Recognizing leadership

By Kirstin Grace-SimonsDecember 16, 2021

Col. Sohn talks to the media
Col. (Dr.) Vance Sohn, (left) the then program director for General Surgery in the Department of Surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., talks to the local media at a press conference to address Madigan’s involvement in treating people wounded in the Amtrak 501 derailment in nearby DuPont, Wash., on Dec. 19, 2017. (Photo Credit: John Wayne Liston) VIEW ORIGINAL

MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – Col. (Dr.) Vance Sohn served as the program director for General Surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center for seven years before being called by the surgeon general to handle the Army Military-Civilian Trauma Team Training, or AMCT3, program in the Office of the Surgeon General. For his myriad accomplishments at Madigan, he was recently selected as a recipient of the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award.

“Col. Sohn is the most humble person you will meet. When we told him he had won this award, he immediately deferred all credit to his residents and faculty,” said Col. Douglas (Dr.) Maurer, the director of the Medical Education and Research Division at Madigan.

Out of roughly 12,500 program directors nationwide, only 8 are chosen annually by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to recognize those who have fostered innovation and improvement in their residency/fellowship programs and served as exemplary role models for the residents and fellows in their programs.

Between 2014 and 2021, Sohn revamped the education and research curricula, resulting in over half of the General Surgery trainees scoring in the top 10 percent in their year group on the American Board of Surgery In-Service Exam. Madigan’s General Surgery residency now has a 20-year first time board pass rate for both the written and oral exam. Sohn helped maintain what is now a two-decade-long streak of all program residents passing their board exam on the first try; that is the best in the nation among all General Surgery programs.

“Col. Sohn established a level of excellence in surgical education at Madigan that is truly the best in the country as evidenced by the outstanding academic achievements of his residents,” noted Maurer.

Sohn was a natural choice to helm the OTSG’s AMCT3 program. It is designed to partner with local civilian facilities to increase the exposure trainees have to severe trauma and complex surgeries than what they normally deal with in a military treatment facility, thereby better preparing them for deployment in a combat situation. While serving as the program director at Madigan, Sohn forged a partnership for the program with Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Wash., that increased the volume of cases seen by trainees by 25 percent with combat-relevant cases.

As Sohn now applies his talents to the entire Army Medical Command, Madigan congratulates him as the former program director for General Surgery as well as a one-time Madigan trainee himself.

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