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Mellinger named chair of American Board of Surgery

August 4, 2020
The American Board of Surgery (ABS), the national certifying body for general surgeons and related specialists, has named John D. Mellinger, MD, as chair for 2020-21. Mellinger is the J. Roland Folse, MD Endowed Chair in Surgery, vice chair of the department of surgery, and professor and chair of general surgery at Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine in Springfield. He also serves as director for leadership and excellence of the Center for Human and Organizational Potential at SIU.
 
He completed medical school at Case Western Reserve University, followed by general surgery residency training at the Blodgett/St. Mary’s Hospitals (now Michigan State University Program) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Post-residency, Dr. Mellinger completed a surgical endoscopy fellowship at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as a Surgical Education Research Fellowship through the Association for Surgical Education.
 
Prior to joining the surgery department at SJU, Dr. Mellinger served on active duty in the United States Air Force and has had academic appointments at Wright State University, Michigan State University, and the Medical College of Georgia. His academic interests include surgical education, surgical endoscopy, gastrointestinal surgery, and international surgery.
 
“It is the greatest privilege of my career to have the opportunity to serve the ABS as chair in the coming year,” said Dr. Mellinger. “In the past several years, the Board has demonstrated the courage to reimagine its governance structure and strategic plan, in order to enhance its ability to serve the public and the profession in pursuing excellence in patient care. I look forward to serving this group during these challenging and opportunity-laden times.”
 
SIU School of Medicine Dean and Provost Jerry Kruse, MD, MSPH, has worked with Dr. Mellinger for a decade. “John’s humanistic approach and expertise on so many subjects has been a tremendous benefit to not just our patients and learners, but his colleagues as well,” he said. “The Board of Surgery could not have picked a better person to help guide its policies for what lies ahead.”
 
As an academic physician and clinical leader, Dr. Mellinger is heavily involved with many surgical organizations. In addition to serving as chair of the ABS, he is a director of the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). He is also vice president of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), and serves on the organization’s Board of Governors. Dr. Mellinger is a past president of the Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS), and has previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA), as well as Academic Dean for the Commission on Medical and Dental Education of the CMDA. He is on the editorial board for Annals of Surgery and the Journal of Surgical Education, and is co-editor-in-chief for Resources in Surgical Education, a web-based, peer-reviewed resource from the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
 
Dr. Mellinger has received more than 30 teaching awards, including the Outstanding Teacher Award of the ASE, the SIU system-wide 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award, the Educator of the Year Award from the CMDA, and the Jeffrey L. Ponsky Master Educator in Endoscopy Award from SAGES. He has presented more than 200 national, international, or visiting professor presentations, and has authored over 110 peer-reviewed primary scientific or review articles, as well as 28 book chapters and one book.
 
In 2014, Dr. Mellinger was elected to represent the APDS on the previous ABS Board of Directors (now the Council of the ABS). While serving as a director, he was a member of the General Surgery Advisory Council (now the General Surgery Board of the ABS) and chair of the General Surgery Residency Committee.
 
The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to optimize the health of the people of central and southern Illinois through education, patient care, research and service to the community. SIU Medicine, the health care practice of the school of medicine, includes clinics and offices with more than 300 providers caring for patients throughout the region.