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Dr. Jo Buyske Named Associate Executive Director

July 19, 2007 Media Contact: Christine Shiffer, 215-568-4000

  • The American Board of Surgery (ABS) has named Dr. Jo Buyske as associate executive director, making this post among the highest executive positions in American surgery to be held by a woman, and indicative of the growing presence of women in surgery. Dr. Buyske replaces Dr. Robert S. Rhodes, who is retiring from the position after more than ten years of service.

Dr. Buyske is 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. Her current practice specializes in applications of minimally invasive surgery to all areas of general and gastrointestinal surgery. Originally from New York City, Dr. Buyske attended medical school at Columbia University and completed her general surgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She began her career as an assistant clinical professor of surgery at Tufts University on staff at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, before coming to the University of Pennsylvania.

In accepting the associate director position, Dr. Buyske assumes a leading role in the American surgical community. In her new position she will be in charge of evaluation methodology at the ABS, and specifically will be responsible for the development and oversight of ABS examinations in general surgery and surgical subspecialties. In addition she will work directly with the executive director in formulating policy and guiding the overall direction of the ABS. Dr. Buyske is a current director of the ABS, representing the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) of which she is also vice president. She has previously served as an ABS examination consultant and as an associate examiner for the ABS' oral examinations in surgery.

"Dr. Buyske was selected after a national search process, and we feel extraordinarily fortunate to have recruited her to this position," said Dr. Frank R. Lewis, Jr., ABS executive director. "She will provide a needed perspective to the ABS office in regard to issues unique to women in surgery, as well as to those of younger surgeons in the U.S. workforce. In addition, Dr. Buyske is highly regarded for her extensive experience in complex minimally invasive surgery and will bring this expertise as the ABS seeks to evolve its requirements and certification process to the fundamental changes in the way surgery is performed."

Women are entering the field of surgery at unprecedented levels. In 2006, 38 percent of first-year surgical residents were women, and this percentage is increasing at roughly 2 percent each year. Last year 24 percent of surgeons certified by the ABS were women, and this is expected to increase to parity in the years ahead.

"The American Board of Surgery is in a unique position to ensure the continued high quality of American surgery in these dynamic times," said Dr. Buyske. "The ABS' strong history of thoughtful action through consensus will help us navigate such issues as the changing demographics of surgery, and the new opportunities that have arisen in surgical education and practice. Our charge is to protect the American public and to ensure that practicing surgeons have the tools they need to be safe. I am deeply honored to be given the opportunity to serve in these roles."

Dr. Buyske will be based in the ABS offices in Philadelphia as of January 2008. She and Dr. Rhodes will work together until his retirement from the position in June 2008.

About the ABS

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying surgeons who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge. Surgeons certified by the ABS, known as diplomates, have completed a minimum of five years of surgical training and successfully completed a written and oral examination process. The ABS currently certifies surgeons in the following fields: general surgery, pediatric surgery, vascular surgery, surgical critical care, and surgery of the hand. The ABS is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.