Looking forward – October 2021

David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS
This month, I will begin turning over the mantle to Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, as she assumes the role of Executive Director-Elect. On January 1, 2022, she will be officially installed as the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Executive Director.

Dr. Turner is eminently qualified to serve as Executive Director. She is an innovator in surgical quality improvement and outcomes and has published and presented on minimally invasive surgical techniques, leadership, innovation, quality improvement, surgical outcomes, and graduate surgical education.

A champion for issues that are of critical concern to surgeons, Dr. Turner is dedicated to developing clinical excellence and leadership qualities among surgeons in all practice settings. Under her stewardship, the ACS has introduced new programs that address surgeon well-being and resilience, expanded scholarship opportunities, created value for surgeons of all specialties, enhanced member engagement in advocacy efforts, and strengthened Operation Giving Back and our military partnership.

Dr. Turner is eminently qualified to serve as Executive Director. She is an innovator in surgical quality improvement and outcomes and has published and presented on minimally invasive surgical techniques, leadership, innovation, quality improvement, surgical outcomes, and graduate surgical education.

Director of the Division of Member Services

Dr. Turner led transformative changes in the ACS Division of Member Services for a decade, broadening our membership to all individuals who serve on the surgical team by establishing an Affiliate Member category and she has revitalized our Resident and Associate Society and the Young Fellows Association, ensuring that surgeons are supported by our organization through all stages of their career. As a result, the College’s Initiate class has grown steadily year over year—from 1,440 in 2012 to 2,329 in 2021—and surgeons better understand how the College can be their North Star in serving all with skill and fidelity, from medical school to retirement. In addition, she serves as the College’s Research Integrity Official.

She has led the development and implementation of many initiatives that serve the diverse and evolving needs of surgeons in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Turner has been responsible for streamlining and updating processes that allow greater member engagement and has focused on meeting the needs of surgeons of all specialties and in all practice types and settings.

Dr. Turner

Additional leadership roles

Prior to joining the Executive Leadership Team at the ACS, Dr. Turner spent eight years in academic practice on the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, where she was the surgery residency program director and medical director of the surgical acute care unit. Her clinical focus was minimally invasive gastrointestinal surgery and surgical endoscopy. Additionally, Dr. Turner served as the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program champion.

She serves on the board of directors of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, Wake Forest University/Baptist Medical Hospital, and OceanFirst Bank. She chairs the ACS Delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates and is past-chair of the AMA Council on Medical Education, past-chair of the Surgical Section of the National Medical Association, and past-president of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons.

She is an active member of several other surgical specialty societies, including the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, the American Surgical Association, Southern Surgical Association, Southeastern Surgical Congress, Society of University Surgeons, Association of Women Surgeons, Asociación Colombiana de Cirugía (honorary member), and Latino Surgical Society.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, Dr. Turner continued her training as an intern and resident at Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC, during which she spent an additional two years at the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute conducting bench research. Her fellowship training in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery was completed at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Weill-Cornell University School of Medicine, and Columbia University School of Medicine, New York, NY. She recently completed her master of business administration degree at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, graduating with the highest honors.

Dr. Turner has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors dating back to her undergraduate days and has received multiple grants for her research as a surgeon investigator.

Outside of surgery, Dr. Turner is the mother of two daughters—Jessica, who just completed her undergraduate studies at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, and Morgan, who is in high school.

Opening doors for the future

These are just a few of Dr. Turner’s accomplishments. I want to leave you with key insights I’ve drawn from Patricia that I have gained in the 10 years since I recruited her to join the College’s Executive Leadership Team. She brings to the table tremendous energy, commitment, and passion to see that all surgeons within the House of Surgery have the tools they need to reach their highest potential.

Patricia Turner draws her inspiration and value system from her mother. In her words, “My parents were incredibly important to my brothers and me, but it was really my mother—a public junior high school math and science teacher in DC—who instilled in me a love of math and science and a deep-seated notion that education was the basis for ‘everything.’ I didn’t know any surgeons, and there were no doctors in our family, but I decided in first grade, after doing dissections with my mom in her classroom, that I was going to be a surgeon, and I have never wavered from that.”

Dr. Turner is a leader and a voice of reason during these tumultuous times. Her vision for the future of the ACS is innovative and dynamic. I encourage you to reach out to her with your support and willingness to engage so that we may continue to build upon the legacy and impact the ACS has had on the field of surgery and the patients it serves.


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