News » Barbara Lee Bass, MD, RESD ’86, FACS, FRCS (Hon), FRCSI (Hon), to serve as...

Barbara Lee Bass, MD, RESD ’86, FACS, FRCS (Hon), FRCSI (Hon), to serve as Keynote Speaker at GW MD Program Diploma Ceremony

The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences is pleased to welcome Barbara Lee Bass, MD, RESD ’86, FACS, who will serve as the keynote speaker at the GW MD Program Diploma Ceremony on May 19, 2019.  Bass is the Immediate Past President of the American College of Surgeons, as well as the John F., Jr. and Carolyn Bookout Presidential Distinguished Chair of the Department of Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. 

“I am thrilled that Dr. Bass has accepted our invitation to speak at the MD diploma ceremony. She is a distinguished resident alumna and a former member of our faculty who has established herself in medicine as an outstanding surgeon, educator, and mentor for many,” said Jeffrey S. Akman, MD ’81, RESD ’85, vice president for health affairs, Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine, and dean of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “Dr. Bass will inspire and motivate our graduates as they embark on the next chapter of their medical career. We look forward to having her join us at our ceremony.” 

Bass’ contributions to medical education and her commitment to teaching the next generation of clinicians is well-known across the field of medicine.  She serves as the executive director of the Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIE), is a state-of-the-art simulation based education and research facility developed to safely train students, residents and practicing health care professionals in new technologies and procedures; since opening in 2007 over 55,000 learners have taken courses at MITIE. Bass also serves as a professor of surgery at the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine and as a senior member of the Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute. In addition, she chairs the Committee on Skills Training for Surgeons in Practice, a group that is working to address retooling needs and strategies for practicing surgeons and serves as Associate Director for Global Surgery of the Operation Giving Back Program of the ACS.

Over the course of her career Bass has mentored more than 50 pre- and postdoctoral fellows, has co-authored 163 peer-reviewed papers, and has delivered more than 60 named lectureships and many other invited lectureships in the United States and around the globe. Her research programs in gastrointestinal cell biology, computational surgery, surgical outcomes sciences, and clinical research have been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the VA Research program, the National Science Foundation, and other groups. She has served as a member of the NIH Surgery and Bioengineering Section and has served on the editorial boards or as an associate editor of leading surgical high impact journals. 

Bass has been an influential force in the area of quality improvement serving on the research team that launched the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program in the VA Healthcare System.  Later, she served as site-PI at the University of Maryland in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality research program that led to the creation of the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program in the private sector, serving on its steering committee from 2004 to 2010. 

As a member of numerous professional organizations, Bass has served in multiple top leadership roles in academic societies and boards including the American Board of Surgery, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, the Society of Surgical Chairs, and the American Surgical Association. She has also been an inspiration to other women in surgery and an advocate for advancement of the careers of women and other underrepresented minority members in surgery and has received awards and honors from the Association of Women Surgeons. 

Bass is a graduate of Tufts University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude. She attended the University of Virginia where she earned her medical degree and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She completed her surgical internship and general surgery residency at GW, while completing a gastrointestinal surgical research fellowship and serving as Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.

Bass continues to practice in endocrine and breast surgery, giving her the opportunity to serve patients as a surgeon and contribute to the education and training of residents and medical students. 

She will deliver her keynote at the ceremony scheduled at 2:30 p.m. at Lisner Auditorium on May 19, 2019.