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 Fellow of the ACS since 1976, Dr. Eastman has been deeply involved in the governance of the College, particularly as the Chair of the Board of Regents (2009–2010). Dr. Eastman began serving on the College’s Board of Regents in 2001. As a Regent, Dr. Eastman assumed the role of Chair of the Central Judiciary (2007–2009), the Scholarship (2005–2008), and the Finance Committees (2008–2009), as well as a member of the Board of Regents Honors Committee (2011–2012). He also served on the ACS Member Services Liaison Committee (2001–2002), Comprehensive Communications Committee (2010–2011), and Patient Education Committee (2009–2011).
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.
Dr. Eastman delivered the renowned Scudder Oration on Trauma during the 2009 Annual ACS Clinical Congress. The title of his lecture was “Wherever the Dart Lands: Toward the Ideal Trauma System.”
As Chair of the Board of Regents, Dr. Eastman played a key role in the College’s efforts to provide care to the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. With Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder, he made two trips to the country in the first few weeks after the earthquake hit, leading operating teams and securing appropriate resources.
In addition, Dr. Eastman was a co-founder of the San Diego County Trauma System, which has become a model for the nation. He has been instrumental in the development of trauma systems worldwide, most recently for the subcontinent of India. In July 2007, Dr. Eastman participated in the ACS/American Association for the Surgery of Trauma Distinguished Visiting Surgeon in Combat Casualty Program at the Landstuhl (Germany) Regional Medical Center, a U.S. military-receiving hospital for wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan. Later, he was granted and assigned the distinctions of Honorary Member of the U.S. Army Medical Department Regiment by order of the U.S. Surgeon General and Honorary Order of Military Medical Merit by the order of the President.
Over the course of his distinguished career, Dr. Eastman has authored or coauthored numerous trauma-related articles and publications. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee that in 2006 published the landmark report, The Future of Emergency Care in the United States Health System.
Dr. Eastman is an active member of many leading surgical organizations other than the ACS, including the American Surgical Association, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, International Society of Cardiovascular Surgery, Society of Clinical Vascular Surgery, American Association for Vascular Surgery, and Pacific Coast Surgical Association.
He served as chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Research Agenda Steering Committee and is a member of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Board of Scientific Counselors. He is the current president of the Howard C. Naffziger Surgical Society at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
Dr. Eastman is a graduate of the University of Wyoming, Laramie, and received his medical degree from UCSF (1966). Dr. Eastman was student body president at both institutions. At UCSF, he also completed a surgical internship and residency and served as chief surgical resident. He then spent one year as a surgical registrar at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in Norwich, England.
His wife, Sarita, is also a graduate of UCSF Medical School and an acclaimed developmental-behavioral pediatrician and author. They have three children. Roan, a teacher and river guide, and Ian, a specialist in renewable energy systems and mountaineer, both live with their families in Jackson Hole, WY. Their daughter Alexandra lives in New York, NY, and is an associate producer at the Metropolitan Opera.
Two Vice-Presidents also took office during the Convocation: R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS, of Chattanooga, TN, as First Vice-President and John M. Daly, MD, FACS, of Philadelphia, PA, as Second Vice-President.
Dr. Burns, a general surgeon, is professor of surgery and chairman of the department of surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga. A Fellow of the College since 1976, Dr. Burns currently serves as an Ex-Officio Member of the Advisory Council for Rural Surgery. He has served as President of the Tennessee Chapter of the ACS (1998–1999) and as a member of the Board of Governors (2003–2009). During this time, he was a member (2004–2006) and Chair (2006–2009) of the Board of Governors’ Committee on Surgical Practices.
Dr. Daly, also a general surgeon, is dean emeritus of Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, and former chair of surgery at Weill-Cornell College of Medicine in New York, NY. A Fellow since 1983, Dr. Daly has served as senior member and then as Chair of the Commission on Cancer (1989–1999), Chair of the Governors’ Committee on Physician Competency and Health (1999–2001), and Chair of the Nominating Committee of Fellows (1998–1999).