Published July 6, 2012
Dr. R. Stephen Smith, a nationally recognized trauma surgeon with a career in medicine and military service, has been appointed chair of the department of surgery at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
Smith earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine.
Dr. R. Stephen Smith, chair of surgery at USC School of Medicine
Prior to joining USC, he worked as system chief of the Division of Acute Care Surgery at West Penn Allegheny Health System and adjunct professor of surgery at Temple University School of Medicine. He has authored peer-reviewed journal articles and has given more than 400 lectures nationally and internationally.
In 2006, he retired as captain of the U.S. Naval Reserve Medical Corps. His military service includes working as a surgeon and medical director of the intensive care and casualty reception units on the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship during Operations Desert Shield and Storm.
“Dr. Smith brings a wealth of talent and expertise to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine,” said Dr. Richard Hoppmann, dean of the USC School of Medicine. “Our aspiring surgeons will benefit from his distinguished career as a medical educator that spans more than 20 years. As chair of the department of surgery, his leadership will be instrumental in building a world-class surgery program that will serve patients throughout the state.”
Smith’s surgical expertise includes trauma, critical care, emergency and general surgery. His recent surgical interest includes thoracic trauma with a focus on chest-wall injuries. Additionally, he has been involved in advancing the use of ultrasound in several surgical specialties.
“I have a great deal of respect for the history of excellence at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine,” Smith said. “It is an honor to join many well-respected faculty in advancing the educational, research and clinical missions of the school. I am inspired by the opportunity to train talented young surgeons, lead groundbreaking research endeavors and deliver world-class surgical care to the citizens of South Carolina. Through the expansion of clinical services, recruitment of world-renowned faculty and enhancement of education opportunities, I look forward to leading the department of surgery into a new era of medicine.”
Smith is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. For more than 20 years, he has taken an active role in serving ACS on a national and statewide level. He has been president of the Kansas Chapter of ACS, chairman of the ACS Kansas State Committee on Trauma and immediate past chairman of the ACS Ultrasound Users Group. He is currently a member of the ACS Committee on Trauma. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery with a certificate of special qualifications in surgical critical care.