I’m pleased to introduce the fall issue of our Department of Surgery e-newsletter. For those of us in academia, fall is a time marked both by new beginnings (the start of the semester, incoming students and residents) and enduring traditions (the white coat ceremony for medical students, football games, homecoming). You will find those same themes throughout the stories in this issue.
Our feature story profiles the career of Mark Orringer, M.D., who came to the U-M more than 40 years ago. He has since transformed the field of thoracic surgery, developing two leading esophageal operations and restructuring residency program curriculum both at U-M and nationally. The department will be celebrating his retirement on Saturday, Nov. 14, at a symposium to honor his life’s work.
Just as Dr. Orringer’s story illustrates the impact of innovation applied over time at an institution, the profiles on reconstructive surgeons Adeyiza Momoh, M.D., and Benjamin Levi, M.D., speak to U-M’s standing as a place where young faculty continue to develop new programs. Dr. Momoh’s microsurgical reconstruction technique and research in pursuit of the best reconstruction results for breast cancer survivors has given U-M cancer patients options they wouldn’t have at other institutions. Dr. Levi’s work in the Burn and Wound Research Lab and his launch of the fractional CO2 laser program for scar treatment is poised to change the way traumatic scars, surgical scars and burn injuries are treated for years to come.
Of course, new programs and ideas can only thrive with the right environment and resources. U-M is fortunate enough to have leaders like Brent Ward, D.D.S., M.D., chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Hospital Dentistry, to provide that support. Dr. Ward’s responsibilities span two areas, as he also serves as associate professor of dentistry and fellowship program director of Oral/Head and Neck Oncology and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery. As you’ll see, his expertise as a surgeon and a scientist has been critical to advancing research and patient care in both areas.
I hope you enjoy reading about these four outstanding faculty members, whose work and accomplishments exemplify how the development and long-term execution of ground-breaking ideas make such an impact on our patients and our practice. On behalf of the Department of Surgery, I wish you a happy and healthy fall season.
Michael W. Mulholland, M.D., Ph.D.
Frederick A. Coller Distinguished Professor of Surgery
Chair, Department of Surgery
University of Michigan