In acknowledgement of his commitment to the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and his accomplishments in the field of surgery, John A. Weigelt, MD, DVM, FACS, has been selected to receive this year’s Distinguished Service Award (DSA). An ACS Fellow since 1982, Dr. Weigelt is the Milt & Lidy Lunda/Charles Aprahamian Professor of Trauma Surgery; professor and chief, division of trauma and critical care; and associate dean for quality, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Milwaukee. He also is a general surgeon and medical director of clinical quality at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital. The DSA is the ACS’ highest honor and will be presented at the 2015 Clinical Congress Convocation ceremony, Sunday, October 4, in Chicago, IL.
The Board of Regents of the ACS is presenting the DSA to Dr. Weigelt “in appreciation of his continuous and devoted service as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons” and “in recognition of his superb skills in synthesizing and applying surgical knowledge and conveying effectively critical concepts to learners that have positively impacted the practices of numerous surgeons,” according to the award citation.
Leadership in the ACS
In his more than 30 years as a Fellow, Dr. Weigelt has been a member of and held leadership roles in a range of ACS programs and committees. He has been a member of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT) since 1992 and, in that time, served as COT Chair (1994–1998) and COT Membership Committee Chair (1998–2004). He also was chief, COT Region 6 (1989–1992). He has been on the National Faculty of the Advanced Trauma Life Support® program since 1983.
Dr. Weigelt has been deeply involved in many of the College’s educational programs. He began serving as an author of the Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program (SESAP®) during SESAP VII, joined the Advisory Committee during SESAP IX, and has served as Medical Director of SESAP since 2001. He helped to start the General Surgery Review course at the Clinical Congress in 2007 and has functioned as Course Director of the lauded Comprehensive General Surgery Review Course since its beginning in 2010. Additionally, he has been a member of the Committee on Education and the Committee on Video-Based Education since 2002, as well as a member of the Committee on Medical Motion Pictures (2002–2004).
Dr. Weigelt also has been a part of state-level ACS activities, becoming a member of the North Texas Chapter in 1983 and serving as Chair, North Texas Chapter COT, and Council Member, North Texas Chapter (both 1983–1989). He has also been a member of the ACS Chapters in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Accomplished surgeon and educator
Dr. Weigelt’s involvement in the College’s educational programs and committees is representative of his dedication to surgical education and practice. He joined the faculty of the MCW in 1999 and, in addition to his previously noted professorships and position as chief of the division of trauma and critical care, he has been a member of MCW’s Residency Education and Evaluation Committee (1999–2010); Executive Committee (2001–present); Peer Review Committee (2004–present); Society of Teaching Scholars (member, 2006–present and chair in 2007), among many others. He remains a practicing general surgeon with specialty interest in trauma and critical care at Froedtert, where he chairs the trauma committee (1999–present) and the joint quality committee (2004–2015). Earlier faculty appointments include positions at University of Texas (UT), Dallas; Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas; Dallas Veterans Medical Center; Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas; St. Paul Medical Center, MN; Zale-Lipshy University Hospital, Dallas; University of Minnesota, St. Paul; Regions Hospital, St. Paul; Gillette Children’s Hospital, St. Paul; North Memorial Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN; Fairview University Medical Center, Minneapolis; Regina Medical Center, Hastings, MN; and Osceola Medical Center, WI. While at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, his clinical activities were acknowledged by the Weigelt-Wallace Award in 1991, which was established to recognize clinical excellence and dedication to patient care. In 2012, he was awarded the Thomas L. Smallwood Award for Patient Care Excellence by the board of directors of Froedtert Hospital.
Dr. Weigelt has been recognized as a premier surgical educator. In his tenure as professor at the University of Minnesota (1992–1999), he was twice awarded the Wangensteen Award for Excellence in Teaching (1993, 1999). In 2002, he was awarded the Association for Surgical Education Outstanding Teacher Award. And since joining MCW, he has twice been awarded the Teacher of the Year Award (2004, 2010). In 2013, he was honored by being elected one of the Giants of General Surgery by UT Southwestern and Parkland Foundation, recognizing his excellence and dedication to teaching. Dr. Weigelt also has mentored 88 medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty in his career, and served as program director for surgical critical care at UT Southwestern and University of Minnesota and as general surgery residency program director at MCW.
Other contributions to the field
Beyond his previously noted roles with the ACS, Dr. Weigelt has been an active contributor to the broader field of surgery. In addition to his Fellowship in the ACS, Dr. Weigelt is or has been a member of many other honorary and professional societies, including the Society of Critical Care Medicine; Southwestern Surgical Congress; American Association for the Surgery of Trauma; Western Surgical Association (past-vice-president); American Trauma Society; Parkland Surgical Society (founding member); American Medical Association; Société Internationale de Chirurgie, U.S. Chapter; Central Surgical Association; American Surgical Association; Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons; Association of Program Directors in Surgery; and Association for Surgical Education.
Dr. Weigelt has presented more than 150 local, regional, and national lectures in his career, as well as 20 lectures on the international stage, ranging in location from Istanbul, Turkey, to Beijing, China. He has served as faculty for more than 130 postgraduate courses and symposiums throughout the U.S.
Dr. Weigelt’s research interests include surgical infections, clinical outcomes, and educational approaches to training surgeons. Over the course of his career, Dr. Weigelt has been awarded 19 research grants. His most recent research interests focus on quality of care issues, working closely with the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.
He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Surgical Education and of the audio Practical Reviews in General Surgery. He was the editor of the Journal of Surgical Outcomes, 2002–2007. He was an associate editor with Selected Readings in General Surgery (SRGS) when it was published at UT Southwestern Medical Center(1989–1996) prior to the program’s transfer to the College. Additionally, he has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Trauma, the Pan American Journal of Trauma, the Journal of Critical Care Medicine, and Advances in Therapy. He is a reviewer for Critical Care Medicine, Surgery, and previously reviewed Archives of Surgery (now Journal of the Americian Medical Association Surgery). As a contributor, he has published more than 150 medical journal articles, written more than 50 book chapters, and has been a contributing or associate editor of more than 60 entries in SRGS.
Dr. Weigelt graduated from Michigan State University, Lansing, with a bachelor of science degree, and earned his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the same institution. He completed his medical degree at MCW, and his internship and residency at UT Southwestern. He completed his master’s in hospital administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.