Douglas Norcross, M.D., professor of Surgery in the Division of Acute Care Surgery, was appointed associate dean for Admissions in the College of Medicine (COM) last year and has completed his ﬁrst year in that role.
Norcross joined MUSC as director of the Trauma Center in 1989. In addition to serving the clinical enterprise as the trauma director, Norcross’ desire to educate the next generation of medical professionals led him to become a member of the COM’s Admissions Committee for the past 20 years. Another education leadership opportunity came his way in 2011 when he was named vice chair of Education in the Department of Surgery.
“I had the privilege of building on Jon van Heerden’s legacy, who served as the ﬁrst vice chair of Education,” said Norcross. “Within a year of the division’s inception in 2008 and under van Heerden’s leadership, the division successfully gained designation as an ACS Education Center of Excellence.” To build on that legacy, Norcross considers his most signiﬁcant contribution to be coordinating the various residency programs that at the time were operating separately. “It was a great time of growth for the education divisions and for the department as a whole,” he explains.
“We built on that opportunity of growth. In addition to aligning the residency programs, we also started the integrated vascular surgery residency program and integrated plastic surgery residency program. Importantly, we identiﬁed a need for additional expertise in graduate medical education and, as a result, were able to recruit June Cameron to serve as director of Education.” His years of service to MUSC in medical and resident education provided a new opportunity.
Last year, Norcross was appointed associate dean for Admissions, where he chairs the MUSC College of Medicine’s Admissions Committee and oversees the admissions processes for the COM. Since assuming this role, he has revised and, he hopes, improved the admission process. “As part of the process, we redeﬁned the scoring system we use,” said Norcross. “The new scoring system allows us to better assess the various attributes we evaluate and to better advise unsuccessful applicants so that they can improve their chances of acceptance in the future. We also standardized the process we use to look at an applicant’s unique attributes not captured by our scoring system giving us the opportunity to select a more diverse class.”
With Norcross’ new role in the College of Medicine, Cynthia Talley, M.D. was named vice chair of Education. “I am really excited to see Dr. Talley take the MUSC surgical residency programs to the next level,” said Norcross. “I’ve been impressed by her knowledge of resident education programs, her common sense approach, and her genuine passion for mentoring. Her addition to the Surgery department’s education efforts is a deﬁnite win for our students, our residents, the department, and ultimately, the patients.”