In Memorium

I am sad to pass on news of the Passing of Dr. Frank William Blaisdell on April 18, 2020. Dr. Blaisdell had roots in many of our Bay Area Institutions, including Stanford University, the San Francisco VA, UC San Francisco, San Francisco General, and UC Davis. Almost every member had the honor to be connected to him as a friend, colleague, and/or mentor. We all saw him as a giant in surgery. He served as Vic-President of the Society in 1973.

Below is the official Obituary shared with us by his daughter, Molly.

-Marc Melcher, President


Frank William Blaisdell died of a stroke on April 18, 2020, at his home in San Francisco. The renowned vascular and trauma surgeon, after whom the medical library at U.C. Davis was named, was born on August 30, 1927, in Santa Barbara, California. “Bill” was the eldest of three children. His parents were Stanford graduates; his mother, a political activist, had been a chemistry teacher; his father was an obstetrician and radiologist as well as the author of several magic books. When Bill was five, the family moved to Watsonville in the Pajaro Valley. After graduating from high school, he attended Stanford University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. While attending Stanford’s medical school in San Francisco, he married Marilyn Janeck, a recent Stanford graduate who was teaching junior high, in December of 1950. During an internship in Philadelphia, he and Marilyn had the first of their six children. In the midst of his medical residency, he served two years in the U.S. Navy in the Korean War as a medical officer. With three children in tow, he took a year residency with Dr. Francis Moore in Boston and after his residency a year’s fellowship with Dr. Michael DeBakey in Houston. He was chief of surgery at San Francisco’s Veterans Administration Hospital from 1960 to 1966 before, as a father of six, moving to UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital, where he was also chief of surgery and became San Francisco’s chief of Emergency Services. He coordinated the city’s ambulance service and was always proud of the trauma center he created at SFGH, one of the first in the country. In 1978 he moved to Sacramento to chair the department of surgery at U.C. Davis. In parallel with his work as a surgeon, he had a prominent research career. He published more than 186 papers and 135 book chapters; his series of textbooks on trauma, co-edited with Donald Trunkey and others, were standard works for many years. When he retired from his chairship at UCD in 1995, he took on work as chief of surgery for the Northern California Veterans Administration Health Care System. In 2001, he moved full-time back to San Francisco. He continued to teach and consult.

Well known for his energy, wit and activity, he was also fun-loving and enthusiastically par-took of his hobbies, which over the decades, included magic, model airplanes, slot-car racing, and tennis with his equally energetic wife. In his complete retirement, he wrote mystery novels based on characters invented by his father. His favorite place was a rustic family cabin at Fallen Leaf Lake, near South Lake Tahoe, where he could swim, hike and conduct various home-im-provement projects. Widowed in 2016, he leaves behind his six beloved children (Sally, Sue, Rich, Carol, Bob and Molly), fourteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, sons- and daughters-in-law, his admired sister Mary, many fond nieces and nephews and devoted friends and colleagues.

Coronavirus Updates

Here a graphic showing the number of cases in the United States. I hope to be able to keep this updated. Most of the data comes from the link below. Hoping we can all #flattenthecurve.

Coronavirus Links for Surgeons

American College of Surgeons Coronavirus Information Page.

CDC Coronavirus Information

Johns Hopkins Interactive Data Site

San Francisco Department of Health Coronavirus Information

San Mateo County Health

Stanford University Medicine Information Page

Journal Articles

NEJM: Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1

Schema unui coronavirus

March 25th Meeting will be Canceled

With limited information, but an abundance of caution, I, after conferring with the Society leadership, have decided to cancel our March 25th meeting because of the concerns of the Coronavirus. With several institutions such as Stanford and the City of San Francisco limiting large gatherings and the many unknown factors, I think it is prudent to put off this next meeting. I will also be sending out an email to this effect.

For now, we will keep the May 6th meeting in place.

Here is the website to the CDC website to keep us all informed with the latest information.

Thank you for your understanding. Stay safe.
-Marc Melcher, MD

Past Presidents and Officers


Thomas F. Mullen 1939
Henry H. Searls 1940
Emile Holman 1941
Dexter N. Richards 1942
Edmund Butler 1943
Alson R. Kilgore 1944
Frederick L. Reichert 1945
John W. Cline 1946
H. Glenn Bell 1947
Sumner Everingham 1948
William W. Washburn 1949
L. R. Chandler 1950
Leon Goldman 1951
Carleton Mathewson, Jr. 1952
H. Brodie Stephens 1953
Frederick S. Foote 1954
Leonard G. Dobson 1955
J. Minton Meherin 1956
Robertson Ward 1957
Robert A. Scarborough 1958
Arthur J. Hunnicutt 1959
Clayton G. Lyon 1960
Roy B. Cohn 1961
Albert C. Daniels 1962
Edwin G. Clausen 1963
Philip R. Westdahl 1964
W. Wallace Green 1965
Bert L. Halter 1966
Edmond D. Butler 1967
Frederic P. Shidler 1968
Harry E. Peters 1969
David J. Dugan 1970
Gordon F. Madding 1971
Victor Richards 1972
Chester E. Herrod 1973
Samuel N. Etheredge 1974
Leonard D. Rosenman 1975
Harry A. Oberhelman, Jr. 1976
Albert D. Hall 1977
Robert W. Jamplis 1978
Eugene S. Kilgore 1979
Richard E. Gardner 1980
Robert J. Schweitzer 1981
Robert C. Lim, Jr. 1982
William M. Mutch, Jr. 1983
James B.D. Mark 1984
Dwight H. Murray, Jr. 1985
F. William Heer 1986
Orlo H. Clark 1987
Thomas K. Hunt 1988
Roger R. Ecker 1989
Arthur Stanten 1990
Lawrence W. Way 1991
Carlos A. Pellegrini 1992
Robert L. Mitchell 1993
Thomas R. Russell 1994
Robert J. Stallone 1995
Walter B. Cannon 1996
Douglas P. Grey 1997
Gerald R. Sydorak 1998
Leigh I.G. Iverson 1999
William P. Schecter 2000
R. Scott Mitchell 2001
Quan Yang Duh 2002
Ronald L. Webb 2003
Stephen N. Etheredge 2004
John P. Beare 2005
James R. Macho 2006
Steven F. Webster 2007
Diana L. Farmer 2008
Gary C. Clark 2009
Carlos O. Esquivel 2010
Robert C. Mackersie 2011
Lamont D. Paxton 2012
Sherry M. Wren 2013
Steven A. Stanten 2014
Shelley A. Marks 2015
E. John Harris 2016
Wen Shen 2017
Lygia Stewart 2018
Marc L. Melcher 2019


George K. Rhodes 1939
Frederick S. Foote 1940
Nelson J. Howard 1941
Otto H. Pflueger 1942
Robertson Ward 1943
Nelson J. Howard 1944
Leon Goldman 1945
Edmund Butler 1946
William W. Washburn 1947
Franklin I. Harris 1948
A. Lincoln Brown 1949
Frederick S. Foote 1950
Kirk H. Prindle 1951
J. Minton Meherin 1952
Robert A. Scarborough 1953
Robertson Ward 1954
Blake C. Wilbur 1955
Everett Carlson 1956
Arthur J. Hunnicutt 1957
Ralph D. Cressman 1958
Clayton G. Lyon 1959
Frederic P. Shidler 1960
Henry L. Silvani 1961
Edwin Clausen 1962
Albert G. Clark 1963
W. Wallace Greene 1964
Ralph D. Cressman 1965
George B. Armanini 1966
Harry E. Peters 1967
Sanford E. Leeds 1968
David J. Dugan 1969
William B. Wallace 1970
Orville F. Grimes 1971
Edwin J. Wylie 1972
F. William Blaisdell 1973
Thomas S. Nelsen 1974
William G. Larsen 1975
Ivan A. May 1976
George J. Laird 1977
Arthur Cohen 1978
John M. Erskine 1979
George M. Rugtiv 1980
Thomas G. Parker 1981
Roy L. Tawes, Jr. 1982
Dwight H. Murray, Jr. 1983
Myron B. Close 1984
George T. Kammerer 1985
H. Duane Collier 1986
Arthur Stanten 1987
Mervyn Burke 1988
Douglas W. Pinto 1989
Roy L. Tawes 1 990
Robert L. Mitchell 199l
K. Jan Bossart 1992
Charles C. Jenkins 1993
Donald M. Angotti 1994
Gerald R. Sydorak 1995
Robert G. Scribner 1996
Ronald L. Webb 1997
Stephen N. Etheredge 1998
Jeffrey M. Pearl 1999
Ronald L. Dalman 2000
Alison L. Smith 2001
Steven F. Webster 2002
John P. Beare 2003
James R. Macho 2004
Ronald A. Clark 2005
Jeffrey A. Norton 2006
James M. Betts 2007
Shelley Marks 2008
Lamont D. Paxton 2009
L. Alberto Wetter 2010
Kevin R. Hiler 2011
Thomas A. Burdon 2012
E .John Harris 2013
James S. Constant 2014
Lygia Stewart 2015
Marc L. Melcher 2016
Amanda Wheeler 2019


John W. Cline 1939-1945
Leon Goldman 1946-1950
Leonard G. Dobson 1951-1954
Albert C. Daniels 1955-1961
Edmond D. Butler 1962-1966
Chester E. Herrod 1967-1972
Albert D. Hall 1972-1977
Robert C. Lim, Jr. 1977-1982
Orlo H. Clark 1982-1987
Carlos A. Pellegrini 1987-1992
Douglas P. Grey 1992-1997
Quan Yang Duh 1997-2002
Hobart Harris 2002-2007
Sherry M. Wren 2007-2010
Shelley A. Marks 2010-2015
Laurence F. Yee 2015-


Edwin I. Bartlett
Edmund Butler
L. R. Chandler
Nelson J. Howard
Stanley H. Mentzer
Otto Pflueger
Frederick L. Reichert
William L. Rogers
Henry H. Searls
Robert A. Scarborough
H. Brodie Stephens
W. William Washburn


H. Glenn Bell
Le Roy Brooks
John W. Cline
G. Dan Delprat
Frederick S. Foote
Franklin I. Harris
Emile Holman
Alson R. Kilgore
Carleton Mathewson, Jr.
J. Minton Meherin
Thomas F. Mullen
George K. Rhodes

Recruiting New Members

It is time to solicit applications for membership in the Society.  If you wish to sponsor a candidate, please fill out the application found here. Applicants must have graduated medical school at least 10 years ago.

The complete application should include:
1) The completed application.
2) The candidate’s CV.
3) A passport-sized picture of the applicant.
4) Two letters of support from members.

Forward entire application to Dr. Yee, c/o Annette Bronstein at the following address:    

SF Surgical Society 
c/o Annette Bronstein    
l79 Canterbury Avenue    
Daly City, CA  94015 

PLEASE NOTE:   Deadline for receipt of applications is now the end of May 2020    

Our New Members, 2019

Tonight we will be welcoming our new members to the Society. They include:

Warren J. Gasper                     

 James Korndorffer Jr.   

Eric Kubat                      

Elizabeth Linehan           

Rita A. Mukhtar             

Susannah M. Rose       

Sanziana Roman          

Julie Ann Sosa                                 

Yulia Zak  

San Francisco Surgical Bylaws




Amended November 2020

ARTICLE I.  NAME        The name of the Society shall be “The San Francisco Surgical Society.”

ARTICLE II.  MISSIONS   The missions of the Society are the cultivation and improvement of the Science and Art of Surgery, the exchange of ideas, and the collaborative discourse amongst the Fellows.  The Society recognizes that these missions are best achieved when our membership reflects the cultural, ethnic, and gender identities of the diverse population in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Amended November 2020


l.      The ACTIVE FELLOWS shall be limited to one hundred and twenty-five (125) by the year 2004.  The date of admission of Active Fellows to the San Francisco Surgical Society shall be September l of the year in which they are proposed, and at this time, they must be practicing as an independent surgeon in good standing working in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Amended November 2020.       

2.     SENIOR FELLOWS shall be all Past-Presidents, and those who have reached the age of 65, or those who have been Active Fellows for 15 years and signify a desire to be placed upon the Senior list.  Senior Fellows shall retain all rights and privileges and full membership in the Society, with the exception that they shall not hold office and they shall be relieved from attendance requirements. Amended 2010.       

3.     HONORARY FELLOWS shall be those who have made outstanding contributions to surgery.  Candidates for Honorary Fellowship shall be proposed to the membership by the Council at a stated meeting and shall be confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the members present at the Annual Meeting.       

4.     ASSOCIATE MILITARY FELLOWS:  Regular officers of the Armed Forces who devote their efforts to General Surgery may be proposed by the Council and shall be confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the members present at the Annual Meeting.      

Associate Military Fellows shall pay the same dues and enjoy the privileges of Active Fellows with the exception that they shall not hold office, shall not vote, and they shall be relieved from attendance requirements.      

After transfer to an area away from the zone prescribed for active membership or upon termination of active service, Associate Military Fellowship shall end.      

Because of the usual short tour of duty in this area, officers eligible for membership may come, at the invitation of the Council, and be extended the courtesy of attending meetings of the Society and participating in the scientific discussions.  They shall meet the expense of the dinner meetings attended.       

5.     RETIRED FELLOWS shall be those who have retired from the practice of surgery.  They will have reduced regular dues and retain all rights and privileges of full membership in the Society with the exception that they shall not hold office.  Amended 2001       

6.     INACTIVE FELLOWS shall be those who were previously Active Fellows but who have moved beyond the 50 mile limit or are incapacitated.  They are exempt from regular dues and attendance requirements.  They may attend any meeting and shall meet the expense of such meeting.       

7.     ELECTION TO MEMBERSHIP Proposals for membership shall be filed with the Secretary and shall be signed by at least two members who shall certify as to the qualifications of the Candidate.  The Secretary shall transmit the proposals to the Council at its next regular meeting.  The Council shall consider the proposal and if the Candidate shall receive a favorable majority vote of the Council, the Council shall refer the candidacy to the Membership for election.  A two-thirds favorable vote of the members present shall be required for election to membership.  Voting shall be by secret ballot at the Annual Meeting.  Thereafter, the Candidate shall become a member by the payment of regular fees and dues set by the Society.       

8.     MEMBERSHIP shall continue until termination by death, resignation, suspension, or expulsion.      

A member in good standing may resign at any time by submitting his resignation in writing to the Council.      

Any member whose dues are delinquent for a period of six months shall be suspended automatically and may be reinstated by an affirmative vote of the Council upon payment of all dues.      

Any member may be reprimanded, suspended, or expelled for cause after recommendation by the Council and a two-thirds vote of the members present.      

Absence from two dinner meetings during the year without adequate excuse may be equivalent to resignation from Active Membership.  Amended 1981.


OFFICERS        The officers shall be the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary-Treasurer, and they shall hold office for one year, with the exception of the Secretary-Treasurer who shall hold office for three years. (Amended 2010)   There shall also be an Executive Council which shall consist of the Officers and four members who shall be elected for a term of four years, except during the first year, when one Councilor shall be elected for a term of one year, one for two years, one for three years, and one for four years.      

All officers shall be nominated and elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting in May and shall immediately take office.      

In the event of a vacancy occurring among the officers during the year, it shall be filled by the Council, with the exception of the President, who shall be succeeded by the Vice-President.

ARTICLE V.  AMENDMENT        Any member may introduce an amendment to the Constitution in writing at any regular meeting or special meeting.  The amendment shall be read to the Society by the President, but may not be acted upon at that meeting.  At the next regular meeting, the proposed amendment shall be voted upon, provided a quorum be present, and a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present shall be necessary for its adoption.

l.    MEETINGS:  There shall be five meetings per year.      

The Annual Meeting shall be held in May at which time officers and new members shall be elected, and accounts audited by an auditing committee of two members to be appointed by the President.      

A special meeting may be called at any time by the President, and it shall be their duty to do so upon the request, in writing, of any 10 Fellows.      

The date of any stated meeting may be changed at the discretion of the Council by giving notice at least two weeks before the meeting.  Amended 1979.       

2.     QUORUM:  For the transaction of ordinary business any number of Fellows shall, at any meeting, constitute a quorum.  For elections, for changes in the Constitution and By-Laws, for ordering assessments, or for any other business affecting the interests of the Society or of its individual Fellows, 30 Fellows shall be required to be present.       

3.     DUTIES OF OFFICERS:PRESIDENT: The President shall preside at the meetings of the Society, preserve order, regulate debates, appoint committees not otherwise provided for, announce the results of elections, sign certificates of membership, and perform all other duties pertaining to the President’s office.Amended 2010.        

VICE-PRESIDENT:. The Vice-President shall assist the President in the discharge of the President’s functions and in the President’s absence Amended 2010.        

SECRETARY-TREASURER:  The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep a record of the Minutes of the Meetings of the Society, notify the Fellows of the meetings, announce on the notices the business to be transacted and, with the notice of the March meeting, submit to the Society the names and qualifications of the candidates for Fellowship under consideration by the Council.      

The Secretary-Treasurer shall serve as Secretary and keep the Minutes of the Executive Council. Amended 2010.      

The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the Officers and Fellows of their election, and acquaint newly elected members with the requirements of the By-Laws. Amended 2010.      

The Secretary-Treasurer shall receive all monies and funds belonging to the Society, and The Secretary-Treasurer shall pay all bills when properly ordered, collect all dues and assessments as promptly as possible, and present an annual account for audit. Amended 2010.       

4.     EXECUTIVE COUNCIL:       

The Executive Council shall report on all nominations for Fellowship, it shall act as a Board of Censors, and shall consider any business referred to it by the Society.      

It shall hold meetings for the transaction of routine business upon notice from the Secretary, on the call of the President, or on the call of any two of its own number.      

The President of the Society shall be the Chairman, and the Secretary of the Society shall be the Secretary of the Executive Council.      

A majority of the members of the Council shall constitute a quorum.      

The Executive Council shall have the authority to conduct financial business of the Society, including the expenditures of the Society’s funds.  The Executive Council shall determine the validity of excuses offered by the members for absences from meetings.

5.     COMMITTEES:STANDING COMMITTEES:  The Standing Committees shall be the Program Committee and the Nominating Committee.      

The Program Committee shall consist of a Chairman and two members appointed by the President.  Its duties shall be to arrange the scientific program of the meetings of the Society.      

The Nominating Committee shall consist of the two Past Presidents and the outgoing Councilor as permanent members.  The Chairman will be appointed by the President.  Its duties shall be to present nominations for Officers and Councilors to the Executive Council and the Membership.      

Special Committees may be appointed by the President and the functions and duties of such committees shall be designated by the Society, the Executive Council, or the President.       

6.     INITIATION FEE:  The initiation fee shall be two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) and may be changed at the discretion of the Council.  Amended 1982.       

7.     ANNUAL DUES:       The dues shall be set annually by the Council, to include the cost of the dinner meetings.  At the discretion of the Council, the dues of an individual member may be reduced or remitted.  Amended 1982.      

8.     INVITED GUESTS:       Any Fellow may invite a guest with notification to the Secretary twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting.  The expense of the guest’s dinner shall be charged to the host.  The guest shall be introduced to the Society and their name entered upon the Minutes.  The President may invite guests to participate in the discussion.      

Guests shall withdraw from the meeting when matters relating to the private calendar are under discussion.       

9.     AMENDMENT:  Any member may introduce an amendment to the By-Laws in writing at any regular meeting or special meeting.  The amendment shall be read to the Society by the President, but may not be acted upon at that meeting.  At the next regular dinner meeting, the proposed amendment shall be voted upon, provided a quorum be present, and a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present shall be necessary for its adoption.        

10.   ORDER OF BUSINESS:  Where otherwise not specified the procedure of the Society shall conform to Roberts’ Rules of Order.    

 1.    Presentation of cases, specimens, and instruments may be made by the members, provided that in the presentation of cases, the patient or the complete case record including x-rays must be present.  This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the President.    

2.     Presentation of scientific papers:  Discussion.         

3. Annual Meeting:          

a.  Old business.        

b.  Committee reports.                       

c.  Election of Officers.        

d.  Election of Fellows.