosurgery at the University of California where he trained a generation of neurosurgeons in the Cushing-Halsted tradition.

Birth of the Society

Naffziger was remembered by his residents and students as a hard taskmaster, often near frightening. Their esteem led to the formation of the Howard C. Naffziger Surgical Society. Naffziger was remembered by the faculty of that period as a man of aristocratic bearing, a man who was not to be counted among one’s enemies. He was a member of some eighteen medical societies and served as president of seven of them, including the American Surgical Association, American College of Surgeons, and Society of Neurological Surgeons. He served on the editorial and advisory boards of six journals of surgery and neurological surgery.

The Naffziger Legacy

The distinguished career of Dr. Naffziger has seeded future generations of surgical excellence at UCSF. His dedication to the field and outstanding service to the community are long lasting and live on.