Surgeon L.D. Britt, MD, MPH, was elected today to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), becoming the first faculty member from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) to receive this distinction — considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.
Dr. Britt, the Edward J. Brickhouse Chair in Surgery, the Henry Ford Professor of Surgery and Professor and Chair of Surgery, also was the only physician from Virginia elected to NAM this year. His election places him in select company among the nation's top medical and healthcare professionals. Within NAM’s 2,000 members elected over more than four decades, Dr. Britt is the first acute-care-specialty surgeon.
“Dr. Britt is the consummate surgeon, leader, scientist and academician who has advanced the field of surgery and medicine at EVMS, the nation, and beyond,” says Richard Homan, MD, President and Provost of EVMS and Dean of the School of Medicine. “As a past President of the American College of Surgeons, he represented and led all surgical colleagues in the United States to improve educational and delivery models of surgical care. He is beloved as a medical educator and role model and has served as a mentor for hundreds of medical students, residents and faculty at EVMS and countless other academic health centers. We are so proud and fortunate that he started his academic career at EVMS and continues to serve as our Chair of Surgery at EVMS. Through his work, he has indeed changed the world. I can think of no one more deserving than he to be elected to the National Academy of Medicine.”
Fellow NAM member Cato Laurencin, MD, PhD, says Dr. Britt has shown exceptional leadership and has contributed significantly to advancing healthcare and medicine.
“Dr. Britt is a renaissance man of science. He is a brilliant clinician, an extraordinarily accomplished scientist, and a true leader in organized medicine,” says Dr. Laurencin, University Professor and Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut. “He brings great prestige to his institution. I believe we are very fortunate to have Dr. Britt as a new member of the National Academy of Medicine.”
Timothy Eberlein, MD, FACS, the Bixby Professor of Surgery and head of the department of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, praises Dr. Britt’s work in academic medicine, calling him “one of the most influential leaders in all of American academic medicine.”
Dr. Eberlein, a member of the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), says that through his leadership with the ACS, Dr. Britt has helped establish new paradigms of surgical training; championed the utilization of risk-adjusted outcome measures for physician performance; served as one of the principle architects of the emerging specialty Acute Care Surgery; has been a strong advocate for inclusion of women and minorities in leadership positions; and is currently mobilizing considerable resources to reduce the burden of disease in underserved communities across the U.S.
“It is rare in any professional endeavor to see first-hand such an unparalleled leader,” Dr. Eberlein says. “Dr. Britt has had an enormous and lasting impact on virtually every aspect of American surgery.”
Dr. Britt has received numerous awards for his outstanding contributions to medical education, including the Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Educator Award, the highest teaching award in medicine given by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
He was the first African-American in the nation to have an endowed chair in surgery and is the Executive Director of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons. Dr. Britt has held numerous leadership positions in many organizations, including being a Director of the American Board of Surgery, a past chair of the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons and past President of the American College of Surgeons.
He is the author of more than 220 peer-reviewed scientific publications, over 50 chapters/non-peer-reviewed articles and three books, including a recent edition of the highly touted Acute Care Surgery.
Dr. Britt is a graduate of both Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his surgical residency at University Hospital and Cook County Hospital at the University of Illinois School of Medicine, and his fellowship training at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.
He joined the EVMS faculty in 1986. He has served as Chair of EVMS Surgery since 1994.
“I am honored to be elected, but this isn’t about me. It is a testament to the great things being accomplished here at EVMS,” Dr. Britt says. “We are a young medical school, but we making a difference in healthcare, research and education, and people are taking note of that.”
Established originally as the Institute of Medicine in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, NAM addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine, and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors. NAM works alongside the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.
Read Dr. Britt’s full bio.