Department of Surgery Chair Search

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine invites applications for the position of chair of the Department of Surgery. The College of Medicine seeks a visionary chair with demonstrated leadership abilities, a strong record in academic medicine, with administrative experience as a division chief or program/center director who could provide strong leadership skills as a listener, decision-maker, humanist and effective advocate for the Department of Surgery and its faculty. Candidates with an NIH-funded research program (current or previous record of funding) are welcomed, but this is not a primary criterion for the role. The successful candidate will also serve as surgeon-in-chief for UKHealthCare.

The successful candidate should be recognized for exceptional accomplishments as a clinician and academician and will be required to continue to practice while serving as chair.  The candidate should have accomplishments in scholarship suitable to the level of a tenured professor of surgery.   Furthermore, the candidate should have skills in collaboration and the ability to learn and share, and should have people-skills that promote, foster and facilitate the trust of colleagues, the broader University and those who might make philanthropic gifts to UK HealthCare or the University. The chair should have impeccable integrity and be an effective and able communicator. 

Candidates should have a clinical background in general surgery and/or other current divisions/sections of the Department of Surgery which include vascular surgery, trauma surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, transplant surgery, pediatric surgery, endocrine surgery, colorectal surgery, surgical oncology, and plastic surgery.   

The UK HealthCare enterprise represents the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky, but it is so much more. It is 9,000 people – physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals – all dedicated to providing the most advanced and most effective care available. UK HealthCare has over 80 specialized clinics, and more than 140 outreach programs throughout Central and Eastern Kentucky. The University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital remains the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky and the Bluegrass region, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals Rankings.


MD or MD/PhD, DO, or equivalent with a sustained record of scholarly activity.
Board certification required in general surgery and/or appropriate subspecialty.

Related Experience

National recognition as demonstrated through involvement in academic/professional societies at a national level. Demonstrated increasing levels of leadership or administrative positions in medical school or academic medical center setting. Proven record of recruitment and retention of talent and mentorship.

Founded in 1960, the UK College of Medicine (UKCOM) produces highly qualified, caring physicians and the next generation of biomedical scientists to serve the people of Kentucky and the nation. Grants and contracts in UKCOM reached over $100 million last year, including nearly $80 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. The College is one of six health-related colleges at the University (Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health) and is located on UK’s main campus in Lexington, KY.

Reporting to the Dean of UK College of Medicine, Robert S. DiPaola, MD, the chair serves as the chief academic and administrative officer for the department. The chair will have the opportunity to significantly enhance the academic and research missions of the department, to build upon its clinical services and further its partnerships within UK Healthcare, the University, and with numerous external partners. The successful candidate will demonstrate broad progressive administrative leadership experience in an integrated academic medical center environment; and possess national recognition for achievement in research, educational and clinical pursuits that would warrant appointment as a full professor. Candidates should also have a proven track record of collaboration and program building.

About the Department

The Department of Surgery has more than 65 faculty and 130 staff members committed to caring for patients, training the next generation of doctors and researchers, and seeking a better understanding of disease and injury.

The UK Department of Surgery comprises six divisions: general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, dermatology, pediatric surgery, transplant, and plastic surgery. Faculty in a number of these specialties also play a role in multidisciplinary centers, which draw together faculty and staff from several departments to enhance patient care and research. For example, Surgery’s Division of Transplantation, which handles kidney, liver, and pancreas transplants, and the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery play essential roles in UK Hospital’s Transplant Center. In the Center for Advanced Training & Simulation (CATS), faculty who specialize in laparoscopic surgery collaborate with engineers and specialists from other disciplines to improve instruments and training techniques.

Clinical Operations

Our surgeons practice in a variety of operating room settings revolving around central facilities at the UK Medical Center. These include Kentucky Children’s Hospital, the Center for Advanced Surgery, Gill Heart Institute, Markey Cancer Center, UK Good Samaritan Hospital, the Transplant Center, and a number of regional clinics. Despite the economic down turn, the operating rooms at UK are operating at or above capacity almost daily and the number of surgeries each month has surpassed 2000 for 10 consecutive months, an indication of our clinical success. In addition, our relationships with the Lexington VA Hospital and the Shriners Hospital for Children are strong.


Last year, the Department of Surgery had more than 160 publications in peer-reviewed journals with at least one student or resident participating as an author on 39 of those. In addition, there were 32 book chapters published or in press with at least one student or resident participating as an author on nine of those. More than $2 million in new external funding for primary and collaborative projects was received from pharma, NIH, Department of Defense, and others. Projects cover a broad range of topics related to aging, cancer, muscle weakness, wound management, hyperthermia, cryoablation, and drug therapies, to name a few.

For more information regarding the Surgery Department please visit us online: 

How to Apply

Candidates should apply online at with a curriculum vita and letter of interest. Applications will be reviewed immediately, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Upon offer of employment, successful applicants must undergo a national background check and pre-employment drug screen as required by University of Kentucky Human Resources. The University of Kentucky is an Equal Opportunity University that values diversity and inclusion. Individuals with disabilities, minorities, veterans, women, and members of other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.