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Resilient Threads
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Media Release  UT College of Medicine Chattanooga, TN Feb 22, 2020    Resilient Threads,  by  Our Own Faculty and Author, Mukta Panda, MDAssistant Dean for Well-Being and Medical Student EducationUT College of Medicine Chattanooga   Mukta Panda, MD, MACP, FRCP-London, is an award-winning physician, speaker, and facilitator whose work seeks to transform the heart of patient care and medical education. She is the Assistant Dean for Well-Being and Medical Student Education and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga and author of more than 60 publications.  Her writing focuses on educational and curricular development, spirituality in medicine, addressing fatigue and stress, and promoting the well-being of health care professionals.    Recently interviewed by Chattanooga Times FreePress reporter,. Elizabeth Fite, Dr. Panda stated that, "after discovering a close friend and colleague had taken his own life, she felt compelled to do more to support and empower other health care professionals."  Dr. Panda's new book, Resilient Threads: Weaving Joy and Meaning into Well-Being, is a memoir that aims to highlight what she calls an epidemic of physician burnout, depression and suicide and show others who feel overwhelmed by demanding careers that they're not alone.  She said that this was a hard book to write, because it's really baring her soul, but it's very important to her.   She stated that, "It's my voice collectively with those in any vocation - not just health care - who feel powerless against a system."  Dr. Panda is passionate about clinician self-care, colleague care and well-being. In her book, she shares her journey practicing medicine and her strategies for maintaining joy in her work and teaching young doctors in training how to do the same."   Click here to view Ms. Fite's article in the Times FreePress.   For more information about Resilient Threads, visit  The book is available at Star Line Books in Chattanooga, as well as online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AmazonKindle, and Apple iBooks.    
Chattanooga Surgeon Honored
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Media Release Chattanooga  UT College of Medicine Chattanooga surgeon, R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS, honored with the 2019 Distinguished Service Award of the American College of Surgeons   SAN FRANCISCO (October 27, 2019; 11:00 pm PDT): The University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga is proud to announce that R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS, a general surgeon and surgical educator from Chattanooga, Tenn., received the 2019 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS)  on October 26, 2019 during the Convocation ceremony that preceded the opening of the College's 2019 Cliniclasal Congress, one of the largest international meetings of surgeons in the world. The DSA is the highest honor bestowed by the ACS.   The ACS Board of Regents honored Dr. Burns for "his innovative vision as an integral engineer of the College's focused initiatives influencing general surgery training, ultimately creating better prepared general surgery residents entering practice with enhanced skills and confidence to further improve the quality of care for their patients." Dr. Burns is also recognized as "a role model to surgeons everywhere to always do the right thing for patients."   Dr. Burns has served in several ACS leadership roles. In addition to having served as ACS First Vice-President of the ACS (2012-2013), Dr. Burns is a Past-Member of the Board of Governors (2004-2010) and Past-Chair of the Governors Committee on Surgical Practice in Hospitals and Outpatient Settings (2007-2010). He has served on the ACS Advisory Council for General Surgery as a representative of the Southeastern Surgical Congress since 1993, the Steering Committee on Transitions to Practice since 2012, the Coaching the Next Generation Committee since 2014 and the committee's Simulation Subcommittee since 2015, and the Task Force on the Future of General Surgery Training since 2016.   The DSA award citation recognizes Dr. Burns' "industrious work as one of the original members of the Transition to Practice Committee that resulted in the Mastery of General Surgery Program by providing an additional year of experience for young surgeons entering general surgery." It further notes "his exemplary leadership as Chair of the Committee on Coaching the Next Generation, along with the committee's vision of continuous innovative projects to connect senior surgeons with continued opportunities to serve our all of our colleagues in all surgical and medical settings."   Dr. Burns has served on the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee for Image-Guided Breast Evaluation (1996-2000) and the ACS Stereotactic Breast Steering Committee (1997-2005). He is a Past-President of the Tennessee Chapter of the ACS (1998-1999) and continues to serve on the chapter's Credentials and Program Committees.   Dr. Burns has held other prominent leadership roles in surgery. He has been secretary/treasurer of the Chattanooga Surgical Foundation since 1976. He is past-president of the Harwell Wilson Surgical Society (1980); has served on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) appeals panel (1982); has chaired the Johnson & Johnson Surgical Research Advisory Committee (1983-1988); and has been an examiner for the American Board of Surgery oral examinations. He is a Past-President of the Southeastern Surgical Congress (2006-2007) and the Southern Surgical Association (2006-2007). Dr. Burns has held various other leadership positions in the Southeastern Surgical Congress, including chair, program planning committee (1986-1992); member, executive council (1990-present), and secretary-director (1995-2004).   Dr. Burns has also served on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education residency review committee (RRC) for surgery (1999-2005), was the RRC's special envoy, Katrina Disaster (2005-2006), and Surgeon Site Visitor for the RRC and ACS Pilot Project.  He is a prolific contributor to the surgical literature and a respected speaker on advances in trauma and general surgery.   About R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACSDr. Burns is Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery, at the University of Tennessee (UT) College of Medicine Chattanooga, and is one of the nation's longest serving Chairs at one institution (almost 44 years).  Dr. Burns is a member of the board of trustees and practices at Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga. He is a founding partner and Chair of the Board of University Surgical Associates (USA), Chattanooga, and specializes in breast and laparoscopic surgery. Under his leadership, USA has grown to one of the largest independent surgical practices in the country. He is a member of the UT College of Medicine's system-wide advisory committee on hospital and university affairs and the UT health affairs subcommittee of the UT board of trustees. At UT College of Medicine Chattanooga Dr. Burns chairs the surgical education advisory committee, serves on the institution's Graduate Medical Education Committee, and is founder and medical director of the medical/surgical skills laboratory. He serves on multiple committees at both UT and Erlanger. Dr. Burns received his medical degree from the UT College of Medicine Memphis in 1966 and completed his surgical training at UT City of Memphis Hospitals in 1974, after serving as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force from 1968 to 1970.   "FACS" designates that a surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.   # # #   About the American College of SurgeonsThe American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit   The original article was posted as a media release on the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2019 website:   For more information about the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga, visit the website at    
UT College of Medicine Chattanooga     960 East Third Street, Suite 100     Chattanooga, TN 37403     (800)947-7823, ext 6956

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