About Stanford's
Department of Surgery

The Stanford University Department of Surgery is dedicated to inventing the future of surgical care through:

• pioneering cutting-edge research, 

• developing the next generation of leaders, and 

• healing through incomparable surgical skills and compassion. 


1926 — Dr. Emile Holman joins Stanford as Chair of Surgery.

1953 — General Surgery Residency Program is accredited.

1959 – Clinical portion of Stanford University School of Medicine moves from San Francisco to Palo Alto, CA.

1963 — Affiliations solidified with the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Hospital, the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Santa Clara.

1965 — The Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is founded by Dr. Robert Chase.

1968 — Dr. Norm Shumway completes the first successful heart transplant. 

1974 — Division of Cardiovascular Surgery applies for departmental status and request is granted

1977Division of Pediatric Surgery is started.

1988 — Divisions of Urology and Neurosurgery become separate departments and Division of Thoracic Surgery joins Department of Cardiovascular Surgery to become Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

1996Asian Liver Center is established.

2000Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign is founded.

2007 — Goodman Simulation Center (now the Goodman Surgical Education Center) opens

2011 — Dr. Ralph Greco founds the Balance in Life Program for resident wellness. 

2015 — Division of Emergency Medicine becomes an independent department.

2016 — Stanford-Surgery Policy Improvement and Education Center (S-SPIRE Center) opens. 

2018  Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement (TECI) Center opens. Dr. Charles Chan et al discover the skeletal stem cell. 

2019JEDI Council is formed

2021 — Dr. Tom Weiser is named inaugural Director of Stanford Surgery's Global Engagement Program. 

Chair of Surgery

Past Chairs

Thomas M. Krummel, MD

Bruce A. Reitz, MD acting

Christopher K. Zarins, MD acting

John E. Niederhuber, MD

Lars Vistnes, MD acting

John A. Collins, MD

James B.D. Mark, MD acting

Robert A. Chase, MD

Harry A. Oberhelman, Jr., MD acting

Roy B. Cohn, MD acting

J. Garrett Allen, MD

Victor Richards, MD

Emile F. Holman, MD

Stanley Stillman, MD

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