Since its launch seven years ago, our department has been continually expanding, adding to our faculty both in numbers and expertise and increasing our dimensions in clinical services and research programs. Now, we’ve entered a phase that combines this expansion with renewal.
In the past two years, three of our faculty members have left Johns Hopkins to become chiefs of plastic surgery at other academic institutions. While we’re sorry to see them depart, we’re also buoyed by the fact that our mission to cultivate the plastic surgery leaders of the future is succeeding. Our department has continued to recruit talented and enthusiastic young surgeons who will eventually rise to leadership positions at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere, thereby perpetuating the cycle.
As we fill new positions and maintain our ongoing expansion, we do this with an eye toward diversity. Of the 18 clinical faculty members who joined the department in the last seven years, every surgeon was trained at a different program. Furthermore, in view of the growing awareness that gender and ethnic diversity can benefit academic programs, we recruited six female and four underrepresented minority residents, as well as two female and one underrepresented minority faculty members, in the last two to three years. Being a diverse and inclusive department has allowed us to appreciate different perspectives and better accomplish our missions.
Beyond increasing our diversity, we’re also taking additional steps to address health disparities through new clinical and research programs. In the spring of 2017, we launched the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health, a comprehensive multidisciplinary effort to improve the overall health of the transgender community through world-class clinical care, medical education and research. In addition, we’re conducting research on health disparities, such as how access to surgical care, including plastic and reconstructive surgery, is affected under the expansion of Medicaid.
Finally, we are broadening the education of our residents and faculty. Under an endowment by Stanley A. Klatsky, M.D., we began a curriculum on the business of health care. Four times a year, during our departmental grand rounds, speakers from within and outside Hopkins give lectures on topics ranging from practice and personal finance, health care reforms and medical legal issues, to intellectual property and entrepreneurship. These programs enrich our department’s educational endeavors beyond traditional surgical training.
Our department was built with the motto of teamwork, collaboration, mentorship and innovation. Seven years later, with renewal, inclusion and new areas of focus, our young department marches on.
W. P. Andrew Lee, M.D.
The Milton T. Edgerton, M.D., Director and Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery