I feel honored to join Tyler G. Hughes as co-Editor of the ACS Surgery News and I am excited to work with its Managing Editor, Therese Borden, to bring to its readers breaking information on a broad range of subjects of interest and importance to practicing surgeons. Although we have a great challenge to fill the giant shoes of our immediate predecessor, Layton “Bing” Rikkers, we will do our best to address the vexing clinical, economic, social, and administrative challenges that continue to confront us no matter what our practice type and setting.
I could not ask for a more accomplished and versatile co-Editor than Tyler Hughes. As a general surgeon practicing in the truly rural setting of McPherson, Kan., since 1995, he became an articulate spokesman for rural surgeons across the country during his tenure on the ACS Board of Governors as Kansas’ at-large member. As the crisis in access to general surgical care for rural Americans became increasingly evident, Tyler was asked to speak to the Board of Regents in February 2012, and the first new Advisory Council in 50 years was formed: the Advisory Council for Rural Surgery (ACRS), of which Tyler was named the first Chair. In 4 short years, the ACRS has become a force to promote better communication among rural surgeons and to call attention to the needs of them and their patients.
Tyler’s communication skills have also been put to great use in his role as Editor of the ACS Web Portal and as the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the ACS Communities, an activity that has met with incredible success in promoting communication among the far-flung individual surgeons who constitute the ACS membership. Along the way, he has also served as an Associate Editor of “Selected Readings in General Surgery” and a member of the steering committee of Evidence Based Reviews in Surgery.
He currently serves as a Director of the American Board of Surgery (ABS). He is therefore familiar with all of the issues of surgical training, certification, and re-certification. He is similarly well versed in the complexities surrounding the implementation of Maintenance of Certification, which remains a “work in progress” that his experience as a practicing, small-town general surgeon will certainly inform.
Tyler has distinguished himself in other leadership positions throughout his more than 30 years as a surgeon, including as President of his 600-member physician group when he initially practiced in Dallas. He has been a Fellow in the ACS for his entire surgical career and holds a deep respect, affection, and loyalty to the College. He possesses mainstream values, true to his upbringing and his long residence in America’s heartland; yet, he understands and respects the divergent views of surgeons across our country. He is also not afraid to tackle challenging problems, which is why I know that our tenure as co-Editors of ACS Surgery News is not likely to become boring.