February 28, 2019

Terhune named to senior GME leadership role

Kyla Terhune, MD, MBA, associate professor Surgery and director of the Surgery Residency Training Program in the Section of Surgical Sciences, has been named Vice President for Educational Affairs for Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Her appointment is effective July 1.

Kyla Terhune, MD, MBA, associate professor of Surgery and director of the Surgery Residency Training Program in the Section of Surgical Sciences, has been named Vice President for Educational Affairs for Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Her appointment is effective July 1.

Kyla Terhune, MD, MBA
Kyla Terhune, MD, MBA

Terhune will succeed Donald Brady, MD, the Medical Center’s longtime Graduate Medical Education (GME) leader, as he completes a transition to new responsibilities as Executive Vice-President for Educational Affairs for VUMC and Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences Education with VUSM.

In this new role, Terhune will serve as the senior leader for all graduate medical education at VUMC, with responsibility for the oversight and administration of VUMC as a sponsoring institution of GME programs, and for all of VUMC’s individual GME programs. She will also serve as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Designated Institutional Official (DIO).

As Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, Terhune will work collaboratively with VUSM’s Offices of Undergraduate Medical Education and Student Affairs and VUMC’s Office of Continuing Professional Development.

In addition, she will assume a key role in the School of Medicine’s Liaison Committee on Medical Education re-accreditation efforts in areas where GME intersects with medical student education.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Terhune will succeed Dr. Brady in this role. They will make an outstanding team leading our education and training programs,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer for VUMC and Dean of VUSM.

“Kyla’s skills as a leader, combined with her impressive history as a mentor of students and trainees, provides assurance that our programs in GME will continue to be among the nation’s most sought after.”

At any given time, Vanderbilt is training more than 1,000 house staff through 95 ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs, one CODA-accredited residency, and approximately 50 other non-ACGME accredited fellowships.

Of the 95 ACGME programs, 31 are specialties where VUMC is the only sponsor for that type of specialty training in Tennessee.

VUMC trains 40 percent of Tennessee’s pediatricians, 33 percent of general surgeons, 28 percent of internists, and more than 20 percent of obstetricians and gynecologists who practice in the state.

Terhune, who also has served as vice chair for Education for the Section of Surgical Sciences, brings more than a decade as a leader and mentor to her new role. During the past five years the surgery residency training program has flourished under her guidance.

Importantly, she has fostered an inclusive environment where more than 30 percent of the program’s residency trainees self-identify as either Black, African-American, Hispanic, Native American, South Asian or East Asian. Women now represent more than half of surgery residents in the program.

Concurrent with a portion of her service as the Section of Surgical Sciences program director, Terhune also served from 2011-2016 as Faculty Head of House for the Hank Ingram House with Vanderbilt University’s Ingram Commons. As Head of House, Terhune was responsible for approximately 290 first-year undergraduates who called the facility home.

“I am extremely excited that Kyla has agreed to assume the DIO role at VUMC. Her lifelong dedication to education, her sincere commitment to the trainees she oversees and her innovative approaches to GME will benefit all of our programs as we strive to train trainees superbly equipped to thrive in a rapidly changing health care system. We are honored to have her as part of our institutional education leadership team,” said Brady.

Terhune joined Vanderbilt’s faculty in 2011 as assistant professor of Surgery and Anesthesiology and was promoted to associate professor in 2014.

A general surgeon credentialed at both VUMC and the Nashville VA, she also has served as the chief of the Section of General Surgery for the Tennessee Valley Health System with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Dr. Terhune’s leadership of the educational programs of the Section of Surgical Sciences has been extraordinary,” said Seth Karp, MD, H. William Scott Professor of Surgery and chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences. “She has developed and championed innovative approaches, creating residency and fellowships that simultaneously support the trainees and provide outstanding learning opportunities with high standards. As a result, the training programs attract the best from all over the country. We look forward to continuing to work with her in this new and critical role.”

A member of multiple professional organizations, Terhune is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, an upcoming officer in the Association of Program Directors in Surgery and the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She is a frequently invited speaker at national and international professional gatherings, presenting on a diverse range of topics.

Terhune is a graduate of Princeton University, where she earned an AB in molecular biology, and the University of Pennsylvania Perlman School of Medicine, where she earned a medical degree. She came to VUMC in 2004 and underwent residency training in surgery. She also completed a critical care fellowship in the Department of Anesthesiology and is boarded in both surgery and surgical critical care. In 2016, she earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Vanderbilt University Owen School of Graduate Management.

Prior to medical school, Terhune was a teacher and also coached basketball and tennis at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware. While there, she taught chemistry and advanced placement biology and environmental science courses. Several of her high school students are now practicing physicians and surgeons. She was head basketball coach in 1998-99, leading her team to qualify for the state tournament for the first time in 10 years.

Away from work, time and energy are devoted to her husband of 20 years and their three children.

“I am very excited to move into this role and work closely with Dr. Brady, who truly has left a legacy. Admittedly, this transition is a little bittersweet as I have genuinely loved being a program director,” said Terhune.

“However, I look forward to the opportunity to innovate on a larger scale, to continue to lift up patient care as primary in the education of our trainees and to support the trainees and program directors across the many excellent programs here at VUMC.”