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Edward P. Chen, MD Leads UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society as its 70th President

Edward P. Chen, MD

The Naffziger Society is pleased to announce that Edward P. Chen, MD has assumed the leadership reins as the 70th President of UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society for the term 2019-2020 term.

Dr. Chen is Professor of Surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. He is also Director of Thoracic Aortic Surgery and Executive Director of the Aortic Center. 

Dr. Chen has had a distinguished career as a cardiothoracic surgeon, as a valued educator, clinician, author, and presenter. He is world-renowned for his pioneering work in aortic surgery.

Dr. Chen has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors throughout his career. Most recently, he received the 2019 Socrates Teaching Award from the Thoracic Surgery Residents’ Association.

Dr. Chen follows in the footsteps of Dr. Mika Varma of UCSF, who served ably as the Society’s President for the 2018-2019 term. Notably, under her outstanding leadership, the most recent class of graduating UCSF Plastic Surgery Chief Residents were celebrated as members of the Society alongside their General Surgery Chief colleagues.

UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society Day and Loupes Ceremony

Dear Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure, as President of the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society for 2018-2019, to invite you to attend our third annual Naffziger Surgical Society Day on Friday, September 27, 2019.

Loupes Ceremony

In celebration of our relationship with the UCSF Department of Surgery trainees and Department Chair Dr. Julie Ann Sosa, we will be sponsoring the Loupes Ceremony for the first time, and it will serve as the kick-off event for our annual Naffziger Surgical Society Day! Each year the rising PGY-2’s receive their loupes at a special ceremony attended by the entire Department of Surgery. In this department tradition, which has been in place for 15 years, each resident is gifted loupes in honor of a prior graduate of the general surgery residency. Starting this year, we are honoring several alumni who will also be giving talks about a variety of topics during the remainder of the day. We plan to make this an annual tradition so that current trainees will be able to remember those that went before them!

This year’s honorees include:

Naffziger Surgical Society Day

The symposium will consist of a series of thought- provoking talks by all of our Loupes Honorees and Dr. Sareh Parengi, current president of American Women Surgeons. We will also have an update on the state of the Department of Surgery by Dr. Julie Ann Sosa.

We will also have a short tribute by Naffziger members to pay tribute to Dr. Robert Allen, Dr. Thomas Hunt,and Dr. Donald Trunkey who we have lost in the past year.

It is our hope that this new tradition will bring the Naffziger Society and the Department of Surgery closer together, and that we will be able to engage more of our alumni across the country to celebrate our common lineage as graduates of the UCSF Department of Surgery. The Naffziger Surgical Society Day is meant to be an informative symposium and a unique opportunity to catch up with your mentors, fellow residents, as well as current faculty and trainees.

Naffziger Symposium Agenda

Friday, September 27, 2019
Obendorf Auditorium
UCSF/Mission Bay Campus
1855 4th Street
San Francisco, CA 94158

7:30-8:00Breakfast/ registration
8:00-9:30Loupes Ceremony
9:30-10:00 Wen Shen “The Namesake: Howard C. Naffziger and the UCSF Department of Surgery”
10:00-10:30 Ginny Litle “Esophageal Screening in Rural India”
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:15 Jade Hiramoto “How running (and falling) made me a better surgeon.” 
11:15-11:45 Ryo Hirose “How to fairly allocate a national resource”
11:45-12:15 Nora Jaskowiak “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Lungs(?): Threats to Surgeons’ Bodies and How to Mitigate.”
12:15-1:30 Lunch/Photo
1:30-2:00Tim Nelson “The Surgeon and the 3-Foot Putt”
1:30-2:00 Jasleen Kukreja “Reflections”
2:30-3:00 Carlos Corvera “Oncologic Principles First, Minimally Invasive Surgical Approaches Second”
3:00-3:30 Sareh Parengi “Lessons from my Immigrant Parents”
3:30-3:45 Break
3:45-4:15 In memorium: Drs. Allen, Hunt and Trunkey (Hobart Harris, Ed Chen, Bill Schecter)
4:15-4:50 Julie Ann Sosa, State of the Department
4:50-5:00 Closing remarks

Naffziger Dinner

The annual Naffziger Dinner will take place the same day following the symposium at:

Boulevard Restaurant
Cocktails at 6:30PM
Dinner at 7:00 PM
1 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 543-6084

Registration Details

There is no charge to attend the symposium for members and trainees. Payment is required only for those members attending the dinner at Boulevard. Please register to attend – we look forward to seeing you at the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society Day!

Members – $125 per person for dinner at Boulevard
Guests – $100 per guest you bring to the dinner


  • If paying by check, please click here to print the RSVP & Payment Form.
  • Otherwise RVSP by emailing our Executive Secretary, Laura Dissmeyer at Please indicate who will be attending and the name(s) of any guest(s) you will be bringing.

Payment Options

  1. By Check – Please click here to print and fill out the RSVP & Payment Form. Then enclose it with your check and mail it to:

UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society
3838 California Street #616
San Francisco, CA 94118. 2. PayPal – Choose the “Pay for Events” button on the Naffziger Society website. Pay the total amount for yourself and any guest(s) you will be bringing.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at Naffziger Day on September 27th!

With appreciation,

Madhulika “Mika” Varma, M.D.

’98 President UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society (2018-19)

Professor & Chief, Section of Colorectal Surgery UCSF Department of Surgery

Dr. Donald D. Trunkey, Renowned Trauma Surgeon and Former Chief of Surgery at SFGH, Passes Away at 81

Dr. Donald D. Trunkey

The UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society is saddened to report the recent passing of our friend and colleague, Dr. Donald Trunkey, who passed away at the age of 81 several days ago.

Dr. Trunkey was an internationally renowned trauma surgeon and is considered the father of modern trauma systems. He served as Chief of Surgery at San Francisco General Hospital from 1978 until 1986. He was then appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the OHSU School of Medicine, a position he held until 2001. 

Following a first-year internship at the University of Oregon School of Medicine and a two-year stint in Germany as a general medical officer in the U.S. Army, Dr. Trunkey completed his general surgery training at UCSF in 1971. Dr. Trunkey returned to UCSF a year later after an NIH fellowship as a member of the faculty, pursuing a career in trauma surgery. He served as Chief of the Burn Center at San Francisco General and established a laboratory to study mechanisms of shock at the cellular level. Dr. Trunkey was a founding member of the Homeland Security Department as well as the National Foundation for Trauma Care. He served as Chair of The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and helped establish the Advanced Trauma Life Support Course. His dedication is to the field is captured in Dr. Trunkey: An Advocate for Injured Patients, a Legend in Trauma Care

Dr. Trunkey was a towering figure on the Trauma Service at San Francisco General. His yeoman service, innovation, and leadership at the General were memorialized by Dr. William Schechter, Professor Emeritus at UCSF, in The History of The Surgical Service at San Francisco General Hospital, “The Trunkey Years, 1978-1986”.  

Dr. Trunkey served in the first Gulf War in 1991, stationed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield. His commentary in the March 1993 edition of Archives of Surgery, “Lessons Learned,” served as a model for how U.S. Department of Defense trauma personnel are trained today.

Dr. Peggy Knudson, one of Dr. Trunkey’s protégés, currently Professor of Surgery at UCSF and Medical Director for the Military Health System (MHS) Strategic-ACS Partnership, recalled his outsized influence on her career: 

“Dr. Donald Trunkey was a father figure to me in my professional life. He encouraged me to dedicate my career to the care of the injured back in the day when trauma surgery as a discipline was still in its infancy. I had the great privilege of traveling and teaching with him across Australia and again in Germany where he worked tirelessly to assure the highest care possible for injured American troops. Trunkey as a figure was larger than life and the news of his passing has saddened the trauma community around the world.” 

The UCSF Naffziger Society community has lost a great friend and colleague. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and colleagues. 

Thomas K. Hunt, MD, Professor Emeritus of Surgery, Friend and Distinguished Colleague, Dead at the Age of 88

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our friend and colleague, Dr. Thomas Hunt, Professor Emeritus of Surgery at UCSF and a Naffziger Society member, who has died at the age of 88. 

Although retired, Dr. Hunt’s towering presence was still felt. He was a fixture of UCSF Department of Surgery Grand Rounds and a regular attendee at the annual J. Engelbert Dunphy Resident Research Symposium.

Thomas K. Hunt, MD was an internationally renowned and highly respected surgeon, professor and researcher. “TK” or “Papa Tom,” as he was known by colleagues and family, was a general surgeon at the UCSF from 1964 until 2001. He was best known for helping develop the trauma unit at San Francisco General Hospital and for his research on the cellular biology of wound healing. His easy-to-implement ideas shaped the standard of care for the prevention of infections after surgery. 

After graduating from medical school in 1956, Dr. Hunt did his internship at Boston City Hospital under famed surgeon J. Englebert Dunphy MD, then was drafted into the US Army where he served as a medical officer. He followed Dunphy to the University of Oregon and completed his residency there in 1964; then did a year-long research fellowship in Glasgow, Scotland, where he worked on methods to infuse hyperbaric oxygen into tissue to aid the healing of surgical wounds.

Dr. Hunt joined the staff at UCSF in 1965, where he also became Director of the Wound Healing Laboratory in the Department of General Surgery and Vice Chairman for Research Affairs for the Department of Surgery. In addition, he was an adjunct professor of surgery at Ohio State University and a consulting surgeon at the University of Tübingen in Germany. He was also the founding President of the Wound Healing Society, served on the Board of Directors of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society and as President of the American Trauma Society, and received countless honors from universities and organizations across the globe.

Dr. Hunt taught surgery in Southeast Asia for the James IV Association of Surgeons. While in Vietnam, the State Department appointed him Civilian Chief of Surgery for one Saigon hospital and he got out just weeks before the fall of the city.

More importantly, patients knew Dr. Hunt as a compassionate and understanding physician with a calm and caring bedside manner. Colleagues often described him as brilliant, yet modest. Research was one of Dr. Hunt’s passions and he loved teaching residents and fellows in his lab at UCSF until he closed it in 2003. That laboratory produced more than 425 research papers and his works are cited in more than 20,000 others according to Research Gate. He also co-authored four books on the healing of wounds.

“Tom Hunt was a giant in the world of wound healing,” said Annette Wysocki, past president of the Wound Healing Society. “Equally as important as the research and teaching that Tom did, was the way he provided mentorship and inclusivity to the next generation of junior postdocs, faculty and scholars.”

There is no memorial planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Union of Concerned Scientists or the Lewy Body Dementia Association

Dr. Hunt’s full obituary can found online here, where photos can be uploaded and condolences posted honoring his memory.

TK Hunt was the reason I went to UCSF for surgery training. He fostered an environment that helped young surgeon scientist. We will all miss him. @UCSFSurgery @WomenSurgeons #mentorship— Sareh Parangi,MD (@SarehParangiMD) March 2, 2019

Robert E. Allen, Jr., MD, Friend and Distinguished Colleague, Dies at 83

Robert E. Allen, Jr., MD

Robert E. Allen, Jr., MD (’69), our esteemed colleague, and for many years, an attending surgeon at Mount Zion Hospital (now UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion), has passed away at the age of 83.

Dr. Allen, originally recruited to UCSF by Dr. J. Engelbert Dunphy, was a surgical oncologist who specialized in in melanoma surgery. He was the first African-American Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), serving as a distinguished faculty member for over four decades.

Among his legion of friends and trusted colleagues are Dr. Haile Debas, Chancellor of UCSF from 1997-98 and Dr. William Blaisdell, former Chief of Surgery at SFGH “the General” (now Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center).

Robert was a cofounder of the Northern California Melanoma Center, along with his friend and trusted colleague, Dr. Lynn E. Spitler, and other surgeons. Dr. Allen participated in the group’s weekly consulting panel and performed surgery on the Center’s patients until his retirement. He was a skillful and dedicated surgeon.

Robert always wanted to be a doctor. He realized his dream and became a highly dedicated professional in the pursuit of excellence. He received the Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Florida A&M University, the Masters of Science degree in Genetics from Michigan State University, and the doctorate of Medicine from Meharry Medical College.

Dr. Allen completed his general surgery residency at the University of California, San Francisco, and was a fellow in Surgery Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Robert went on to complete two additional postdoctoral fellowships, one in surgery at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the other in peripheral vascular research at San Francisco General Hospital.

In the book, The History of the Surgical Service at San Francisco General Hospital, it was noted that Dr. Allen was a fellow in trauma, training under the noted surgeon F. William Blaisdell, MD, a former President of the UCSF Naffziger Society, and organized the ambulance paramedic program.

“During the initial years of Blaisdell’s tenure, his NIH grant in Cerebrovascular Disease, which had been used to start the vascular fellowship at the VA, continued at SFGH. The fellows served as junior attendings and helped follow the vascular cases. Lou Buscaglia, who completed his UC chief residency in June 1968, came with Blaisdell as a vascular surgery fellow. Peter Braunstein and Tom Maxwell provided additional staff support as fellows in the years 1968-1970. The last clinical fellow was Robert Allen—Bob was essentially a fellow in trauma, as his year was spent organizing the ambulance paramedic program.”

Dr. Allen authored many articles for medical periodicals, and wrote chapters in an array of medical publications. He was a member of various honor societies and he held numerous professional memberships. Robert traveled the world speaking at medical conventions throughout the United States and Europe. He vacationed in Europe, Africa, Asia, Fiji and the Caribbean. He prided himself in teeing off on golf courses around the world. Robert also loved western movies and sailing on his 47ft sailboat “Dark Passage” in the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Dr. Allen’s presence will be sorely missed. He was a wonderful friend and colleague.

Read the full obituary of Dr. Robert E. Allen, Jr.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations to honor the memory of Dr. Robert E. Allen, Jr. be made in his name to support the UCSF Department of Surgery’s mission.


To make donations online, please visit
Check the box: “This contribution is in honor or memory of someone”
Then follow the prompts.

Via U.S. Mail

Please make checks out to the UCSF Foundation.
On the memo line of the check (or an attached sheet of paper) write:
“Department of Surgery (B0605) – In memory of Robert E. Allen, Jr., MD”

Please email the check to:
P.O. Box 45339
San Francisco, CA 94145-0339

Robert “Bob” Spalding Seipel, M.D Passes Away at 92

Robert “Bob” Spalding Seipel, M.D.

The UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society is saddened to announce the passing of our esteemed colleague Robert “Bob” Spalding Seipel, M.D., a former past President of the Society in 1990-91.

Bob attended the UCSF School of Medicine where he earned his M.D. in 1955. He later completed his general surgery residency at UCSF, graduating as Chief Resident in 1963. He joined the well-known general surgeon Dr. Allen Johnson that same year in private practice in San Jose. Bob retired from the practice of medicine in 1992.

Widely respected and well-liked by doctors and nurses at San Jose Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital and then-Santa Teresa Hospital, Bob was beloved by his many patients. He was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and member of the Pacific Coast Surgical Association and San Jose Surgical Society.

All of us at Naffziger will miss him!

View Obituary in San Francisco Chronicle

Stories, anecdotes and tributes to Dr. Seipel may be posted at the online memorial for Robert S. Seipel, M.D. The family has asked that donations in his name be made to the UCSF General Surgery Residency training program. This can be done online by clicking on this link:

Donations to General Surgery Resident Fund
(There is an option in step 2 to indicate the gift is in memory of someone.)

Via U.S. Mail Please make checks out to the UCSF Foundation.
On the memo line of the check or attached piece of paper, please write:

“General Surgery Resident Fund/B1623 in memory of Dr. Robert Seipel.”

Please email contributions to:

P.O. Box 45339
San Francisco, CA 94145-0339

Madhulika Varma, M.D. Installed as 69th President of the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society

Madhulika Varma, M.D., Professor & Chief of the Section of Colorectal Surgery, Division of General Surgery at UCSF, has assumed leadership of the Howard C. Naffziger UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society as its 69th President for the 2018-2019 term.

Dr. Varma earned her medical degree at Brown University School of Medicine and completed her General Surgery Residency Training at UCSF, graduating as Chief Resident in the Class of 1998, a group that also included Anthony Azakie, MD, CM, Holly L. Williams, MD, Richard F. Grossman, MD, Adella M. Garland, MD, Nora Jaskowiak, MD, James Constant, MD, Gregg H. Jossart, MD, Sareh Parangi, MD.

After completing a fellowship at the University of Minnesota in colon and rectal surgery, Dr. Varma returned to UCSF where she completed a Clinical Outcomes Research and Epidemiology fellowship and was appointed to the faculty. Her research interests include the assessment of clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients with colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, and defecation disorders.

Julie Ann Sosa, MD, MA, FACS Named Chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery

Julie Sosa, MD, MA, FACS
Julie Sosa

Julie Ann Sosa, MD, MA, FACS has been named the new chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery. She will begin her tenure as Chair on April 1, 2018. Dr. Sosa will also hold the Leon Goldman, MD, Distinguished Professorship in Surgery. Dr. John P. Roberts, who has led the department as interim chair since October 2016, will continue in his leadership role until Dr. Sosa’s arrival.

Dr. Sosa is currently a professor of Surgery and of Medicine (Oncology) and chief of Endocrine Surgery at the Duke University School of Medicine. She also serves as director of the Surgical Center for Outcomes Research (SCORES), leads the Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases Group, and co-leads the Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program at the Duke Cancer Institute and the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Dr. Sosa was born in Montreal and raised in upstate New York. She received her AB at Princeton, her MA at Oxford, and her MD at Johns Hopkins, where she also completed the Halsted residency program and a fellowship. Her clinical interest is in endocrine surgery, with a focus in thyroid cancer. She is widely published in outcomes analysis, as well as cost-effectiveness analysis, meta-analysis, and survey-based research. She has served as PI for a number of therapeutic and correlative clinical trials, largely centered around the development of novel small molecule therapies for advanced thyroid cancer and understanding environmental risk factors for the development of the disease. She has mentored more than 70 students, residents, and fellows, and has made surgical education a focus of her science, co-directing the multi-year, prospective National Study of Expectations and Attitudes of Residents in Surgery (NEARS) in conjunction with the American Board of Surgery.

Her large research group is multi-disciplinary, and she has collaborators in epidemiology, health services research, biostatistics, endocrinology, oncology, pathology, radiology, pharmacology and cancer biology, environmental science, and stem cell research. She has published more than 280 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 50 book chapters, and has authored/edited 4 books. Dr Sosa has been the recipient of grants from the NIH/NCI, Paget Foundation, the Association for Academic Surgery, the Donaghue Foundation, the American Geriatrics Association/Hartford Foundation, and the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Fund.

Dr. Sosa is the newly elected editor in chief of the World Journal of Surgery, having served previously as deputy editor of JAMA-Surgery and associate editor of the Journal of Surgical Research. She is on the editorial boards of the Annals of Surgery, Surgery, Annals of Surgical Oncology, Endocrine, Hormones and Cancer, Journal of Thyroid Research, and the International Journal of Endocrine Oncology. She is Treasurer of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) and serves on the Board of Directors/Executive Council of the ATA, Society of Surgical Oncology, International Thyroid Oncology Group, and Association for Academic Surgery Foundation. She has served on ATA guidelines committees for hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer, and on the NCCN guidelines committee for neuroendocrine tumors.

Gerard M. Doherty, MD Featured Guest Lecturer at UCSF Naffziger Society Symposium in May

Gerard M. Doherty, MD

Renowned endocrine surgeon Gerard M. Doherty, MD will be the featured guest lecturer at the 2nd Annual UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society Day symposium on Friday, May 11, 2018. Doherty is Moseley Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Surgeon-in-Chief at Brigham Health & Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Crowley Family Distinguished Chair in the Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Doherty has dedicated his career, focused on surgical oncology, to advancing the care of patients with endocrine tumors.

Naffziger Surgical Society Day brings together multiple generations of UCSF surgeons, from its most distinguished senior alumni to our current trainees. The goal is to generate substantive discussion of the history and future of surgical training and practice, while celebrating the common lineage of graduates of the UCSF Department of Surgery. The symposium will consist of a series of talks and panel discussions with Naffziger members from throughout the country, as well as UCSF faculty and residents, participating, capped off with a celebration dinner.

2017 Naffziger Society Day

Dear Friends:

Naffziger Day was a great success! I would like to thank the outstanding panel of speakers who came from near and far, as well as the many alumni who attended. To see so many generations of UCSF surgeons gathered together with our current residents and faculty was moving and memorable.

At the Naffziger Dinner we announced the following additions to our Council:

It has been the greatest honor of my career to have served as your President for the past year. Hope to see you at one of our future Naffziger events!

Warmest regards,


Wen T. Shen, M.D., M.A.