CEO, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
Dean, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Chief Academic Officer, Atrium Health Enterprise
“Why I am passionate about women in academic medicine?
I look at how things are accomplished in the best way by using a mosaic—people of different ages, genders, backgrounds, ethnicities, and specialties. Women make up at least half of the new doctors we are training; therefore, encouraging many women to go into academic medicine is critical in order to get the best involved.”
Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS, is the chief executive officer of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, dean of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and chief academic officer of Atrium Health Enterprise. Consistently ranked among the nation’s top medical centers, Wake Forest Baptist includes a growing, multi-hospital health system and physician network, the state-of-the-art and highly competitive Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and the school’s technology transfer and commercialization arm, Wake Forest Innovations.
As CEO and dean, Dr. Freischlag has the overall responsibility for the health system’s clinical, academic and innovation enterprises and its annual operating budget of $3 billion. Previously, she was vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis.
Dr. Freischlag has published more than 300 manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters. She has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of VA Surgeons. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015 and continuously has been named one of the Best Doctors in America.
In addition to serving in various national and international leadership roles, she has mentored students, residents and young faculty and is a frequent speaker on topics, including expertise in vascular diseases, teamwork, patient safety, leadership, work-life balance and women succeeding in health professions. Dr. Freischlag has dedicated her career to serving as a role model for her students and is a respected colleague across health professions, a strong community leader and a national voice for improving health and health care.
In addition to her leadership responsibilities, Dr. Freischlag continues to see patients and is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome, which can require a specialized surgical procedure.
Currently, Dr. Freischlag is President of the American College of Surgeons and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for American Medical Colleges, National Institute of Health Clinical Center Research Hospital Board, Aga Khan University Board of Trustees, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Advisory Board, the University of Illinois Health Advisory Board, and the American Hospital Association Changing Workforce Task Force.