Chair, Department of Surgery, University of New Mexico School of Medicine

The University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jun 07, 2023
Jul 07, 2023
Chair, Surgery
Contract Type
Full Time

Chair, Department of Surgery, University of New Mexico School of Medicine

The University of New Mexico School of Medicine is seeking a dynamic leader to serve as Chair of the Department of Surgery at UNM Health Sciences Center.  The chair will provide strategic leadership and direction for all aspects of the Department of Surgery’s involvement in the University as well as the state and region. The individual we seek must be qualified for appointment at the Associate or Professor level at the UNM Health Sciences Center.

The Chair of Surgery plays a major leadership role in all Health Sciences Center mission areas. It is expected that the successful candidate will have a record of transdisciplinary leadership as further detailed below. The chair will lead the department on behalf of the Dean of the School of Medicine.

The UNM Health Sciences Center strives for excellence across four key areas: patient care, education, research, and community engagement. The faculty of the Department of Surgery practices within the University of New Mexico Hospital system, which includes inpatient and outpatient clinics. University of New Mexico Hospital is a tertiary and quaternary referral center that also serves as the safety-net hospital for the citizens of New Mexico. The University of New Mexico School of Medicine is celebrated for its innovations in medical education and has earned a reputation for prioritizing diversity in its student body and physician workforce.

The Chair of the Department of Surgery will work collaboratively with the Dean of the School of Medicine and other leaders of the UNM Health Sciences Center to create excellence in existing teaching, team-based research, and clinical programs and to position the Department for significant growth as it expands to meet the academic and clinical service demands in New Mexico. The University of New Mexico Hospital is the primary teaching affiliate of the School of Medicine and the region’s only Level 1 trauma program serving approximately 2 million people. 

As New Mexico’s only academic surgical center and provider of tertiary/quaternary care surgical services in a broad range of surgical specialties, we are most proud of these accomplishments but also recognize our responsibility and privilege to continue to provide state-of-the-art surgical care to the remarkable patients we serve.

The Department of Surgery includes 84 faculty with 10 divisions, within the UNM School of Medicine. We provide excellent education and support to our residents, fellows, students, and faculty. The educational programs within the Department of Surgery include four residency programs (general surgery, urology, otolaryngology, and plastic surgery), two fellowship programs (acute care surgery and surgical oncology), and an APP fellowship.

The Department is actively engaged in cleft lip palate and craniofacial outreach and is contracted with Lovelace Women’s for NICU coverage and the Gallup Vascular Specialty clinic.

Minimum Qualifications:

The Chair of Surgery must hold an MD, MD-PhD, DO, or equivalent medical degree and be Board Certified in General Surgery and or subspecialty. The candidate must have demonstrated expertise appropriate for appointment as an Associate Professor or Professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. The candidate must have at least five years of administrative and leadership experience in an academic institution, be eligible for licensure in New Mexico, and must be eligible to work in the United States.

Preferred Qualifications: The chair must be a person of high integrity with a significant record of achievement in academic medicine.

  • Demonstrated excellence in clinical service, surgically active, clinically respected
  • Demonstrated ability to create a collaborative vision for the department’s missions through innovation and growth and bring it to fruition in an organized and timely manner
  • A proven leader in academic medicine with a national reputation
  • Evidence of leadership and experience in managing a complex clinical, research, and educational enterprise.
  • Exceptional communication skills, with a demonstrated ability to foster collaboration, teamwork, and creativity


  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion of student, faculty, and staff success, as well as working with broadly diverse communities.
  • A strong record of skills in administration, finance (business savvy), strategic planning, policy, and negotiation


The UNM Health Sciences Center is located in the high desert community of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is also part of the State’s flagship institution for higher education. Exposure to a wide variety of educational opportunities, outdoor activities, and diverse experiences makes Albuquerque a special place to call home. Abundant recreational opportunities exist within our diverse and culturally rich city. Albuquerque enjoys a temperate climate with 310 days of sunshine as well as four distinct seasons.

Nomination Process
To nominate an outstanding candidate, please send the name and contact information of the nominee to:

UNM Department Surgery

c/o April Rodriguez-Esparza

Telephone Number: (505) 272-8268  

Nominations must be received by July 10, 2023.  If self-nominating, you need only apply and not submit a self-nomination.

For best consideration, applications must be received August 23, 2023, however, the position will remain open until filled.

How to Apply: A complete application consist of (1) current curriculum vitae; (2) a comprehensive letter of interest that addresses how the candidates’ strengths and experience match the minimum and preferred qualifications for the position, and what the candidate sees as challenges and opportunities of the Chair in the current academic environment, and; (3) names and contact information for five references.

A leadership statement is available for candidates to review which was developed by the faculty and provides department information to assist with the application. For any questions related to this search or to obtain the leadership statement, please contact April Rodriguez-Esparza,

For complete details of this position and to apply, access Faculty Posting at:

For information regarding the confidentiality of inquiries and applications or general questions please call or email to the address listed above. UNM’s confidentiality policy (“Disclosure of information about Candidates for Employment, “UNM Board of Regents’ Policy Manual 6.7), which includes information about public disclosure of documents submitted by applicants, is located at

The University of New Mexico is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class.