DVIDS – News – USU Medical School Dean Dr. Eric Elster Honored by Royal College of Surgeons of England
Dr. Eric Elster, professor and dean of the Uniformed Services University’s F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, and eminent organ transplant surgeon, was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England on March 7, 2023.
“I am delighted to confirm that at their meeting on 25th June 2020, the Officers of this College agreed to grant you Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. This is one of the College’s highest awards, to recognise individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the College,” said RCSE President Professor Neil Mortensen in a letter to Elster. “My warmest congratulations on this high honour.”
Although selected in 2020, Elster’s induction was delayed because of the pandemic. The ceremony, held at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London and steeped in more than 200 years of tradition, included attendees clad in academic regalia, a diploma passing and signing of the College Roll.
“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious recognition,” says Elster. “To have been selected by and included among so many distinguished surgeons is truly a humbling experience, and I am very grateful to the Royal College of Surgeons of England for this distinction. This is another example of the unbreakable bond between our great nations.”
Fewer than 30 surgeons throughout the world each year are selected for this honor, which is bestowed on “individuals of outstanding academic merit, or other outstanding contributions to the profession.” According to the RCSE, recipients are recognized worldwide in their respective specialties. Among those who have previously been named Honorary Fellows are surgery pioneers and legends Dr. L. D. Britt, former member of the USU Board of Regents, and past Chair of the Board of Regents and past President of the American College of Surgeons; and Dr. David Sabiston, retired chair of the Department of Surgery at Duke University, past president of the American Surgical Association, American College of Surgeons, and American Association for Thoracic Surgery.
In addition to his role as medical school dean at USU, Elster also serves as the director of USU’s Surgical Critical Care Initiative. He was the driving force behind the initial Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) initiative for trauma surgery, which led to the creation of other critical wartime specialty KSAs that have already been implemented and/or are being developed for U.S. Military Health System-wide implementation. Elster also directed the Joint Expeditionary Medical Officer project at USU – a review of the medical school’s curriculum to identify operationally-related KSAs within the curriculum that all USU medical students should possess, regardless of Service branch.
Elster earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and completed a general surgery residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He later served as ship’s surgeon aboard the USS Kitty Hawk during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning from the Persian Gulf, he completed a solid organ transplantation fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, then directed a translational research program at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, with a focus on developing improved diagnostics and therapies for serious traumatic injuries, transplantation, and advanced operative imaging. Elster deployed again to the NATO Role 3 Military Medical Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as a surgeon and director of Surgical Services. He served as Norman M. Rich Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at USU prior to becoming dean of the School of Medicine.
Elster is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the Society of University Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the Southern Surgical Association, the Halsted Society, and the American Surgical Association. He is a former President of the American College of Surgeons Excelsior Society. He has published more than 225 scientific manuscripts in leading journals including JAMA, Annals of Surgery, American Journal of Transplantation, and Science Translational Medicine; and has received numerous research grants spanning all aspects of surgery.
“Dr. Elster’s dedication to excellence in education, research, surgery and innovation makes him truly deserving of having been named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England,” said USU President Dr. Jonathan Woodson. “He, appropriately, joins a very long and distinguished line of surgeons in receipt of this honor.”
|Date Posted:||03.21.2023 07:50|
|Location:||BETHESDA, MD, US|
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