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New ECU thoracic surgeon honored for teaching, mentoring medical residents

February 26, 2015 posted by Kathy Neal

GREENVILLE ─ Dr. Mark Iannettoni, professor and chief of general thoracic surgery for East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and director of the new thoracic surgery residency program at Vidant Medical Center, has been honored nationally for his work with resident physicians. 

The 2015 Socrates Award was presented to Iannettoni by the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association during the annual Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) conference in January. The award recognizes, “an outstanding cardiothoracic surgery faculty member for his or her commitment to resident education and mentorship.” Residents are physicians who are receiving additional training in specific areas of medicine; thoracic surgery refers to operations done on organs within the chest, such as the lungs.

Dr. Iannettoni joined the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and the East Carolina Heart Institute in 2014. He is professor and chief of general thoracic surgery and organized the thoracic surgery residency program here. His clinical areas of expertise include benign and malignant esophageal disease and new therapies for lung cancer.

“We congratulate Dr. Iannettoni on this very prestigious award. We are extremely pleased to have him here in Greenville to direct our new thoracic surgery residency program,” said Dr. Herb Garrison, associate dean for graduate medical education at VMC and ECU and an ECU professor of emergency medicine. “We are already hearing great things about him from our resident physicians, providers and patients.”

Residents who trained under Dr. Iannettoni at the University of Iowa nominated him for the award. Among their comments:
• “He is not only a great teacher, he is a great surgeon, a great mentor and a great person.”
• “As he begins a new residency program at ECU, I know he will have [a huge impact] for the residents lucky enough to train under him.”
• “He … implemented a comprehensive educational curriculum encompassing everything that we would need to know for passing our boards [certification examinations] and being able to become a successful practicing surgeon.”

“This was a complete surprise to receive this award,” said Dr. Iannettoni. “It is a true honor for me to be recognized by the residents as well as the STS and program directors for something I love to do. 

“The key to the success of the new thoracic surgery residency program here at ECU/Vidant Medical Center will be the faculty participation in educating the next generation of thoracic surgeons,” Dr. Iannettoni added. “We have a great group of surgeons here ready to participate, and I am fortunate to have the support from Vidant to make this happen here in eastern North Carolina where the need is so great.” 
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