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Department of Thoracic Surgery

William H. Frist, MD, FACS

A native of Nashville, William H. Frist was born February 22, 1952 into a distinguished medical family. Bill Frist graduated from Princeton University in 1974 where he specialized in health care policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He got his first taste of politics during his college years when he served (1972) as a congressional intern. In 1978 Frist graduated with honors from Harvard Medical School and spent the next seven years in surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital; Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, England; and Stanford University Medical Center. He is board certified in both general surgery and heart surgery.

As a board-certified thoracic surgeon and a specialist in heart and lung transplantation, Dr. Frist was a member of the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 1985-1994. Under his passionate leadership, Dr. Frist founded and subsequently directed the multi-disciplinary Vanderbilt Transplant Center, which became a nationally renowned center of multi-organ transplantation. Dr. Frist performed over 200 heart and lung transplant procedures, including the first successful combined heart-lung transplant in the southern United States. Frist has written more than 100 articles, chapters, and abstracts on medical research and five books: Transplant, which examines the social and ethical issues of transplantation and organ donation; Grand Rounds in Transplantation; Tennessee Senators, 1911-2001: Portraits of Leadership in a Century of Change; When Every Moment Counts, a family guide on bioterrorism; and Good People Beget Good People. He was admitted into Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons in 1994.

In 1994 Bill Frist was elected senator from Tennessee as a Republican, becoming the first practicing physician to attain the office since 1928. A fourth generation Tennessean whose great, great grandfather was one of Chattanooga's 53 original settlers, Frist is the 54th U.S. Senator from Tennessee. On November 7, 2000, Senator Frist was elected to a second term in the United States Senate by the largest margin ever received by a candidate for statewide election in the history of Tennessee. Senator Frist now serves as the Senate Majority Leader and head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Legislatively, the generally conservative Frist has focused on health-care issues.

Member of The H. William Scott, Jr. Society

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