serletti whitaker

Joseph Serletti, MD, and Linton Whitaker, MD

PHILADELPHIA – The American Association of Plastic Surgeons have recognized two renowned members of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as the Clinician and Mentor of the Year. The AAPS, the most prestigious medical organization in plastic surgery, honored the Penn physicians at its 96th Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.

Linton Whitaker, MD, professor and chief emeritus of Plastic Surgery, received the Clinician of the Year award, one of the most esteemed awards in the field. Joseph Serletti, MD, chief of Plastic Surgery, received the Robert Goldwyn American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons Mentor of the Year award. Both men were honored on Sunday, March 26th.

Whitaker, a pioneer in the field, is internationally recognized for his innovations and expertise in craniofacial reconstruction and cosmetic surgery of the face in adults and children. He founded the craniofacial program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and he has made numerous contributions over five decades, including introducing widely used surgical advances, early involvement in the development of infant craniofacial surgery and the nation’s first cleft palate program, and breakthroughs in bone/soft tissue relations.

In 1982, he founded the Edwin and Fannie Gray Hall Center for Human Appearance at Penn, the first academic center dedicated to interdisciplinary clinical and basic science research and treatment in all aspects of human appearance – from cosmetic surgery and procedures to reconstructive trauma surgery, post-caner reconstruction repair, and birth defect repair, all in both children and adults. Its members include plastic surgeons, dermatologist, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, ENT specialists, oculoplastic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, and psychologists.

Whitaker has received numerous professional awards, served on and was a founding member of many professional boards and associations, published approximately 250 professional articles, was perennially listed among the Best Doctors in America, and contributed to and edited six volumes in the field of plastic surgery. He has delivered more than 300 invited professional lectures nationally and internationally, and he has trained dozens of craniofacial surgeons worldwide. Three Whitaker lectureships have been established in his name. He earned his MD from Tulane University in 1962.

The Robert Goldwyn American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons Mentor of the Year Award recognizes a Council member “who has contributed significantly to the development of ethical, compassionate, and academically productive surgeons for the next generation.” Serletti, this year’s recipient, is internationally recognized for his work in reconstructive microsurgery, including breast, head and neck, and extremity reconstruction. He is an authority in free flap autogenous breast reconstruction, which uses tissue from other placesin the body for breast reconstruction. He has published more than 200 professional articles and book chapters.

In his 30-year career, Serletti has mentored dozens of medical students, interns, residents, post-doctoral fellows, and young physicians, researchers, and surgeons. He is widely respected for the highly personalized attention he provides as well as the significant time he spends on mentoring activities.

Serletti earned his MD from Rochester University School of Medicine in 1982 and was a fellow in craniofacial surgery at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in 1989-1990. He has been consistently recognized by America’s Top Doctors, best Doctors in America, and in Philadelphia Magazine’s Top Docs issue.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $9.9 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $546 million awarded in the 2021 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 47,000 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2021, Penn Medicine provided more than $619 million to benefit our community.

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