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Dr. George Cowan, Jr.

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BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE COWAN, JR., MD
UTMG Obesity Wellness Center
Suite 926, 920 Madison
Memphis, TN 38103
1-901-448-6635

( 3/6/2000 )

Dr. George Cowan is in his eighteenth year at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine where he is a surgeon, researcher, teacher, full-time University of Tennessee Professor of Surgery and Director of the UT Medical Group Obesity Wellness Center among other assignments. During his time at the University, he has performed approximately three thousand obesity surgery procedures. Many referrals of problem patients from across the country have resulted in his having performed more than seven hundred re-operative obesity surgery procedures.

Dr. Cowan also teaches behavior modification classes in the Obesity Wellness Center in conjunction with his work in the Center's dietary, exercise & medication services and research program. He received his surgical training at Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center under Dr. John Gibbon, Jr., the inventor of the heart-lung machine, and is Board-certified in General Surgery by the American Board of Surgery, Inc. After this training, he was assigned as Chief, Shock & Trauma Branch in the US Army Medical Research & Development Command as well as multiple other assignments including Chief, General Surgery, Chief, Department of Surgery and Chief, Department of Clinical Investigation in a number of Army hospitals, rising to the rank of Colonel, Medical Corps, with a Regular Army Commission; he recently retired from the military reserve. He also completed a two-year Surgeon General's Pulmonary Fellowship in the Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco then directed by Dr. Julius Comroe.

From 1990 through 1991, Dr. Cowan was President of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS), the leading national obesity surgery society in the world. During this time, he co-founded the journal OBESITY SURGERY which is starting its tenth year of publication with him continuing as co-editor-in-chief. He also is serving in his tenth year as Director of the ASBS Master's Post-Graduate Obesity Surgery Course and is immediate past President of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity (IFSO) where he is currently Chair of its Board of Trustees and the International Obesity Surgery Task Force. He recently received the IFSO Gold Medal Award for his outstanding service to the field. During his time in office, IFSO grew from five obesity surgery national and multi-national societies to twenty -three, representing forty-three nations around the world. Also under his leadership, the IFSO has issued definitive guidance statements including obesity surgeon qualifications, obesity surgical indications and innovation.

Dr. Cowan has authored or co-authored over two hundred fifty publications in the medical and scientific literature, including four books, one of which, INTRAVENOUS HYPERALIMENTATION, was the first book ever published on intravenous nutrition. He and Dr. Mervyn Deitel are publishing an authoritative book on obesity surgery this year. He regularly lectures around the world and nationally, is listed each year in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Best Doctors in America and Best of the Best in Memphis. He has been featured on Forty Eight Hours, PBS, BBC, and other television productions and in the print media, including the Sunday Times of London. Dr. Cowan is also a member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Nutrition, Past President of the University of Tennessee, Memphis, Faculty Senate during which time he received the Claxton Award from the American Association of University Professors, Past President of the Memphis Surgical Society, Delegate to the American Medical Association-SSS and serves on the Editorial Board of the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NUTRITION.

Dr. Cowan is Medical Advisor to the George's Angels, the Mid-South Support Group for obesity surgery. It meets monthly (first Monday, 5:30 p.m.) in the Obesity Wellness Center and is open to all persons who have had, or are interested in, obesity surgery or their significant others, the George's AngelMates. It also publishes a monthly newsletter.

Dr. Cowan discusses the subject of obesity and its treatments, including obesity surgery during a free, open-to-the-public, no obligation, monthly lecture at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Coleman Building Auditorium (First Thursdays, 5:00pm). A tape of this lecture is available from the Center.

He is married to Anne, his wife of almost 36 years. They have three children and four grandchildren.

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