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Patricia L. Turner, MD

Patricia Turner, MD

Member, Board of Directors
American Medical Association Foundation

Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, is the Director of the Division of Member Services at the American College of Surgeons, and is an adjunct associate professor in surgery at Northwestern University and a clinical associate professor of surgery at The University of Chicago. Prior to joining the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Turner spent eight years in full-time academic practice and was the surgery program director at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She previously served as a member of the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs, and is currently a delegate to the AMA from the American College of Surgeons and a member of the AMA Council on Medical Education. She also is a member of the AMA Foundation Board of Directors.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University, Dr. Turner continued her training as an intern and resident in surgery at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C.  Her fellowship training in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery was completed at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Weill-Cornell University School of Medicine, and Columbia University School of Medicine in New York City.  Dr. Turner is board-certified in surgery, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Turner has been involved in both basic science and clinical research.  As an undergraduate, her pharmacology research evaluated anti-inflammatory drugs' impact on the cyclooxygenase cascade.  During medical school, her research in the neurobiology and anatomy focused on neuron apoptosis.  During residency training, she spent two years as a senior staff fellow in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.  Her work there focused on dysregulation of sodium transport in the kidney and nitric oxide's role in the changing abundance of nephron transporter proteins. 

Dr. Turner's current research interests are associated with her clinical expertise in laparoscopic surgery, including developing new training paradigms for residents and more senior surgeons.  Her commitment to advancing new approaches to abdominal surgery places her squarely on the forefront of developing technologies in medicine.  Her clinical interests include minimally invasive gastrointestinal, endocrine, and solid organ surgeries.  She has also emerged as an innovator in quality improvement and outcomes research.  Her role as the ACS-NSQIP surgeon champion for UMMC provides opportunities for complication prevention and quality improvement interventions on both small and large scales.  She has published and presented widely on topics related to minimally invasive surgery, quality improvement, surgical outcomes, and graduate surgical education.

Dr. Turner is consistently described as a superb clinician, educator, communicator, and advocate for her patients and for women and underrepresented minorities in surgery. In addition to her clinical and research activities, she is a leading advocate for post-graduate education reform and for research in the organized medicine arena. In her roles as a member of the Surgery Residency Review committee, the Blue Ribbon Committee on Surgical Education of the American Surgical Association, the AMA's Council on Scientific Affairs, the Association of Academic Surgery's Ethics Committee, and the ACS's Young Fellows Association Steering Committee, she played a pivotal role in developing policy on biomedical research, training, and refining the way in which surgeons are trained.

Dr. Turner's current roles in national organizations include Executive Committee member of the Surgical Section of the National Medical Association, Executive Committee member of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, member of the SAGES Quality, Outcomes, Safety Committee and SAGES Legislative Committee, Chair of the AMA Council on Medical Education Nominating Committee, and AMA representative for the Commission to End Healthcare Disparities, and ABMS Committee on Continuing Certification.

Dr. Turner is increasingly involved in medical media. Her ability to translate complex medical information into easily understandable language has endeared her to patients and audiences alike. She has anchored and provided ongoing medical expertise and commentary for health-related segments on Good Morning America and GMA Health.