Two physicians from WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital recently were invited to serve as distinguished visiting professors and present lectures at the WVU School of Medicine. E. Phillips Polack, MD, was invited to be the 2022 Donald L. Morton, MD, Visiting Professor Lecturer, while David Kappel, MD, was the 2022 H. Bernard Zimmermann, MD, Visiting Professor Lecturer.
Dr. Polack’s lecture was “Emery (Ernest Armory Codman, 1869-1940), The Surgical Dude Who Did the Cartoon and Friends.” Dr. Kappel spoke on “The En-Corporation and the De-Personalization of American Medicine: A Cautionary Tale.”
At Wheeling Hospital, Polack is director of the Center for Skin Cancer and Melanoma and the Center for Wound Care, and chairman of the Committee on Ethics. A clinical professor of surgery at WVU School of Medicine, he served two terms as governor of the West Virginia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.
Polack has a master’s degree in corporate and organizational communication. He is involved in core competency training in medical humanities and the role of communication in compassionate care and professionalism. His research interests are in communication and behavior in trauma and functional MRI observations of the verbally aggressive brain.
Polack has been in 32 publications, written three books, made 166 presentations/seminars, seven research activities, and six grants over his career. He currently serves as educator and instructor for Advanced Trauma Life Support with the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma. Polack serves on the State Trauma Systems Advisory Committee, West Virginia Committee on Trauma, American College of Surgeons; Rural Emergency Trauma Institute, secretary/treasurer/board member; and West Virginia University School of Medicine, Alumni Association Life Member and Board of Advisors.
Kappel, a retired reconstructive plastic surgeon who practiced from 1976 to 2009, is the Clinical Healthcare Ethics consultant and leads the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team at Wheeling Hospital. He also serves as the Deputy State Medical Director for the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services, overseeing the State Trauma System since 2008. He has served as the president of the Western Trauma Association and received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. He is an Instructor for the American College of Surgeons Advanced Trauma Life Support and also serves as an ATLS Course Director.
Kappel has been involved in participating and securing 34 grants. He has 26 publications and more than 131 presentations. Many of his publications are topics of reconstructive plastic surgery, communication in trauma systems, and Bioethics. His current areas of research involve clinical ethics, pediatric abuse, vulnerable populations, and performance improvement in a rural trauma system.
Both Polack and Kappel are clinical professors of surgery at WVU School of Medicine.