Debra Holly Ford, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Dr. Debra Holly Ford is Associate Professor of Surgery and Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery at Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM) in Washington, DC. She is the Head of the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery and Founding Medical Director of the Howard University Health Sciences Simulation and Clinical Skills Center. Dr. Ford, a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was educated through the public school system and received the Bachelor of Science (Zoology '82) and the Doctor of Medicine degrees from Howard University. After graduating from Howard University College of Medicine in 1986 as the top ranking medical student, she successfully completed a general surgery residency at Howard University Hospital (HUH) in 1991. In addition, she received further training in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the University of Texas and Affiliated Hospitals in Houston, Texas. Dr. Ford is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and is the first African-American female to obtain board certification in Colon and Rectal Surgery in the United States and the first African-American female to become a Fellow of the American College of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.

Dr. Ford has been a member of the faculty of the Howard University College of Medicine since September, 1994. She is a fellow and active member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery. She has served on numerous national committees including the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Diversity Issues. She has received many teaching awards including the Kaiser Permanente Teaching Award and has been named to Black Enterprises 'America's Leading Doctors' and The Washingtonian Magazine 'Top Doctors in the Washington Metropolitan Area'.

Dr. Ford is actively involved in teaching at every level of undergraduate and graduate medical education. She was a member of the HUH Graduate Medical Education Committee for 15 years and served as Associate DIO. In addition, she is a member of the HUCM Curriculum Committee. She served a 14-year tenure as Program Director of the HUH General Surgery Residency where she guided the surgical training of over 90 resident surgeons. She is an active member of the Association of Program Directors in Surgery and the Association for Surgical Education. Dr. Ford is a member of the Simulation Committee of the Association for Surgical Education and a member of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

Dr. Ford is the immediate past Chair of the National Medical Association's Surgical Section. She is a member of the Society for Black Academic Surgery and the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Dr. Ford is a past president of the local ACS chapter and has held every leadership position and committee chair in the local chapter. She has served as an American Board of Surgery associate examiner. In addition, she was a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners/USMLE Surgery Test Writing Committee for five years.

Dr. Ford has mentored many pre-medical and medical students. Dr. Ford speaks frequently to educate the public about colon and rectal cancer and screening. Dr. Ford has a surgical practice at Howard University Hospital. Her areas of interest are the prevention and management of colorectal cancer, diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease, and treatment of benign anorectal conditions. Research interests include surgical education, simulation in healthcare education and diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.