In selecting Dr. Hughes, the ABS focused on his demonstrated commitment to community practice, resident education and surgical quality. A Dallas native, Dr. Hughes has maintained a broad general surgical practice for the past 16 years in McPherson, a town of 13,000, with a surrounding county population of 30,000. He has a single partner and is on call every other night.
The ABS believes Dr. Hughes is well-versed in the issues confronting practicing general surgeons, particularly those in rural areas, and is an excellent representative of their interests at the ABS. "We look forward to Dr. Hughes' insight as a community and rural surgeon in ABS deliberations regarding the appropriate and needed scope of residency training, as well as the development of Maintenance of Certification standards that will be most useful and meaningful to practitioners," said Dr. Frank R. Lewis Jr., ABS executive director. "We are delighted that he is willing to make the commitment necessary to serve on the ABS."
Dr. Hughes obtained his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Prior to his time in Kansas, Dr. Hughes served as assistant program director and teaching attending at St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas, where he previously completed his general surgery residency. Since moving to McPherson, Dr. Hughes has served as a clinical faculty member at the Kansas University School of Medicine, working primarily with medical students. In 2009 Dr. Hughes was nominated for the school's highest faculty award, and in 2010 received the school's first Outstanding Preceptor Award.
Dr. Hughes has been active in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) since he entered practice, serving as Kansas chapter president in 2007. He has also served as an ACS governor-at-large, assisted with the development of the ACS case log system, and is co-editor of the rural surgeons community section of the ACS member portal. In addition, Dr. Hughes serves on the editorial boards of Surgery News and Selected Readings in General Surgery, has authored numerous articles for the ACS Bulletin, and served on other ACS committees at the national level. He has also independently developed a rural surgeons network, and sponsors an annual dinner for rural surgeons at the ACS Clinical Congress. In 2011 Dr. Hughes was a co-director of the rural surgical skills course held at Northwestern University as part of the ACS Rural Surgery Symposium.
"That the ABS chooses a rural surgeon to be on their board denotes the organization's commitment to every venue of surgery," said Dr. Hughes. "Being elected a director of the ABS is a great honor and tremendous responsibility. I am dedicated to fulfilling the trust others have put in me to help in this work."
The ABS established three at-large director positions in 2005 to identify exceptional individuals who are reflective of the broad U.S. surgical community. Dr. Hughes will replace Dr. Nathalie M. Johnson, with the remaining two at-large positions to be filled successively in the next two years. At-large directors have the same term and responsibilities as all other ABS directors.
- The American Board of Surgery is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge in the field of surgery. Surgeons certified by the ABS, known as diplomates, have completed at least five years of surgical training following medical school and successfully completed a written and oral examination process administered by the ABS. The ABS offers board certification in general surgery, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical critical care, surgery of the hand, hospice and palliative medicine, and complex general surgical oncology. It is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
- For more about board certification by the ABS, see About ABS Certification.