Department status conferred on neurosurgery

Richard P. Moser named interim chair

By Mark L. Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

September 05, 2012
Richard P. Moser, MD

UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center have conferred departmental status on the surgical specialty of neurosurgery, creating the Department of Neurosurgery, as announced by Terence R. Flotte, MD, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine.


Richard P. Moser, MD, professor of surgery and radiation oncology and director of the Massachusetts Center for Translational Research in Neurosurgical Oncology at UMass Memorial, will serve as interim chair of the new department.

Previously, neurological surgery was a specialty division within the Department of Surgery, a once-common practice at academic medical centers. The practice has been changing in recent years, however; as of 2011, more than 60 percent of accredited U.S. medical schools have independent neurosurgery departments.

“The newly established Department of Neurosurgery at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial will enjoy a favorable position in the recruitment of additional faculty, implement strategies to build upon the high-quality clinical care and education provided by our outstanding neurosurgical faculty and staff, and expand upon the basic and clinical research underway,” said Dr. Flotte. One goal will include the re-establishment of the neurosurgery residency program.

“Establishing neurosurgery as a department is in accordance with the Academic Affiliation and Support Agreement between the University of Massachusetts and UMass Memorial, which guides our strongly aligned and shared academic mission,” Flotte said. “We will develop complementary academic and clinical strategies, including the recruitment of faculty leadership, which are linked through joint investment.”

Dr. Moser is widely regarded for his excellent clinical skills and translational research interests. “He is an ideal steward to guide the transition from division to full department. He will work closely with his colleagues in the field and with academic and clinical leadership to define near-term plans for the organization and activity of the department,” said Flotte.