LANDSTUHL, Germany — He doesn’t look like Marlon Brando’s character from the 1972 film, but Dr. Ernest Moore has been described as the godfather — the godfather of trauma surgery, that is.
Moore, a highly esteemed civilian trauma surgeon, is in the midst of a twoweek visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center as part of the Distinguished Visiting Surgeon Program.
Moore is the second surgeon to visit under the program since Landstuhl began hosting doctors about a month ago.
Air Force reservist (Dr.) Col. Jay Johannigman, chief of the division of trauma/critical care at the University of Cincinnati, played a role in bringing about the program, said Air Force Maj. Raymond Fang, a trauma and critical care surgeon at Landstuhl.
"The military doesn't have a lot of very experienced surgeons a lot of times because people tend to do their time and get out," Fang said. "We don't have what we call 'the gray hairs,' who have seen and done everything ... We thought it'd be nice to get some of 'the gray hairs' here to help us make things better."
A surgeon for 30 years, Moore is vice chairman of surgery at the University of Colorado and chief of trauma at the Rocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center in Denver.
"We take care of these patients every Friday, Saturday night," he said. "I've been doing this for 30 years. I take care of gunshot wounds. I mean, they're not [improvised explosive devices], but there are a lot of similarities. We are honored to be able to come over and take care of soldiers doing this for us."
So far, Moore has made rounds every day and visited the operating room since he arrived last Friday. On Monday afternoon, Moore gave a nearly hour-long lecture to Landstuhl doctors, physician assistants and nurses on multiple organ failure.
Sgt. Anil Shandil, a nurse in Landstuhl's intensive care unit, came in on his day off to attend Moore's presentation.
"He's a researcher as well as a teacher," Shandil said." To have somebody here of his caliber is a big deal not only to us nurses but for the doctors as well."
No major procedures have taken place since Moore's arrival, but he's ready to lend a hand if need be.
"It's been a phenomenal experience just to begin to understand the trauma system," Moore said. "I'm in awe about how you can have somebody shot and 40 hours later be in Washington, D.C. It's astounding, astounding."
Several surgeons have applied for the program, and Landstuhl will be hosting one visiting civilian surgeon a month for the next several months, Fang said.