Column: From the chair

Bruce Mast, M.D.

What’s happening within the UF department of surgery? The short answer is, “a lot.”

On Feb. 17, 2017, the department celebrated its 60th anniversary, as one of the oldest in the University of Florida College of Medicine.

A lovely gala was held, during which memorabilia from the department’s history were displayed, and photos and slides of past and present faculty, staff and residents were projected. Invited speakers discussed the values and legacy of the department: innovative patient care, high- level education and leading-edge research. More than 200 staff, colleagues, faculty, residents and friends attended the celebration. It was a wonderful event commemorating the accomplishments of a large number of dedicated people.

The search for a chair of the department of surgery continues, under the direction of Timothy C. Flynn, M.D., the senior associate dean for clinical affairs at the UF College of Medicine. Approximately 50 applications were received for the position, from which 15 candidates are being interviewed. These individuals come from all over the country and represent a variety of experiences, accomplishments and skills.

A second round of interviews will begin for those candidates attracting the greatest consideration. The search committee is looking for a candidate who has the right skills and experiences and the correct “fit” for the department and the UF College of Medicine. In the meantime, the department continues to forge ahead.

Faculty remain busy taking care of patients who come to us from throughout the state and the country. All quality metrics remain high, despite taking care of complex patients with difficult problems. Research continues, in the lab and at bedside, with hopes for findings that will impact the care of patients in the future.

Faculty recruitment continues, aiming to bring the brightest and most talented surgeons to our department. To that end, we have made many significant hires in the past few months. The department of surgery continues to be vibrant, strong and dedicated to the health of those in our community and beyond, while educating the next generation of doctors and surgeons, and engaging in impactful research.

— Bruce Mast, M.D., interim chair