The boundaries between the clinical, research, and training missions of the Department of Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA, are permeable and fluid. The seamless blend of these three commitments is encouraged and facilitated by the department's culture and has direct benefit to our patients, faculty, trainees, and staff. Our unwavering focus on supporting and empowering our missions has contributed greatly to what we are: one of the most forward looking, dynamic, and proactive academic medical institutions in the country.
The department's ethos of discovery for the sake of the patient has shaped it into one of the premier surgical providers both regionally and nationally. Furthermore, the distinction of our faculty, breadth of our patient populations, and tradition of innovation established by our research endeavors attracts top tier trainees to our diverse roster of programs. Many of our trainees choose to contribute to our research activities, others concentrate exclusively on clinical practice, but all develop strong relationships with specific faculty mentors that foster the journey of each individual trainee to becoming one of the surgical leaders of tomorrow. Our patients gain tremendously from this environment while receiving the type of state of the art healthcare that results from refinements and advancements being translated from the lab to the OR and beyond.
We have developed an awareness of quality and safety which permeates all levels of our department. Standardized patient care protocols governing such processes as urinary catheter removal, antibiotic usage, blood glucose control, and ventilator management have been enacted, enhancing patient care at all stages, and we are a leader in research focusing on risk factors associated with hospital readmission after complex surgery. Not only do these efforts create more secure conditions for our patients, they also give our trainees the tools to better evaluate their own adherence to quality metrics and prepare them to be exemplars in this arena as they advance in their careers. Multi-disciplinary collaborations are the order of the day, maximizing the potential for positive clinical outcomes, comprehensive research breakthroughs, and progressive training experiences while further strengthening our development of evidence-based practices.
In a time of redefinition for healthcare policies and procedures in this country, the Department of Surgery at Emory remains vital, steadfast, and a model to emulate.
John F. Sweeney, MD
W. Dean Warren Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Interim Chair, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine