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Dr. R. Bruce Shack Named Dean of UTHSC College of Medicine in Chattanooga

R. Bruce Shack
R. Bruce Shack, MD, new dean of the UTHSC College of Medicine in Chattanooga

R. Bruce Shack, MD, has been named dean of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine in Chattanooga and Senior Vice President of the Erlanger Health System. Dr. Shack comes to UTHSC after serving almost 20 years as chair and a professor of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville.

In making the appointment, David Stern, MD, Robert Kaplan Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, said UTHSC is “delighted and honored” that Dr. Shack will lead the college’s Chattanooga campus. “He brings an exceptionally strong set of leadership skills from his years as chair of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt,” Dr. Stern said. “Our Chattanooga campus and its partner hospital system, Erlanger Health System, have improved dramatically over the last year, and the addition of Dr. Shack will accelerate and help guide new and exceptional health services for the region.”

Dr. Stern thanked Robert C. Fore, EdD, FACEHP, CHCP, for his exceptional service as interim dean for Academic Affairs in Chattanooga. “Dr. Fore’s extensive experience in graduate and continuing medical education has been a major asset to our College of Medicine in Chattanooga, as we continue to train the physicians of the future.”

Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, president and CEO of Erlanger Health System, said, “Dr. Shack’s executive leadership skills over the past 20 years as chair of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center will significantly benefit the undergraduate and graduate medical education enterprise.”

As chief academic and administrative officer for the Chattanooga campus, Dr. Shack will be responsible for leading the college’s missions of excellence in education, patient care and research. As senior vice president in the Erlanger Health System, he will represent faculty physicians, oversee clinical care and develop collaboration among university faculty and community physicians in the Erlanger system.

“This is an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” said Dr. Shack, who will begin his work in Chattanooga on November 15. “Chattanooga is a beautiful city, and there are a lot of opportunities and challenges there that I am looking forward to.”

Dr. Shack graduated from Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He did an internship in surgery and his residency in plastic surgery at Vanderbilt.

He served as an assistant professor of plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, both in Baltimore, before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 1982. He was named chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt in 1997.

Dr. Shack also maintains teaching duties at VUMC. He is responsible for the lecture series for third-year medical students, has been involved in resident training in the operating room and ward, and has served as a faculty adviser for third- and fourth-year medical students.

Dr. Shack is a member of many professional associations, including the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons as a Fellow, the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the Association of Academic Chairman of Plastic Surgery.

His numerous leadership roles include serving on the VUMC Medical Board of Directors and the Vanderbilt Burn Center Advisory Committee. Dr. Shack has also served as president of the Nashville Surgical Society, president and on the board of directors of the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, vice president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, president of the Southern Medical Association and chairman of the city-wide Journal Club of Tennessee Plastic Surgeons.

Dr. Shack has been a guest lecturer on multiple occasions, was voted among the “Best Doctors in America” seven times, and has authored or contributed to more than 75 articles, books and chapters related to plastic surgery.

Established in 1973 as a branch campus of the UTHSC College of Medicine in Memphis, the Chattanooga campus provides training for junior and senior medical students, as well as residency and fellowship programs. The college also has campuses in Nashville and Knoxville.

The Erlanger Health System has five Tennessee-based medical campuses, including the region’s only children’s hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center, providing the highest level of trauma care. Erlanger is the nation’s seventh largest public hospital system and has been recognized as “Chattanooga’s number one hospital” by U.S. News & World Report for four consecutive years. Affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga, Erlanger is also the region’s only academic teaching center and treats more than 300,000 patients every year. For more information, visit www.erlanger.org.