J. David Richardson, MD, FACS, professor of surgery and vice-chairman, department of surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine, KY, was installed as President of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) at the Clinical Congress 2015 Convocation, Sunday, October 4, in Chicago, IL.
An eminent general, thoracic, and trauma surgeon and surgical educator, Dr. Richardson is a 1970 graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, Lexington. He completed a surgery internship and worked as a junior assistant resident at the University of Kentucky before moving to the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to complete a general surgery and a thoracic surgery residency.
After completing his surgical training in 1976, he returned to Kentucky to teach and practice at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He rose through the academic ranks at the institution, starting as an assistant professor of surgery and becoming associate professor of surgery in 1979. He has served in his current position as professor of surgery since 1983 and as vice-chair of the department of surgery since 1985. He has served as chief of surgery services and director of emergency surgical services at the University of Louisville Hospital since 2005.
Dr. Richardson became an ACS Fellow in 1980. Since then, he has served the College in various leadership capacities, most recently as Chair of the Board of Regents (2011–2012). In that role, he also chaired the Regents’ Finance and Executive Committees. He was a member of the ACS Board of Regents from 2003 to 2011.
Dr. Richardson also has played a leadership role on several other ACS committees. He was the ACS Governor from Kentucky (1989–1995) and served on the Governors’ Committee on Surgical Infections (1992–1995). He was Chair of the Research and Optimal Patient Care Committee (2004–2011) and Vice-Chair of the Health Policy and Advocacy Group (2010–2011). He has been an active member of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT), including serving as Chair of the Emergency Services-Prehospital Subcommittee (1992–1999) and as a member of the COT’s Executive Committee (1992), Membership Committee (1993), and Verification/Consultation Committee (1993).
In addition, Dr. Richardson has served on the ACS Advisory Council for General Surgery (1997–2002), the Advisory Council for Vascular Surgery as a Regent (2003–2006), and the Advisory Council for Rural Surgery as an Ex Officio member (2011–2012). He also has been a member of the ACS Committee on Video-Based Education (1991–1997). Currently, Dr. Richardson is Chair of the ACS Transition to Practice Program in General Surgery Steering Committee.
At the state level, he has served as Chair (1985–1987) and Vice-Chair (1981–1985) of the Kentucky COT, and he has been Secretary-Treasurer (1983–1986) and President (1987) of the Kentucky Chapter of the ACS. He has served on the Kentucky Committee on Applicants (1997–2002) as well.
In addition to his leadership roles within the ACS, Dr. Richardson has served at the highest levels in the following organizations: American Board of Surgery (director, 1987, and chairman, 1998–1999); American Board of Emergency Medicine (director, 1994); American Association for Surgery of Trauma (president, 1999); Southeastern Surgical Congress (president, 1999); Southern Surgical Association (president, 2003); and Western Surgical Association (secretary, 1995–2000, and president, 2000–2001). He served on the Association of American Medical College’s Medical College Admissions Test content review committee (1988) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Residency Review Committee (2000–2007). He was the founding president of the Kentucky Vascular Surgical Society (1989) and president of the Kentucky Surgical Society (1987).
A prolific author, Dr. Richardson has published more than 345 articles in peer-reviewed publications, 50 book chapters, and has 10 publications in press. He currently is the editor of The American Surgeon, serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, is an editorial consultant for The Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection & Critical Care, and is on the editorial board of the International Scholarly Research Network.
Along with the President, the Vice-Presidents of the ACS were installed at Convocation. The First Vice-President is Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), the Jane and Donald D. Trunkey Professor of Trauma Surgery, and vice-chair, department of surgery, University of Washington (UW) Medicine, Seattle. In addition, he is the director of the regional trauma center and surgeon-in-chief, Harborview Medical Center, the Level 1 trauma center in Seattle.
A Fellow of the College since 1984, Dr. Maier has played an active role on several key ACS committees, notably the COT. He chaired the COT’s Ad Hoc Committee on Prevention (1992–2002) after serving as a member of the subcommittee for three years (1989–1992). He also served on the COT Performance Improvement Committee (1994–2004), Trauma System Committee (1994–2004), Committee on Emerging Surgical Technology and Education (member, 2001, and senior member, 2001–2003), Regional Committee Organization (1990–2000), and Publications Committee (1988–2004). He was State Chair for the COT (1987–1990) and Chair of Region X for the COT (1990–1996). In addition, he has been an active member of the Program Committee, serving as Consultant (2007–present), Vice-Chair (2004–2005), and member (2004–2007). He served on the Committee for the Forum on Fundamental Surgical Problems (1991–1994) as well.
Dr. Maier has held numerous leadership positions in other surgical organizations, exemplified by having served as president of the Society of University Surgeons, Surgical Infection Society, Shock Society, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the Halsted Society, in addition to being chair of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Surgery.
Dr. Maier’s research interests include cell biology of inflammation, dysregulation of the immune response after severe injury, wound healing, gene expression response to injury, modulation of inflammatory mediators, acute respiratory distress syndrome, biomaterials for healing, injury prevention, trauma care outcomes, and trauma systems analyses. Dr. Maier’s research efforts have been recognized through prestigious awards, including the Scientific Achievement Award from the Shock Society, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Trauma Resuscitation from the American Heart Association, and the Flance-Karl Award for seminal contributions in basic laboratory research with clinical surgery applications from the American Surgical Society. He received the ACS Sheen Award for Contributions to Medicine and Medical Research and delivered the Scudder Oration on Trauma in 2013.
The Second Vice-President is Walter J. Pories, MD, FACS, founding chair, department of surgery; professor of surgery, biochemistry and kinesiology; and director, bariatric surgery research group, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
An ACS Fellow since 1964, Dr. Pories is a former Governor (1986−1992) and was on the Governors’ Committee on Surgical Practice (1989–1993). He has played an active role on the International Relations Committee as Vice-Chair (1984–1986), and as a member/senior member (1980–1990). He served as Secretary of the Ohio Chapter of the ACS (1974–1977) while on the faculty at Case Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH, and President of the North Carolina Chapter (1985–1986).
Dr. Pories’ major clinical interests have been in pediatric and bariatric surgery. His research interests led to the discovery that zinc is an essential element and required for wound healing, the development of animal feeds, and the addition of trace elements to parenteral and alimentary formulations. He was the first surgeon to describe wound suction and the cisterna chyli/vena cava anastomosis. He also was the first surgeon to describe the full and sustained remission of type 2 diabetes following gastric bypass surgery.
He has served as the president of several surgical societies and as editor or associate editor of a number of journals. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Society for Bariatric Surgery Foundation, the Barry Goldwater Service Medal, the McLester Award in Nutrition, the John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award, and the Max Ray Joyner Award, the highest honor given by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.