HAS Board Member Ralph S. Greco, MD, was honored today at a luncheon held by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) during their 2012 Annual Educational Conference. Dr. Greco received the prestigious Gienapp Award, a lifetime achievement honor in recognition of his nearly 40 years of work as a surgery program director, humanitarian and innovator of a surgery curriculum focused on resident well-being and wellness.
Dr. Greco is the Johnson & Johnson Distinguished Professor of Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of the Balance in Life program in the general surgery residency program at Stanford. He previously served as Stanford’s chief of general surgery and program director for the general surgery residency program. His achievements at Stanford include developing a new curriculum for the surgical residency program, developing a one-month elective in Haiti and restructuring duty hours for surgical residents in advance of the 2003 common duty hour requirements. He also created a curriculum to address resident well-being and wellness. In 2006, Dr. Greco received the ACGME’s Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award, which is presented each year to outstanding program directors.
Dr. Greco graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Yale New Haven Hospital. Dr. Greco served for many years as professor of surgery and chief of surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School before moving to Stanford in 2000. During his time at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Dr. Greco authored an often-cited national survey on surgical sub-specialization.
“I have devoted my professional career to patient care, research and education. For the last 25 years my highest priority has been the training of general surgery residents. Recently a great tragedy befell all of us at Stanford. A graduating chief resident in 2010, who was a man with a limitless future, took his own life four months after leaving us for a fellowship in a another institution,” said Dr. Greco. “Since that time I have devoted my work to working with Stanford residents and faculty to develop a program to ‘create balance in the lives of our general surgery residents.’ It seems to me that we have done a great job of teaching them how to take care of their patients. Now it is time to teach them how to take care of themselves.”