Chair of the Department of Surgery

Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Missouri
Sep 17, 2021
Oct 17, 2021
Full Time

Chair of the Department of Surgery

Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) in St. Louis invites applications and nominations for the position of Chair of the Department of Surgery.

The next Chair will arrive at a pivotal juncture in the history of Washington University’s Department of Surgery, as the Chair, Dr. Tim Eberlein, is retiring from the role after 22 years of leadership. The next Chair is expected to be a nationally and internationally respected leader and uphold the tripartite mission of the Washington University School of Medicine — excellence in clinical care, research, and education. Critically, they must demonstrate transparency, a deep sense of professionalism, commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms, an unwavering ethical compass, and strong support for interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration and institutional growth.

For decades, the Department of Surgery at Washington University has had a world class faculty and the Department has been an academic leader in surgical education, clinical care, and basic and translational research. Washington University School of Medicine has a long history of leading the nation as a research-intensive medical school, perennially ranked in the top 5 for NIH funding. On the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research ranking, Washington University’s Department of Surgery is ranked No. 2. The prospects for growth and innovation in academic programs, research, education, and clinical expansion for the Department have never been more promising.

As the Department of Surgery provides care at a variety of academic and non-academic settings across the metropolitan area of St. Louis, and other locations across the states of Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma, the Chair will need to have an entrepreneurial spirit, and the operational experience and business acumen to lead and grow a hybrid educational and clinical enterprise.

Within the Department, the new Chair will require the vision and ability to manage, balance, grow, and harmonize the numerous divisions and sections of the Department of Surgery. The Chair will have demonstrated a leadership style that is focused on the success of the trainees, faculty, the University, and the health system in which they work. A deep commitment to patient safety and patient satisfaction is required.

The Chair will serve as member of the Executive Faculty, the primary governing entity for the School, responsible for developing and approving medical school strategy, priorities, programs and policies before presenting to the Washington University Board of Trustees. The voting members include all 21 department chairs as well as 3 elected faculty. The administration, regulation, and management of the School occurs through the strong collaborations between the  Executive Faculty and the Dean. Membership in the Executive Faculty is uniformly viewed as an honor and privilege.


  • Lead the Department members who are providing complex surgical care within a diverse, clinical enterprise that is composed of over 15 clinical sites across three states.
  • Participate as a voting member of the Executive Faculty and collaborate with the Dean with respect to administration, regulation, and management of the School of Medicine.
  • Have a business acumen/entrepreneurial spirit and be a significant contributor to efforts that will expand the reach and ensure the cohesiveness and growth of the clinical enterprise-locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Be visionary and collaborative, developing new interdisciplinary clinical, research and educational opportunities.
  • Ensure the numerous divisions and sections within the Department are integrated, thriving, staffed appropriately, and aligned with the tripartite mission of Washington University School of Medicine.
  • Ensure that the Department is meeting or exceeding benchmarked quality measures with respect to outcomes, processes, patient experience and quality rankings.
  • Maintain a robust, innovative surgical practice.
  • Engage in NIH funded research or have significant experience in navigating NIH grants.
  • Recruitment and retention of faculty and trainees that are underrepresented in the medical    profession.
  • Ensure that compensation models are fair, equitable and transparent.
  • Provide mentorship and sponsorship. Engage, recruit, and retain faculty members who are focused on discovery and innovation, and have a deep commitment to mentor  trainees and junior faculty.
  • Ensure  continued  growth and innovation in surgical education/training.
  • Direct, lead and advance institutional efforts that create a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment where everyone who learns, trains, conducts research, teaches, works, and seeks care within the campus community is included, valued, and respected.
  • Enhance and develop community partnerships designed to address health needs and promote health equity within the St. Louis community and beyond.


  • An MD or MD/PhD with a sustained record of clinical innovation, leadership, and scholarship.
  • Recognition in the field of Surgery as evidenced by involvement in academic and clinical societies at a national and international level.
  • Board certified by the American Board of Surgery or equivalent.


Washington University has retained the executive search firm, Korn Ferry to conduct this very important search. For inquiries, to obtain the full-length position description, apply or nominate an individual, please submit requests and materials to: Dr. Melissa Bacon,

Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.