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Visiting Professor of Surgery

Sansum Clinic Visiting Professor of Surgery

The Visiting Professor of Surgery Education Program was established in 2010 by Dr. Ronald G. Latimer with the Department of Surgery and Sansum Clinic. W. Charles Conway, MD, FACS, took over the reins as Program Administrator in 2019 when Dr. Latimer retired after 40 years with the Clinic. Dr. Conway joined Sansum Clinic in 2017 and is a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center.   

This unique educational program advances the level of surgical care available in our community and is made possible by generous support from our Title Sponsor, Cottage Health and grateful patients, medical groups, individual community surgeons and physicians and corporate donors.

The endowment fund provides monies generated from its investments to underwrite the expenses to host an outstanding national icon for one week each year. The selection committee for Surgical Academic Week, under the leadership of Dr. Conway, is represented by the general surgeons at Sansum Clinic and the director of surgical education at Cottage Hospital.

In 2012 Sansum Clinic announced its first Visiting Professor, John L. Cameron, MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. For five days Dr. Cameron interacted, taught and mentored practicing community surgeons and directly taught the general surgery residents training at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

There is no bigger name in general surgery than Dr. John Cameron,” stated Dr. Jeffrey Gauvin, director of surgical education at Cottage Hospital. “This is like getting a famous movie star as far as surgery goes. Dr. Cameron has operated on more patients with pancreatic cancer, and performed more “Whipple” operations that any other surgeon in the world."

“The value to the community, to Cottage Health and to Sansum Clinic is priceless. Thanks to Dr. Ron Latimer and now Dr. W. Charles Conway the program will continue to be a success.” James T. Dunn, MD, FACS (Retired)

Visiting Professors of Surgery

2012 – John L. Cameron, MD (Johns Hopkins)
2013 – Hiram C. Polk, Jr., MD (University of Louisville)
2014 – Julie Ann Freischlag, MD (UC Davis School of Medicine)
2015 – Keith D. Lillemoe, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital)
2016 – Michael G. Sarr, MD (Mayo Clinic)
2017 – Barbara Lee Bass, MD, FACS (Houston Methodist Hospital)
2018 – Professor O. James Garden (University of Edinburgh)
2019 – David V. Feliciano, MD (University of Maryland Medical Center)
2020 – Program cancelled due to Global Pandemic
2021 – Deanna J. Attai, MD, FACS (David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA)
Wen T. Shen, MD, MA (University of California, San Francisco)
Jennifer Suzanne Davids, MD (University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center), Alfredo M. Carbonell, II, DO, FACS, FACOS (UCS School of Medicine Greenville, SC)
2023 – Fabrizio Michelassi, MD, FACS (Weill Cornell Medicine)
2024 – Nathalie McDowell Johnson, MD, FACS

If you would like to support the Visiting Professor of Surgery Education Program please contact Dru A. Hartley, Director of Philanthropy at Sansum Clinic at (805) 681-7726 or

Your support is a commitment to sustaining Santa Barbara’s high level of surgical expertise and the community’s good health.


Or download and complete our mail-in donation form >