Society Bylaws Updated

At the November 11, 2020 meeting, the Society members voted to amend the San Francisco Surgical Constitution and Bylaws in recognition of the importance of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our society.

The Society’s Mission was restated to emphasize that our members should reflect the “cultural, ethnic, and gender identities of the diverse population in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The requirment that new members be 10-years out of medical school was replaced by the requirement that they be practicing as independent surgeons in the SF Bay Area.

Gender specific pronouns were replaced with non-gender specific pronoun.

The Bylaw updates are reflected here.

-Marc L. Melcher, MD

Dr. Laurence Yee becomes the new President of the San Francisco Surgical

Dr. Yee , Sutter Health, took over the office of President for the San Francisco Surgical.

President Laurence Yee

In addition, the other leadership positions have been filled with the following individuals.

Vice President: Insoo Suh, UCSF

Secretary-Treasurer:  Jessica E. Gosnell

New and current Councillors include:

Venita Chandra, M.D.

Samuel C. Schecter,M.D

Stephanie C. Lin, M.D

Kenneth C. Loh, M.D.



Entrenched Injustices

Dear Members,

To say we are living in troubling times would be misleading and an understatement.  A veneer has been ripped off by the availability of cell phone videos revealing the killings of black men and the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities around the country. The veneer, for many of us, had covered a raging river of abuse, killing, and disenfranchisement of too many of our fellow Americans.

As we watch in horror at events around the country, questions we might ask ourselves are “What is going on? What are we missing? What can we do? How can we support each other?”  While we all feel a deep sense of sadness, anger, and dismay, many of us, even as we try to, cannot appreciate the frustration, anger, resentment, and hopelessness being felt by our fellows Americans who are black.

Here are three thought-provoking viewpoints recently shared with me.

From Twitter, @CarlosHappyNPO wrote:

“There’s one epidemic we may never find a vaccine for: fear of black men in public spaces.” By John Blake, CNN.

From Facebook:

Atlanta E.R. doctor and fellow comedian Dr. Anwar Osborne made this video for the residents at his hospital, and sent it to me. Stunning, although maybe the fact that I find it so stunning is part of the problem.

Posted by Craig Miller on Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Our Society Constitution approved over 80 years ago, states, “The objectives of the Society are the cultivation and improvement of the Science and Art of Surgery and, to this end, the exchange of ideas and counsel amongst the Fellows for their mutual advantage.” Frank discussions about race within the San Francisco Surgical Society fall within these objectives.

I am reaching out to you for your help.  What can our Society do to address and fight systemic racism?  What should we do to be more inclusive? What can we do to support diversity, inclusivity, and equality? What can we do to support our Black colleagues better? What can we do as individuals?

I am soliciting your suggestions.  I need your suggestions.  Let us challenge ourselves to think more deeply about these issues.

I look forward to your input.  In the meanwhile, please reach out and support one and another. 


Marc L. Melcher

President, San Francisco Surgical Society

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

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