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Shack to step down as chair of Plastic Surgery

May. 26, 2016, 10:14 AM

Bruce Shack, M.D., has announced plans to step down, effective July 1, as chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), and he will remain on the faculty as a professor of Plastic Surgery.

Bruce Shack, M.D.
Bruce Shack, M.D.

“This decision was the most difficult of my entire professional career,” Shack said. “My devotion to and fondness of all of my faculty, residents, nurses and staff made this a gut-wrenching and heart-rending decision. However, after all these years, I truly believe it is time for some fresh vision and energy at the helm of our department.

“I am assured that my successor, whomever that person may be, will be an individual who will continue to support and promote the faculty and staff, as well as our long traditions of excellence in patient care, teaching and research.”

Reuben Bueno Jr., M.D., associate professor of Plastic Surgery and residency program director, has agreed to step in as interim chair beginning in July while a national search is conducted to identify the next leader for the department.

“I want to thank Dr. Shack for his steady leadership of the department for the past two decades,” said R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., John Clinton Foshee Distinguished Professor of Surgery and chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences. “He has strengthened the department during his tenure, having added significant numbers of new faculty members who have increased the clinical volumes substantially, while offering our patients many new reconstructive options.”

Shack has been chair of the Plastic Surgery for the past 20 years, and has served on the faculty at VUMC for 34 years. He has spent most of his professional career at VUMC, including completing a residency in General Surgery, followed by a fellowship in Plastic Surgery. He left VUMC to join the faculty at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, where he was assistant professor of Plastic Surgery from 1980-1982.

Shack returned to Nashville to join the faculty in the Department of Plastic Surgery in 1982. He stepped into the role of interim chair in July 1996 after the retirement of J.B. Lynch, M.D., and became chair in January 1997.

In this role, Shack has overseen the third-year medical student lecture series, as well as directed resident training. He has also served as a faculty adviser for third- and fourth-year medical students interested in pursuing surgery.

Shack has held leadership positions in several professional organizations, including the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, the Plastic Surgery Education Foundation and the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. He has served as chair of the Plastic Surgery Section of the Southern Medical Association and is a past president of the Nashville Surgical Society. He has also served as vice president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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