Education Recognition

Wise Named Vice Chair for Education

Dr. Paul Wise in white coat outside Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Paul Wise, MD, has been named Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His appointment concludes a six-month nationwide search to fill the position, which oversees training programs across the department.

“It is truly the highest honor to be chosen for this position. The Department of Surgery at Washington University has been leading the way in surgical education for decades. In the last twenty years alone, we have led efforts in simulation, assessment, and flexibility in training/early specialization, in addition to fostering unique and expansive opportunities for the trainees in research and professional development” says Wise, a professor of surgery.

A highly regarded colorectal surgeon and surgical educator, Wise has served as general surgery residency program director at Washington University since 2014 while overseeing expansion of the residency, extension to varied rotation sites (including an international rotation in Mzuzu, Malawi), and broadening of residency recruitment efforts. Wise was selected as an inaugural fellow in the Academy of Educators in 2019 and named to the Academy of Educators Honor Roll in 2022, where he now serves on the Awards and Tech-Enhanced Learning subcommittees, among others. He was also elected as Faculty to the Washington University Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha in 2016. Nationally, Wise is a member of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Association for Surgical Education, and Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS). He is a member of the APDS Executive Committee as well as their Application Cycle Task Force, and he was recently named Program Chair for the 2025 national APDS meeting in Seattle, WA. In addition to teaching awards as far back as his early surgical residency, Wise’s contributions to surgical education at Washington University have been recognized by significant awards, including the 2019 Clinical Teacher of the Year Award and the 2020 Jeffrey F. Moley, MD Faculty Mentorship Award.

“I have been incredibly fortunate to find such a supportive and dedicated environment for surgical education, especially under the mentorship of trailblazing thought-leaders like former Department Chair Dr. Eberlein, former Vice Chair for Education Dr. Klingensmith, and now Dr. Olson. Our residents, fellows, faculty, and staff have a shared mission of providing, and participating in, the best possible experiences across the surgical education continuum,” says Wise. “At WashU, we are proof that you can have a meaningful academic career in surgical education while truly making a difference in the lives of students and trainees in St. Louis and across the world.”

As Vice Chair for Education, Wise will oversee medical student education, four ACGME-accredited residency programs (General Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Urology and Vascular Surgery), and 14 fellowships in the department. He will continue to serve as general surgery program director until his successor is determined.

“Dr. Wise will lead the department’s education programs during a new era of transformative growth. Our Department of Surgery has long been at the forefront of training future surgical leaders. In the coming years, we will build on this tradition by innovating in the areas of simulation training, resident research, health equity and career mentorship,” says Bixby Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery John Olson Jr., MD, PhD.

Olson adds: “I also want to take this opportunity to recognize our search committee chair, Professor Emeritus Mary Klingensmith, MD, who served as Vice Chair for Education prior to joining the ACGME as Senior Vice President for Procedural Accreditation. We are truly fortunate to have such transformational leaders in surgical education at Washington University. I am confident that, as Vice Chair for Education, Dr. Wise will continue the critical work of overseeing our training programs and shaping the future of surgical education for years to come.”

Wise completed medical school at Johns Hopkins University in 1996, followed by General Surgery residency and research training at Vanderbilt University in 2003, and then colon and rectal surgery fellowship training at Washington University/Barnes Jewish Hospital in 2004. After eight years on faculty at Vanderbilt, he joined the faculty at Washington University in 2012 where he was promoted to professor in 2016. Wise assumed the roles and responsibilities of the Vice Chair role in the last week of April.