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ABS Welcomes Nine New Directors to its Specialty Boards

Oct. 7, 2022 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney, 215-568-4000

The American Board of Surgery (ABS), the national certifying body for general surgeons and related specialists, is pleased to welcome nine new directors to its specialty boards. Each specialty board director will serve a six-year term from 2022 to 2028. All ABS specialty board directors are currently certified by the ABS and are meeting the requirements of the ABS Continuous Certification Program.

General Surgery Board

  • Marian McDonald, M.D., M.Ed., FACS

    Dr. McDonald is a clinical professor at Temple/St. Luke's School of Medicine in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where she also serves as the clerkship site director for surgery. She is chief of general surgery at St. Luke's University Health Network (SLUHN) Allentown campus and medical director of SLUHN's Surgical Simulation lab. Dr. McDonald is also an adjunct faculty member for the Masters of Education in Health Professions program at Johns Hopkins University School of Education in Baltimore.

    Born in Berlin, Germany, on a U.S. military base, Dr. McDonald completed medical school at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey. She completed her residency training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, followed by a fellowship in gastrointestinal surgery at The Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts. Her current practice focuses on a full scope of community general surgery including breast surgery, hernia, gastrointestinal, minimally invasive surgery and robotics, and endoscopy. Her research interests include education, surgical simulation, video-based assessment, and surgical coaching.

    In addition to her new role as a director of the General Surgery Board, Dr. McDonald is a volunteer associate examiner for the ABS and vice chair of the ABSITE Committee. She also serves on several for SAGES, including the Ethics Committee, Safe Chole Task Force, Go Global and Humanitarian Committee, and Education/Assessments Committee. She has completed global education and surgical work in Peru, Ghana, and Haiti, and assisted in the GO-Global gLap teaching manual. Locally, she works with and serves on the board of directors for the Bethlehem Emergency (homeless) Shelter. She has raised three children who now work with water conservation and wildfire mitigation, and in her free time, enjoys running, hiking, gardening and restoring her 300-year old farmhouse.


Vascular Surgery Board

  • Brigitte K. Smith, M.D., MHPE, FSVS, FACS

    Dr. Smith is an associate professor of vascular surgery at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where she also serves as the vice chair and chief of the section of education for the Department of Surgery and program director of the university's vascular surgery fellowship.

    Originally from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Dr. Smith completed medical school and both general surgery and integrated vascular surgery residency training at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. Her current practice scope involves the full breadth of vascular surgery, with a focus on complex venous disease. Her research focus is investigating the association between educational variables, including programs, policies, and individual measures of surgeon competence, and patient care outcomes in unsupervised practice, which has been supported by funding from the National Board of Medical Examiners.

    In addition to her new director role with the Vascular Surgery Board, Dr. Smith is co-chair of the Society for Vascular Surgery's Vascular Quality Initiative Fellow-In-Training Program, as well as a member of their Quality Improvement Committee. She serves on the editorial boards of the American College of Surgeons' (ACS) Resources in Surgical Education, and the Association for Surgical Education's Global Surgical Education. Since 2020, she has served as associate editor of Annals of Surgery Open – Perspective on Surgical History, Education, and Clinical Approaches.

    Dr. Smith also holds positions with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, where she served as a member of the Vascular Surgery Milestones 2.0 Work Group; the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery, where she is a member of the education committee and chair of the research ad hoc committee; and the Association for Surgical Education, where she is a member of the board of directors, chair of the Graduate Surgical Education Committee, faculty advisor for the Surgical Education Research Fellowship, and at-large member of the Association for Surgical Education Foundation.

  • Raghu L. Motaganahalli, M.D., FRCS (Ed.), FACS, DFSVS

    Dr. Motaganahalli is the E. Dale and Susan E. Habeggar Professor of Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine and division chief of vascular surgery and program director for vascular surgery training at Indiana University Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

    Born in Bangalore, India, Dr. Motaganahalli completed medical school at Bangalore University, followed by general surgery residency training at St. John's Medical College in Bangalore, and St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri. He completed clinical fellowships in vascular surgery at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India, and St. Louis University School of Medicine. His current practice focuses on vascular and endovascular surgery. Dr. Motoganahalli's research and clinical interests include transcarotid artery revascularization, thermotherapy for lower extremity peripheral arterial disease, complex vascular surgery, and endovascular surgery.

    Dr. Motaganahalli is a volunteer examiner and examination consultant with the ABS. Additionally, he is the 44th president of the Midwestern Vascular Surgery Society and past president of the Indiana Chapter of the ACS.


Complex General Surgical Oncology Board

  • Charles Staley, M.D.

    Dr. Staley is the Holland M. Ware Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he also serves as chief quality officer for the Winship Cancer Institute and executive medical director of the Emory Clinic Ambulatory Surgery Center.

    Originally from New Haven, Connecticut, Dr. Staley completed medical school at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He completed his general surgery residency training at the University of Pittsburgh, followed by a fellowship in surgical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His current practice focuses on colorectal surgical oncology, including peritoneal malignancies, and his research and clinical interests include the application of nanoparticles in cancer treatment.

    In addition to his role on the Complex General Surgical Oncology Board, Dr. Staley also serves as chair of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Surgery Committee and is Gastrointestinal Section Editor of Annals of Surgical Oncology.

  • Juan Ramon Sanabria, M.D.

    Dr. Sanabria is a professor of surgery at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and senior associate dean of the School of Medicine, as well as scientific director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and vice chair for Quality Assessment and Assurance. He also serves as a professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

    Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Dr. Sanabria completed medical school at Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Senora del Rosario in Bogota, and at the University of Toronto. He completed his residency in the Academic General Surgery Program of the University of Toronto, followed by a fellowship in hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) and abdominal transplantation. His current practice focuses on HPB and complex surgical oncology, and his research and clinical interests include nonalcoholic steatohepatitis/hepatocellular carcinoma (NASH/HCC) and reperfusion injuries as well as surgical outcomes and the global burden of diseases.

    Dr. Sanabria is an active member of many medical organizations, including the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, the Central Surgical Association, the Society of University Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, and the International Hepato-Pancreato Biliary Association. He also serves on the medical executive committee for the United States Navy.


Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care Board

  • Thomas K. Duncan, D.O.

    Dr. Duncan is an assistant clinical professor, trauma medical director, past chief of staff and co-director of Multispecialty Surgery Clinics at Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura, California.

    Dr. Duncan originally hails from Lagos, Nigeria, and Cape Coast, Ghana. He completed medical school at Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downer's Grove, Illinois, followed by residency training at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science/UCLA and King/Drew Medical Center (now the Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center) in Los Angeles. His current practice focuses on acute care surgery, emergency general surgery, trauma, and robotics, and his research and clinical interests center around injury prevention.

    In addition to his new role on the Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care Board, Dr. Duncan is chair of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma Prevention Committee, chair of Ventura County Family Justice Center, vice chair of the Southern California Committee on Trauma, board member of The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (HAVI), member of the Trauma Prevention Coalition, member of the National Committee on Trauma, and serves as an ATLS Course Director. He is a founder of the violence intervention program Emergency Entry to Exit, as well as founder of the Ventura County Elderly Fall Prevention Coalition.

  • Aaron Jensen, M.D., M.Ed., M.S.

    Dr. Jensen is an associate professor of surgery at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, where he also serves as associate program director for the pediatric surgery fellowship. He is associate trauma medical director at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, California.

    California native, Dr. Jensen grew up in Castro Valley and Hayward. He completed medical school at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, followed by residency training at the University of Washington in Seattle, and fellowships in surgical critical care and pediatric general surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. His practice scope focuses on pediatric general surgery and pediatric trauma, and his research interests include pediatric trauma outcomes, simulation, and pediatric trauma quality improvement.

    Dr. Jensen serves as vice chair of pediatrics for the Northern California ACS Committee on Trauma and is the co-lead of the trauma domain for the Emergency Medical Services Center Innovation and Improvement Center (EIIC).

  • Niels D. Martin, M.D.

    Dr. Martin is an associate professor of surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is section chief for surgical critical care. He is the program director for trauma, acute care surgery, and surgical critical care fellowships, and vice chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Penn Medicine.

    Born on St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Martin grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and completed medical school at Rutgers University's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He completed residency training at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, followed by a clinical fellowship in critical care and trauma at the University of Pennsylvania, also in Philadelphia. Dr. Martin's current practice focuses on trauma, acute care surgery, and surgical critical care, and his research interests include outcomes research and clinical trials.

    In addition to his new role as a director for the Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care Board, Dr. Martin is executive director of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery and president of the ACS's Metro Philadelphia chapter.

  • Nicole Stassen, M.D.

    Dr. Stassen is a professor of surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, where she has spent her entire attending career, and where she also serves as director of both the Kessler Family Burn Trauma Intensive Care Unit and the surgical critical care fellowship.

    Born in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Dr. Stassen considers Philadelphia, where she attended junior high school and high school, to be her hometown. She completed medical school at the University of Medical and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and Rutgers University's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Her residency training was completed at the University of Chicago in Illinois, followed by a fellowship in trauma and critical care at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Her current practice focuses on acute care surgery, including emergency general surgery and trauma and critical care, and her research and clinical interests focus on blunt cerebrovascular injury management, management of solid organ injuries, and team simulation in critical care.

    In addition to her new role with the ABS, Dr. Stassen is the educational development committee chair for the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. She is a past president of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma.


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.
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