Message from the Chairman
Department of Surgery
Craig R. Smith, MD
Craig R. Smith, MD,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Columbia University Department of Surgery. With a roster of nearly 100 full-time faculty members with specialties ranging from basic science research to the most advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures, 89 fellows and residents, and more than 330 staff members, the Department draws on a tradition of more than 225 years marked by some of the most extraordinary achievements in medicine.
We are committed to the belief that multidisciplinary collaboration leads to a higher level of care, and that such teamwork promotes meaningful interaction between faculty members as well as cross-functional fertilization among staff. Over the past 25 years, the Department has evolved from a loose federation of private practices to a sophisticated network of creative alliances. Collaboration with medical and scientific experts at Columbia University and globally, as well as with the biotech industry, has resulted in many "firsts" and enhanced our reputation for providing the highest quality patient care.
Another defining element of the Department's culture is innovation, an area in which it is the beneficiary of a rich legacy, and in which it continues to foster the transition from scientific discovery to clinically relevant application. With the university's dedication to translational research, we are able to move promising new advances from the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside with greater speed. We then use our clinical observations to fine-tune these treatments and to monitor their acceptance into mainstream practice. In short, we are involved in every aspect of the innovation process.
In recent years, the surgical discipline has been witness to a trend of increasing specialization. Here at Columbia, this sea change has led us to undertake accelerated program development in multiple areas. I am pleased with the payoff of these efforts, which have engendered greater clinical capability, streamlined service for our patients and referring physicians, and yielded an enhanced interface between our surgeon-investigators and clinical research centers within Columbia University Medical Center.
I invite you to explore our website, where you will find in-depth mini-sites dedicated to each of our clinical specialties; a broad range of multimedia items including animations of surgical procedures, surgical videos, and presentations by our faculty; calendars of community and physician education events, articles on our current research and innovations, and a directory of faculty and staff with a map of the Department of Surgery's organizational structure.