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ABS Welcomes 6 New Directors

May 21, 2014 Media Contact: Christine Shiffer, 215-568-4000 ext. 137

The American Board of Surgery (ABS), the national certifying body for general surgeons and related specialists, will welcome to its board of directors this July six new directors from the following organizations. They will each serve a six-year term.

  • Reid B. Adams, M.D. – Southeastern Surgical Congress
  • Dr. Adams is the Claude A. Jessup Professor of Surgery at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as chief of surgical oncology and of hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery. He also serves as director of the gastrointestinal oncology program. Dr. Adams is also director, Cancer Center of Excellence, and associate director, clinical affairs, at the University of Virginia Cancer Center. He completed medical school and residency at the University of Virginia, and completed a fellowship in hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery and transplantation at the University of Toronto. A current member of the ABS Gastrointestinal Surgery Advisory Council, he is also president-elect of the Society for Clinical Surgery.
  • Robert D. Fanelli, M.D. – At-Large
  • Dr. Fanelli is chief of minimally invasive surgery and chief of surgical endoscopy for the Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, Pennsylvania. Following medical school at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, he completed residency at Stamford Hospital and Michigan State University. He also completed fellowships in advanced surgical endoscopy at Case Western Reserve University and in endoscopic ultrasound at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Fanelli currently serves on the board of governors of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and on the Health Professions Advisory Council for Elmira College.
  • Dr. Fanelli was selected as an at-large director out of approximately 80 candidates drawn from an open nomination process. The ABS originally established three at-large director positions in 2005 to identify exceptional individuals who are reflective of the broad U.S. surgical community. At-large directors have the same term and responsibilities as all other ABS directors.
  • John D. Mellinger, M.D. – Association of Program Directors in Surgery
  • Dr. Mellinger is the J. Roland Folse Endowed Chair in Surgery at Southern Illinois University in Springfield, Illinois, as well as professor and division chair of general surgery and director of the general surgery residency program. He also serves as medical director, special procedures area, at Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Mellinger completed medical school at Case Western Reserve University and residency at Blodgett/St. Mary's Hospitals (now Michigan State University Program). He also completed a fellowship in surgical endoscopy at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland. Dr. Mellinger is the immediate past president of the Association of Program Directors in Surgery and currently serves on the board of governors of SAGES.
  • David T. Netscher, M.B.B.S. – American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Dr. Netscher is clinical professor, division of plastic surgery and department of orthopedic surgery, at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He also serves as program director of the hand and microsurgery fellowship. In addition, Dr. Netscher is chief of hand surgery at St. Luke's Hospital and chief of plastic surgery at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He completed medical school at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, general surgery residency at the University of Louisville, and plastic surgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Netscher also completed a fellowship in hand and microsurgery at the University of Louisville. A current director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, he also serves on the council of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.
  • Lee L. Swanstrom, M.D. – SAGES
  • Dr. Swanstrom is a clinical professor of surgery at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. He also serves as division head, GI/MIS surgery, at The Oregon Clinic and as fellowships program director at the Portland Providence Medical Center. Dr. Swanstrom completed medical school at Creighton University and residency at Emanuel Hospital/Oregon Health and Science University. He also completed a fellowship in GI surgery/surgical endoscopy at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Swanstrom is a past president of SAGES and serves as directeur d'innovation at the Institut pour Chirurgie Guidée par l'Image in Strasbourg, France. He is also a member of the ABS Gastrointestinal Surgery Advisory Council, representing the Fellowship Council.
  • Mark L. Welton, M.D. – American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • Dr. Welton is the Harry A. Oberhelman Jr. Professor and chief of colon and rectal surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. In addition, he serves as medical director of the gastrointestinal cancer care program and as medical director of the South Bay Cancer Center. Dr. Welton completed medical school at the University of California - Davis and residency at the University of California - Los Angeles. Following residency, Dr. Welton completed a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Welton is a current director of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.


In Thanks

The ABS gratefully acknowledges the dedication and commitment of the following outgoing directors, who will be leaving the board as of July: Dr. Joseph B. Cofer, Dr. Kevin C. Chung, Dr. Bruce D. Schirmer, Dr. Anthony J. Senagore, Dr. R. James Valentine, and Dr. J. Patrick Walker.

New Advisory Council Members

The ABS Gastrointestinal Surgery Advisory Council will welcome in July Dr. Mark C. Callery of the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association and Dr. Daniel J. Scott of the Fellowship Council. Separately, the Residency Review Committee for Surgery recently elected Dr. Richard C. Thirlby as a new ABS representative.

About the ABS
  • 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 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. They must then maintain their board certification through ongoing learning and practice improvement activities.
  • 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.
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