Dr. John Hunter begins term as American Board of Surgery chair

Department of Surgery leaders have long history with the national organization

July 1, 2016

John-HunterOHSU School of Medicine Mackenzie Professor and Department of Surgery Chair John Hunter, M.D., FACS, was elected as vice chair of the American Board of Surgery in 2015, and on July 1, began his year as elected chair of the national certification organization for surgeons.

Dr. Hunter's leadership continues a long-standing tradition within the Department of Surgery of ABS service, beginning with the department's very first chair, Dr. Thomas M. Joyce –a founding member of the ABS. The organization first convened on January 9, 1937, and was created by the American Surgical Association in an effort to design "a qualifying body to examine candidates to determine their fitness, after reasonable education and training, to practice surgery." At the time, ASA members were dissatisfied, and some indignant, because a large proportion of surgical procedures in the United States were being performed by general practice physicians trained to perform routine surgical procedures, but who lacked a foundation of surgical scientific knowledge. Dr. Joyce was one of six ASA members appointed to design the ABS, and then served for six years on the ABS as a founding member.

Following in his footsteps, Department of Surgery Chair Dr. J. Englebert Dunphy was elected chair of the ABS in 1959. Surgery Chair Dr. Donald Trunkey was elected vice chair in 1985, in addition to numerous other elected appointments within the ABS.

As ABS chair, Dr. Hunter will continue his work with the officers and directors to redesign general surgery residency training as it relates to resident skill assessment and establishment of a national curriculum for general surgery training, ensuring competency-based training and assessment, greater operative experience and learner-dependent education nationwide. In addition to residency redesign, the ABS is also working to improve their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program in order to set a surgeon-defined national standard for maintaining excellence in surgical practice.