The American Board of Surgery (ABS), the national certifying board for general surgeons and related specialists, has named Dr. Jo Buyske as its new executive director. Dr. Buyske was elected today by the ABS board of directors at its semi-annual meeting following an extensive national search. She succeeds Dr. Frank R. Lewis, who announced earlier this year his retirement at the end of 2017.
Dr. Buyske has served as associate executive director and director of evaluation at the ABS since 2008, overseeing the development and administration of all ABS examinations and ensuring their clinical relevance. She was previously chief of surgery and director of minimally invasive surgery at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, and associate professor of clinical surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Still clinically active, she currently serves as an adjunct professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Her clinical experience focuses on applications of minimally invasive surgery to all areas of general and gastrointestinal surgery.
In seeking its next executive director, the ABS directors sought a visionary surgeon with strong leadership experience, who would guide the ABS in the evolution of its certification processes to better meet the needs of surgeons and patients.
"We were honored by the many incredibly talented surgeons who showed interest in this position," said Dr. Mary E. Klingensmith, incoming ABS chair and head of the search committee. "Dr. Buyske was chosen by the directors after much deliberation, as someone who could lead the ABS into a new chapter of diplomate engagement and surgical assessment."
Dr. Buyske attended medical school at Columbia University and completed her general surgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She began her career at the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts. She was elected as an ABS director in 2006, serving for two years before being hired as associate executive director. During her time at the ABS, Dr. Buyske has served on the board of directors of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), ensuring the voice of the surgical community was heard in ABMS deliberations. She has also worked to improve ABS policies to allow residents additional flexibility while in training. In addition, she is a past president of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.
As executive director, Dr. Buyske will lead all organizational areas of the ABS and partner closely with its board of directors. In addition, she will serve as the ABS' primary liaison to diplomates (board certified surgeons), surgical training programs, and the larger surgical community, including the full range of organizations involved in surgical education and board certification.
"It is a tremendous honor to be named executive director," said Dr. Buyske. "I look forward to working with ABS directors, diplomates and staff, as well as other surgical organizations, to continue our work to protect the public and enhance the profession."
Dr. Buyske will assume the executive director position as of September 1, 2017, and will work with Dr. Lewis up to his retirement at the end of 2017 to ensure a smooth transition of duties.
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, complex general surgical oncology, surgery of the hand, and hospice and palliative medicine. It is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.