As Layton “Bing” Rikkers leaves his post as Editor of ACS Surgery News, it has fallen to Karen Deveney and me to shepherd the paper forward as co-Editors. Dr. Rikkers felt that a combination approach of an academic surgeon and a community surgeon would bring balance to ACS Surgery News that would be representative of the nature of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
In Karen Deveney we have an accomplished academic surgeon who has wide ranging interests in and out of surgery. Karen was raised in rural Oregon, went to Stanford for undergraduate education, and did her medical school and residency at University of California, San Francisco. Among her cohort in those times of training and her early academic career were Donald Trunkey, George Sheldon, and Brent Eastman, all of whom, like Karen, went on to have a major impact in the world of surgery.
After a stint in the military serving in Germany with her surgeon husband Cliff, Karen eventually landed at Oregon Health and Science University where she went on to serve as Program Director for 20 years at one of the best general surgery training programs in the country. She served as Second Vice-President of the ACS and is the immediate past-President of the Pacific Coast Surgical Association.
Her CV reflects varied academic interests and activities. So, Karen’s contributions to academic surgery are outstanding. But in Karen we also get a person who is alive to the needs of the population beyond the walls of her major medical center. Karen has been a leader in the march to save surgical access for rural populations. She is a founding member of the ACS Advisory Council for Rural Surgery, serving as the Education Pillar Chair of that Council. In her own institution, Karen is a pioneer in developing a model rural surgery track for general surgery residents – first in Grants Pass, Ore. and then in Coos Bay, Ore.
She has been a hardworking general and colorectal surgeon for over 30 years. And, like almost all dedicated surgical educators, she has taken call – enduring the long call schedule of her residents throughout her career.
Karen and I hope to make a good team in this new effort. We are different in many ways, but very much the same in others. We plan a synergy that will unflinchingly recognize the challenges in surgery and facilitate positive discussion and reporting of the solutions for those challenges. Among those challenges are the changing economic structure of surgery, the facilitation of useful quality efforts, and most importantly, the rapid dissemination of significant clinical and scientific information vital to surgeons everywhere.
Dr. Hughes is an ACS Fellow with the department of general surgery, McPherson Hospital, McPherson, Kan., and is the Editor in Chief of ACS Communities. He is also Associate Editor for ACS Surgery News.