Department of Surgery
Thomas R. Russell, MDThomas R. Russell, MD, FACS
Thomas R. Russell, MD, FACS, a native of San Francisco, CA, is the Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). A former private practice general surgeon who specialized in colon and rectal surgery, he has held his current position since January 2000. Dr. Russell is charged with the administration of the ACS, a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College has more than 69,000 members and it is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. As Executive Director, he has charge of all matters of the College under the direction of the Board of Regents-the College's policy-making body.
Dr. Russell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1962 and an MD degree from Creighton University Medical School, Omaha, NE, in 1966. He took a rotating internship at San Francisco General Hospital from 1966 to 1967 and began his residency training in general surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, in 1967.
Dr. Russell's residency training was interrupted by military service in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970, during which he was a Lieutenant Commander and US Navy Flight Surgeon. Dr. Russell resumed his residency training in general surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, in 1971, and completed it in 1975. During those same years, he undertook a research project on gastrointestinal hormones physiology at the Veterans Hospital-Fort Miley in San Francisco and a fellowship in pancreatic surgery at the American Hospital, the Hospital de la Pitie, and the Hospitaux de Paris in Paris, France. From 1975 to 1977, Dr. Russell did a preceptorship in colon and rectal surgery in San Francisco.
Dr. Russell was affiliated with the California Pacific Medical Center from 1975 to 1999, and he served as chairman of its department of surgery from1980 to 1999. He was also affiliated with several hospitals in the San Francisco area and served as a teacher and leader in various activities at the University of California.
Dr. Russell became a Fellow of the College in 1979 and has been an active participant in its activities since that time. He was elected to the Board of Governors in 1990 and served in that role until 1993, when he was elected a Regent of the College. He completed his second term on the Board of Regents just prior to becoming ACS Executive Director.
Dr. Russell has been an active participant in the work of the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, and the Residency Review Committee for Colon and Rectal Surgery. In addition to the College, he holds membership in and has been active in the affairs of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, the International Society of Surgery, the San Francisco Surgical Society, the San Francisco Medical Society, the Naffziger Surgical Society, the Pacific Coast Surgical Association, and the Northern California Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Dr. Russell has published extensively on scientific and educational topics related to colon and rectal surgery and general surgery.
Dr. Russell and his wife Dr. Nona Chiampi Russell have been married since 1979 and have two children.