Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS, MAMSE, dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, was installed as the 2021−2022 President of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) at the virtual Clinical Congress 2021 Convocation, Sunday, October 24. An esteemed vascular surgeon, Dr. Freischlag is chief executive officer (CEO) of Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston-Salem, and chief academic officer of Atrium Health Enterprise. The First and Second Vice-Presidents of the College also were installed.
Dr. Freischlag joined Wake Forest Baptist in 2017, after nearly 30 years of experience as a practicing surgeon, educator, and leader at medical institutions throughout the U.S. Her faculty and hospital appointments include serving as associate (1992–1997) and full (1997–1998) professor of surgery and vice-chair, section of vascular surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and chief of surgery, Zablocki Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Milwaukee; professor of surgery and William Stewart Halsted Professor, chair, and surgeon-in-chief, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (2003–2014); and professor of surgery, vice-chancellor of human health sciences, and dean of the School of Medicine, University of California Davis, Sacramento (2014–2017). At each institution, she led several committees, including serving as head of the Ambulatory Care Committee, Zablocki VA Medical Center; chair of the Search Committees for division chiefs of cardiac surgery (2008) and plastic surgery (2009) at Johns Hopkins; and head of the UC Health Dean’s Group (2015–2016) at University of California, Davis, among many others.
A Fellow of the College since 1991, Dr. Freischlag has been a leader within the organization in many roles. She served as an ACS Governor (2000–2006), wherein she served on the Board of Governors (B/G) Executive Committee (2001–2006) and as Secretary (2002–2006). She also served as Chair of the B/G Committee to Study the Fiscal Affairs of the College (2002–2006). Dr. Freischlag was an ACS Regent (2006–2015), serving as Chair of the Board of Regents (B/R) from 2012 to 2014. As a Regent, she chaired the Scholarship Committee (2006–2013), Nominating Committee (2006–2011), and Finance Committee (2010–2014), and was a member of several other Regental committees. Dr. Freischlag also served in other leadership capacities within the ACS, including as Chair of the ACS Committee on Education (2010–2018), Chair of the Scholarships Committee (2008–2012), member of the Advisory Council for Vascular Surgery (2006–2015), member of the Comprehensive Communications Committee (2006–2014), member of the Central Judiciary Committee (2014–2015), member of the Elections Advisory Committee (2013–2015), member of the Committee on Ethics (2011–2012), ex-officio member of the Health Policy and Advocacy Group (2012–2013), and senior member of the Pre- and Postoperative Care Committee (1995–2002). In October, she was inducted as a member of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators.
Dr. Freischlag has been a committed surgeon-scientist throughout her career, with a focus on vascular surgery and the diagnosis and treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome. She has participated in research that has been selected for millions of dollars in grants and awards on such topics as aneurysms, vascular grafts, peripheral vascular disease, and more.
Her accomplishments as a surgeon-researcher have paralleled her achievements as a member of the editorial boards for many prominent surgical journals, including Vascular Surgery, Journal of Surgical Research, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Journal of the American Medical Association, and more. She has published more than 300 original papers and written nearly 60 chapters in textbooks. In addition, Dr. Freischlag has led nearly 300 invited lectures, workshops, or site visits since 2008.
Beyond her dedicated service to the ACS, Dr. Freischlag has been a member and leader of many other prestigious surgical and medical societies. She has been president of the Association of VA Surgeons; president of the Society for Vascular Surgery; chair of the Society of Surgical Chairs, which the ACS manages; vice-president (U.S. section) of the James IV Association of Surgeons; and member of several boards in the Association of American Medical Colleges, among others. She also has been a member of surgical groups that support women physicians and surgeons, including the American Medical Women’s Association and the Association of Women Surgeons.
Dr. Freischlag has been recognized many times for her achievements. Among other honors, she was awarded the Golden Scalpel Award for Outstanding Teaching as an assistant professor at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1990 and 1991; the Golden Cane Award, Resident Teaching Award, at Medical College of Wisconsin in 1992 and 1994–1996; the Distinguished Member Award in 2000 and the Nina Starr Braunwald Award in 2010 from the Association of Women Surgeons; the Lifetime Achievement Award from West Los Angeles VA Hospital in 2006; and honorary fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2016. Dr. Freischlag continuously has been named one of the Best Doctors in America and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of VA Surgeons in 2021.
Dr. Freischlag graduated from the University of Illinois, Chicago, with a bachelor of science in biology. She earned her medical degree from Rush University, Chicago, and performed her postgraduate training and fellowships at UCLA.
Quan-Yang Duh, MD, FACS, a preeminent general surgeon who has built a long-lasting career at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), was installed as the First Vice-President. At UCSF, Dr. Duh is professor of surgery, division of general surgery, and chief, section of endocrine surgery. He also is attending surgeon, VA Medical Center, San Francisco.
A Fellow of the College since 1991, Dr. Duh has been involved in several leadership and education roles within the ACS. He was a Governor (2002–2008) and has served as a leader of the Northern California Chapter of the ACS in roles including President (2003–2004) and Secretary/Treasurer (1998–2001). Dr. Duh has consistently been involved in the Program Committee that develops the education content of the annual Clinical Congress, having served as a member since 2007, an intermittent consultant since 2012, and as Vice-Chair (2012–2013). He also has been a member of the ACS Committee on Video-Based Education, as well as the committee’s Vice-Chair (2006–2010).
Dr. Duh has been a prominent member and leader of several renowned surgical associations, having served as president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, the Howard C. Naffziger Surgical Society, the San Francisco Surgical Society, and the Pacific Coast Surgical Association. He has been deeply involved in education at UCSF and beyond, having mentored many clinical endocrine surgery fellows, postdoctoral fellows, and residents, as well as delivered hundreds of international and domestic invited presentations throughout his career.
His research focuses on the endocrine system and endocrine tumors, and he has been principal or co-principal investigators on more than 30 funded studies. Dr. Duh also is a prolific author of surgery articles and texts, having authored nearly 400 peer-reviewed publications, written nearly 50 book chapters, and authored more than 180 conference abstracts.
Dr. Duh earned his bachelor of science in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, New Haven, CT, and earned his medical degree and completed his internship, residency, and postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF.
The Second Vice-President is Richard A. Lynn, MD, FACS, RPVI, a general vascular surgeon in Palm Beach, FL. Dr. Lynn operated in private practice in West Palm Beach from 1976 to 2013, when he retired. During his career, he also served as director, Vascular Laboratory of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach (1981–2013); and clinical assistant professor of surgery (2008–2013) and associate professor of surgery (2013–2014), Florida International University College of Medicine, Miami.
A Fellow of the College since 1979, Dr. Lynn previously served as an ACS Governor (2000–2006) and as Chair of the B/G Committee on Chapter Relations (2004–2006). As a leader of the Florida Chapter of the ACS, he served as Secretary/Treasurer (2003–2004), State Advocacy Representative (2003–2006), and President (2006–2008).
In addition, Dr. Lynn has been deeply involved with the ACS Foundation, having served as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors for 10 years (2009–2019) and as a member of the 1913 Legacy Campaign National Steering Committee; he also is recognized as a Life Member of the Foundation’s Fellows Leadership Society-Regents Circle and The Mayne Heritage Society. Additionally, he joined the ACS Operation Giving Back Doctors for Maria Relief Mission (2017–2019) in response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Dr. Lynn was the Surgical History Group Programming Committee Liaison to the Program Committee (2018–2019). He served on the board of directors and the executive committee of the Society for Vascular Surgery. In addition, he served as second vice-president of the Southern Surgical Association(2016–2017).
As a private practice physician who performed vascular, endovascular, general, and oncological surgery, Dr. Lynn worked in association with Good Samaritan Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital, West Palm Beach, in many capacities throughout his career. He was chair, St. Mary’s surgical evaluation committee; chair, Good Samaritan surgical evaluation committee; and chief, St. Mary’s and Good Samaritan departments of general and vascular surgery; executive committee member, St. Mary’s Hospital; physician’s leadership group, Good Samaritan Hospital, among other positions.
Dr. Lynn received his bachelor of arts from New York University and his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, NY. He completed his surgical internship and junior residency at Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; he completed his senior residency, chief residency, at the Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City.