During the week Dr. Polk will interact, teach and mentor practicing community surgeons and will be directly involved with teaching the general surgical residents at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He’ll also present two lectures for donors to the education program that are open to the public. Both lectures will be held at Burtness Auditorium at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

The Visiting Professor of Surgery Endowment Fund was established in December 2010 by Ronald G. Latimer, MD (Emeritus) and Sansum Clinic to advance the educational opportunities of local surgeons and to demonstrate a commitment to quality surgical care in Santa Barbara. The fund allows a prominent national or international surgeon to be in residence in Santa Barbara for one week each year.

Dr. Polk has devoted his professional life to the advancement of excellence in surgical education, clinical practice and research. Following undergraduate education at B.S. Millsaps College he was accepted to Harvard Medical School. He completed his internship and general surgical residency training at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. His seminal research interests have been directed to surgical wound infections, appropriate antibiotic usage, and the treatment of malignant melanomas, for all of which he is recognized as a world authority. During his 34 years as the Chairman of the Department of Surgery in Louisville this surgical icon has trained more than 230 general surgeons.

Public Lectures:

Thursday, March 14 at 5:30 pm – Romance to Reality: Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing in the 21st Century. Dr. Polk’s avocation for thoroughbred horses started early in life as he worked at Suffolk Downs as well as contributed writings to The Thoroughbred Record during medical school. In this fascinating lecture Dr. Polk, as an owner and breeder, will cover horse racing’s national and international history, its relationship to legalized gambling, the challenge to the superior Kentucky blood lines by overseas breeding, and the abusive treatment plus questionable medicinal usages in present day horse racing.

Friday, March 15 at 2:30 pm – SOS: Shortage of Surgeons: Will there be a qualified/trained surgeon when I need one? Presently, in the United States, there is a shortage of trained qualified general surgeons. With the many technological advancements, the competitive demand and desire for super-specialization, the mandated, but questionably beneficial changes in work hours for surgical training, and the unknown consequences of the Accountable Care legislation, there exists a serious concern that there may not be an expert trained surgeon available to manage a patient’s unique surgical problem. Dr. Polk has been and is involved with these manpower issues and will address them in detail.

Space is limited. Reservations are required for both lectures. Please contact Amanda Jones at Sansum Clinic at (805) 681-7762 or amjones@sansumclinic.org.

About Sansum Clinic:

Sansum Clinic is the largest independent nonprofit healthcare organization between the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay Area. With more than 180 affiliated physicians, Sansum Clinic provides the full spectrum of healthcare services, from primary care to more than 30 specialties. Sansum Clinic serves more than 150,000 patients (600,000 visits) annually at our 23 patient care facilities between Carpinteria and Santa Maria. Sansum Clinic can be found online at www.sansumclinic.org.


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