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Acute Care Surgery »  About the Program

Message from the Director

Launched in 2005, the Acute Care Surgery Program (formerly known as the Surgical Hospitalist Program) provides high quality and timely care to all patients being evaluated with emergency surgical conditions at UCSF. UCSF was the first academic teaching hospital in the nation to employ this innovative new model where surgeons are dedicated to evaluating patients in the emergency department, as well as those on inpatient wards in need of a surgical consultation.

In 2006, the Institute of Medicine had pronounced in its report "Hospital based emergency care- at the breaking point" that "Emergency medical care in the US is on the verge of collapse," citing "dangerous emergency room overcrowding and an inability to treat patients in a timely and efficient manner as the main reasons." The intent of the Acute Care Surgery Program is to propose solutions to this crisis in access to emergency surgical care, and to enhance patient satisfaction and the delivery of optimal patient centered care for the broad base of surgical emergencies.

The hallmark of our program is the dedicated availability and expertise of faculty who are continuously available to promote continuity of care, improve communication between physicians, and coordinate in-patient care at an academic medical center. In model, full-time board-certified general surgeons provide coverage on a rotating weekly basis, dedicating all of their time to being available for Emergency Department and inpatient consults. 

Our intent is to transform the way that emergency surgical care is provided, grounded in the commitment to high quality patient care, education, and research to improve the quality and efficiency of hospital-based surgical care in teaching hospitals.

Hobart W. Harris, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Chief, Division of General Surgery
Vice-Chair, Department of Surgery
J. Engelbert Dunphy Endowed Chair in Surgery
Director, Infection, Injury & Immunity Lab