Contact Information


Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Surgery
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Phone: (301) 295-3155
Fax: (301) 295-3627

Eric A. Elster, MD
Professor and Chairman

Lisa M. Cartwright, MD
Deputy Chair

Mission Vision and Guiding Principles


The Department of Surgery supports the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Mission as the Nations Federal Health Sciences University which is committed to excellence in Medicine and Public Health during Peace and War. As the nexus of surgery within the Department of Defense we provide the Nation with physicians and surgeons dedicated to career service in the Department of Defense and the United States Public Health Service and also with scientists who serve the common good. We serve the uniformed services and the Nation as the preeminent academic center with a worldwide perspective for education, research, and operational support in surgery, disaster medicine, and mass casualty situation, and the logistics of surgical care.


The pillars of our department are education, research and clinical care. As such we exist to provide the best basic surgical training to medical students destined to become Uniformed Services physicians as they learn to care for those who go in harm's way as well as support surgical training programs and faculty development within the Military Health System. As a cornerstone of excellence we have developed a surgical research effort that focuses on combat casualty care, surgical oncology, education based investigations and orthopedic challenges. This effort is truly translational research from the battlefield to the bedside, which is designed to benefit both the wounded warfighter and civilian counterpart. When coupled with the outstanding clinical care provided by our faculty, the Department of Surgery is among the most dynamic academic departments within the larger surgical community.

We will:

  • Support the mission of USU.
  • Care for students as unique human beings worthy of our best efforts as teachers of the art and science of surgical disease.
  • Earn the respect of our co-workers by our commitment to surgical education, research, and service.
  • Enhance the image of military surgery by heeding past heritage and by contributing to future advances in the art and science of surgery.
  • Continuously Improve in all efforts to achieve the above.

We care for each other as we care for our students. This is the basis for teamwork and mutual respect.

Guiding Principles

As we strive to accomplish our mission we are committed to the following principals:

We join the university family in fostering an atmosphere of caring, mutual respect, courtesy, pride in work and personal development. Each member of the university community is important.

We interact and share information in a timely manner with openness, candor, and sensitivity.

We are dedicated to the nation, the Department of Defense, the university, and each other.

We conduct ourselves ethically fostering a climate of educational excellence, lifelong learning, and the highest quality surgical care.

We strive to excel through continuous quality improvement.

We look for more and better ways to serve those who provide surgical care and those who need it.

We appreciate the role of each member of the university and strive to make contributions which will be synergistic with all other individuals and components. Surgical faculty hold dual appointments and teach courses in Ethics, Clinical Concepts, Anatomy, Military Medicine and other USUHS Departments.