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August 30, 2013 - Surgeon Retires After More Than Three Decades at USA
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Dr. Arnold Luterman, the Ripps-Meisler professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and former head of the burn center at the USA Medical Center, has retired after more than 30 years of service to the university.

A retirement reception will be held for Dr. Luterman on Aug. 28, 2013, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the USA Faculty Club on USA’s main campus.

Dr. Luterman, who joined the USA faculty in 1981 and served as chief of surgery and chair of the department of surgery from 1994 to 2002, said it has been very rewarding to see the surgery department grow over the years. “But,” he said, “the best is yet to come.”

According to Dr. Samuel Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine, Dr. Luterman has served diligently, contributing in multiple ways to the advancement of the USA College of Medicine on national, regional and community levels. “Dr. Luterman exemplifies commitment, dedication, perseverance and professionalism,” he said. “He has been an inspiration and a mentor for our students, residents and junior faculty.”

Beth Anderson, hospital administrator at the USA Medical Center, said Dr. Luterman, a nationally known burn care expert, has played a vital role in the care of burn victims in our region.

“Dr .Luterman always put the care of his patients first and wanted the best outcome for them,” she said. “He has contributed to the advancement of burn care through his research and it has been an honor to be a part of his endeavors.”

Developing the clinical teams has been the most rewarding part of his career, said Dr. Luterman, who created the Regional Burn Center and served as its director until 2012. “The USA Burn Team is one of the finest in the country, if not the best, and being part of it has been a true pleasure.”

Dr. Luterman also developed the Level 1 Trauma Center at the USA Medical Center and served as its first director from 1981 to 1985. At the same time, he was director of emergency services.

In addition, he served as surgery post-graduate training program director and assistant dean for graduate medical education (GME). The assistant dean for graduate medical education is chair of the Graduate Medical Education Committee comprised of program directors, administrators and faculty with specific interests and expertise in graduate medical education.

During Dr. Luterman’s tenure as assistant dean of GME, significant advances were made in coordinating graduate medical education across disciplines, providing benefits for residents, enabling more consistent and accountable evaluations of residents, and supporting the expansion and development of new graduate medical education programs.

“Dr. Luterman has played a significant leadership role in the department of surgery and also to the Office of Graduate Medical Education,” Dr. Strada said. “In these critically important positions, he brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm. His contributions have enabled our undergraduate and graduate medical programs to maintain high standards and grow and progress.”

In 2013, Dr. Luterman was selected to receive the Distinguished Service Award sponsored by the USA Medical Alumni Association, an honor that recognizes outstanding leadership and a commitment to advancing medical education. He was also one of 50 Outstanding Scholarly and Creative Works Contributors awarded at the 50th Anniversary of the university in May.

During his time at USA, Dr. Luterman has provided outstanding leadership to young students pursuing a degree in medicine. USA medical students have honored him 20 times with a Red Sash Faculty Award, given to faculty members who had the most meaningful impact on their medical education.

When asked what he has enjoyed most at USA, Dr. Luterman responded, “clearly, the people.”

“USA is blessed with many good people,” he said. “In every place I have worked – the USA Medical Center, the Department of Surgery, the College of Medicine, and the GME office – the caliber of the people is what makes USA great. They have made my life enjoyable and the work we have done successful.”

Dr. Luterman said he views the next phase of his life like a new chapter of a book. “There are all kinds of possibilities, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

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