Letter from the Chairman

As Chair of the department, it is with great pleasure and a sense of accomplishment that I share with you the NYU School of Medicine Department of Surgery website.

This website provides a glimpse into the many facets of the Department by highlighting our accomplishments, strengths, and advancements in patient care, education and research. The department's plan for the future is built on the shoulders of my esteemed predecessors - "giants" in the history of American surgery - Dr. Valentine Mott, Dr. William S. Halsted, Dr. Frederic S. Dennis, Dr. John H. Mulholland and Dr. Frank C. Spencer.

Since I became the Chairman in 2006, I have never been busier nor felt more energized in focusing my attention into building a strong department of surgery, a department well positioned to the advances of the new millennium. To date, we have recruited 46 new faculty members, and created Divisions heretofore nonexistent- Minimally Invasive Endocrine Surgery, Acute Care Surgery, Wound Healing & Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering while strengthening our already existing "world class" Divisions of Breast Surgery, GI Surgery, Surgical Oncology, and Bariatric Surgery.

Clinically, the Department of Surgery is at the forefront of advances in state-of-the-art Endo- vascular, endoscopic and minimally invasive surgical approaches to gastrointestinal and endocrine disorders, with a growing emphasis on robotic-assisted procedures for Gastro-Intestinal surgery as well as strong emphasis on obesity surgery and advanced laparoscopic surgery.

Over the past three years we have made significant strides in the basic Science research arena. The research component is consonant with my vision for the training of surgeons in the 21st century. The departmental mission is to produce The Surgeon/Scientist- physicians as comfortable in the basic science lab as they are in performing a hepatectomy, advanced laparoscopic procedures or gunshot wounds to the abdomen and chest. Sixty percent of our resident take out 1-3 years during their training to participate in bench scientific research. While all do not go on to a career in surgical research, we feel obligated, however, to provide them with tools should they decide to pursue an academic track. In this regard we have attracted a cadre of young surgeon -scientists with significant "protected" time to serve as mentors to the residents. The new research faculty in the Department now have several NIH grants as well as host of foundation and industrial grants. Exciting new research opportunities are available on campus in "molecular pathogenesis of Thyroid Cancer," "Genomics and Proteomics in the evolution of Colo-Rectal Cancer" and the role of "Dendritic Cells in the Pancreatic and Hepatic tumors."

Ninety percent of residents completing our program go on to Fellowship training with virtually all of them getting their first or second choice.

In addition to advances in clinical care and research, a primary focus of our Department remains educating the future generation of academic surgical leaders. Through the use of simulation and cutting edge technology, we are transforming the way we train our medical students, residents and fellows. Our state of the art Surgical Skills laboratory allows our students, residents and fellows to practice and become proficient in the basic skills and the cognitive knowledge required to perform laparoscopic surgical procedures prior to entering the operating room. Our lab recently received the ACS Level 1 Comprehensive Education Institute designation, only one of 39 such programs in the country.

As we continue to meet the challenges of the future, I look forward to continued excellence in patient care, research and education over the coming years.


H. Leon Pachter
The George David Stewart Professor and Chairman Department of Surgery