International Authority on Esophageal Disorders to Head Surgery Department

May 20, 2004

Jeffrey H. Peters, M.D., has been named chair of the Department of Surgery, Seymour I. Schwartz Professor of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), and surgeon-in-chief of Strong Memorial Hospital.   According to Mac Evarts, M.D., University of Rochester Medical Center CEO, Peters will formally assume the position on July 1. 

“I am very pleased to welcome a nationally prominent surgeon to this post,” Evarts said. “Dr. Peters has exciting plans to transform the department, creating centers of excellence in several disciplines.”

Peters is currently chief of the Division of General Surgery at the University of Southern California (USC) Healthcare Consultation Center in Los Angeles, and is professor of Surgery at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.  He is a respected surgeon, teacher and NIH-funded researcher who developed at USC a nationally prominent Division of General Surgery, and is interested in replicating that success at the University of Rochester.  

“I’ve long been aware of the positive reputation and outstanding history of the University of Rochester’s surgical program, and I’ve had good experiences with surgeons and residents who’ve trained in Rochester,” Peters said.  “This program has the foundation and potential to be great.  That opportunity to build plays to my personal interest.”

David Guzick, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, said that Peters impressed the UR’s Search Committee and Senior Leadership Team with a preliminary plan to capitalize and build on the core talents that currently exist here in Surgery. “He is an energetic and strategic leader who is committed to making this University’s Surgery Department one of the finest in the country,” Guzick said.  “We’re very excited that he plans to have several recruits in place by this fall.” 

Over the next decade, Peters will restructure surgical care into multi-specialty teams that are “disease focused” rather than “technically based” so that patients get the full advantage of gastroenterologists, pathologists, surgeons, radiologists and others.  He also plans to establish new divisions, such as divisions of colorectal surgery and surgical oncology, and a program in minimally invasive surgery.  Within his first year, Peters expects to appoint a new full-time surgery educator who will re-energize the Department around learning at all levels – students, residents and faculty.  In building the Department’s research reputation, Peters plans to focus closely on clinical research, following both the National Institutes of Health roadmap and his own personal interests. 

Peters is an international authority on the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of esophageal disorders, and has published more than 160 scientific papers and 70 book chapters. A graduate of Ohio State University School of Medicine, Peters completed internship, residency and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins Hospital where he also did graduate work in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.  In addition, Peters completed a second fellowship in esophageal surgery at Creighton University.  He is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing excellence in research and teaching. 

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