2016 President bio
John Waldhausen, MD
Seattle Surgical Society President (2016 - 2017)
I am a pediatric surgeon at Seattle Children’s Hospital. I serve as the Division Chief of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery and the training program director for the pediatric surgery fellowship at Children’s, and am professor of surgery at the University of Washington. My general surgery training was at the University of Virginia from 1986-1992 and my pediatric surgery fellowship was at Seattle Children’s from 1992-1994. My decision to become a physician was certainly influenced by both my grandfather and father being physicians though I tried my hand at business and carpentry first. Neither turned out to be something I was passionate about. My grandfather was an internist and my father was a pediatric cardiac surgeon. I knew I wanted to become a pediatric surgeon since my third year in medical school after becoming enamored by both of my experiences on pediatrics and surgery. I have been fortunate to have outstanding mentors who encouraged, taught and helped me along the way. Such mentorship was one of the reasons I chose to make education such a prominent part of my career in the hope of passing that mentorship and knowledge onto others. I chose pediatric surgery because children have so much potential and are at baseline in general such happy people that working with them is a joy. The opportunity to help alleviate their suffering and to be a part of returning them and their families to health is both a privilege and something that is exciting and fulfilling.
Currently I serve as the Secretary of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, am on the Pediatric Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery and am the immediate past president of the Association of Pediatric Surgery Training Program Directors. Each of these organizations along with the ACGME and Surgery Residency Review Committee, serve in part as the main governing bodies for pediatric surgical training and continuing medical education in the United States. Much of my career has been involved with the training of both our future general and pediatric surgeons. As an academic surgeon one of the most exciting parts of my job is seeing young surgeons develop into expert practitioners.
Clinically I do the broad range of pediatric surgery which is still true general surgery. We take care of everything in the chest except the heart, everything in the abdomen as well as surgical problems in numerous other areas of the body. My own particular interests are in pediatric neonatal surgery, minimally invasive surgery, thoracic and oncologic surgery. Outside the hospital I love mountaineering, hiking and sailing and wish there was more time for them. My wife and I have 4 children and a grand daughter and we spend as much time with them as we can out on Bainbridge Island.