Theodore N. Pappas Oral History Interviews, 1994-1995, 2021

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Summary

Creator:
Pappas, Theodore N., 1955-
Abstract:
Dr. Theodore N. Papas, MD (1955- ), holds the Duke Surgical Innovation Distinguished Professorship and is a Professor of Surgery and Vice Dean of Medical Affairs at Duke University. After his surgical training, Pappas joined the Department of Surgery faculty in 1988 where he has remained throughout his career. This collection contains 3 oral history interviews conducted on May 12, 1994 and December 11, 1995 by Dr. James F. Gifford and May 20, 2021 by Dr. Konstantinos Economopoulos as part of the Dr. David Sabiston Oral History Project. In the 1994 interview, Pappas discusses how he came to be interested in gastrointestinal disease, his surgical training, how he came to Duke, his research, his work at the Gastro-Intestinal Laboratory, the future of the laboratory, and laparoscopic surgery. In the 1995 interview, Pappas discusses the role of the VA Hospital within the Department of Surgery, how Duke residents are trained at the VA Hospital, surgery at the VA Hospital, impact of managed care at the VA Hospital, how work at the VA Hospital will impact the careers of residents, VA patient population, and the emphasis on gastrointestinal research. In the 2021 interview, Pappas discusses his surgical training; how he came to Duke and the details of being hired by Sabiston, including being only the second non-Duke trained person hired by Sabiston in 15 years; Sabiston's incredible memory and how he used it as a recruiting tool among Duke medical students; Sabiston's calculated social interactions; the annual Sabiston Christmas party; observations of how Sabiston interacted with residents and how he ran the Department of Surgery; changes in the Department of Surgery after Sabiston retired; and other memories of Sabiston.
Extent:
3 Interviews (1 master audiocassette tape, 3 transcripts) and 21.4 MB
Collection ID:
OH.PAPPAST

Background

Scope and content:

Includes 3 oral history interviews with Dr. Theodore N. Pappas conducted on May 12, 1994 and December 11, 1995 by Dr. James F. Gifford and May 20, 2021 by Dr. Konstantinos Economopoulos as part of the Dr. David Sabiston Oral History Project.

In the May 12, 1994 interview, Pappas discusses how he came to be interested in gastrointestinal disease, his surgical training, how he came to Duke, his research, his work at the Gastro-Intestinal Laboratory, the future of the laboratory, and laparoscopic surgery.

In the December 11, 1995 interview, Pappas discusses the role of the VA Hospital within the Department of Surgery, how Duke residents are trained at the VA Hospital, surgery at the VA Hospital, impact of managed care at the VA Hospital, how work at the VA Hospital will impact the careers of residents, VA patient population, and the emphasis on gastrointestinal research.

In the May 20, 2021 interview, Pappas discusses his surgical training; how he came to Duke and the details of being hired by Sabiston, including being only the second non-Duke trained person hired by Sabiston in 15 years; Sabiston's incredible memory and how he used it as a recruiting tool among Duke medical students; Sabiston's calculated social interactions; the annual Sabiston Christmas party; observations of how Sabiston interacted with residents and how he ran the Department of Surgery; changes in the Department of Surgery after Sabiston retired; and other memories of Sabiston.

Biographical / historical:

Dr. Theodore Nick Pappas, MD received his BS from John Carroll University (1977) and his MD and MS from Ohio State University (1981). He completed his internship and residency in 1988 at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. While Chief Resident at Brigham's he received the F. D. Moore Resident Teaching Award. From 1983 to 1985 he served as the Gastrointestinal Research Fellow at the University of California, and, from 1985 to 1988, he was a Clinical Fellow in Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

In 1988, after completing his training, Pappas came to Duke as Assistant Professor of Surgery, Section of Surgical Disciplines. Pappas has remained at Duke and held many roles in the Department of Surgery: Director and Founder of the U.S. Surgical Endosurgical Center; Chief of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Program Director of General Surgery Residency Program, Program Director of the Duke Physician Assistant Surgical Residency Program, Chief of the Surgical Services for the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Durham, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs for Duke University School of Medicine, Executive Medical Director for the Duke Faculty Practice in the PDC, Interim Chairman for the Department of Surgery and Division Chief for Advanced Oncologic and GI Surgery.

Pappas' clinical interests include gastrointestinal surgery, peptic ulcer surgery, and cancer of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and bile duct. His research interests include understanding the importance of the volume-quality relationship for surgeons, studying the impact of surgical trainees on the outcomes for patients, and the importance of robotic surgery to the future of cancer surgery.

Pappas is the 2015 recipient of the Leonard Palumbo Jr, Faculty Achievement Award, and the 1994 and 2006 recipient of Duke's David C. Sabiston Teaching Award.

Pappas has served as a member of numerous medical journal editorial boards. He is past Vice President of the American Surgical Association, and past President of the American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association and serves as a Senior Director of the American Board of Surgery. He has been the editor of eight books and has authored over 400 papers and chapters.

Acquisition information:
Accession A1994.020 (transferred by James F. Gifford, May 1994), Accession A1995.007 (transferred by James F. Gifford, December 1995), Accession A2022.031 (transferred by Mary-Russell Roberson, May 2022)
Processing information:

Processed by Archives staff: 1994; updated by Archives staff: 1995; updated by Lucy Waldrop: May 2022

Arrangement:
Organized into the following series: Interview, May 12, 1994; Interview, December 11, 1995; Interview, May 20, 2021.
Rules or conventions:
DACS

Contents

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Restrictions:

None.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Theodore N. Pappas Oral History Interviews, Duke University Medical Center Archives.