John M. Macdonald,
Over the past 24 years, Dr. Macdonald has been extensively involved in the clinical and research aspect of wound care and lymphedema.
About Dr. Macdonald
John M Macdonald, MD, FACS, is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Notre Dame and his Medical Degree at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. Internship served at Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami. Military duty as Captain in the United States Air Force. Residency in general and cardiovascular surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Fellowship in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery as Senior Registrar, St Bartholomew`s Hospital, London England.
Tell Us About Yourself
I am Board Certified in general surgery and thoracic surgery, and over the past 24 years, have been extensively involved in the clinical and research aspects of wound care and lymphedema. Having lectured extensively both in North America and internationally, I have also authored numerous articles and text chapters relating to both lymphedema and wound related lymph stasis.
I take pride in the fact that at the spring meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Wound Care in 2014, I received the 14th annual John Boswick Award for “Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Wound Healing”.
On January 12, 2010, two days after the earthquake, I established the wound care program in the University of Miami, Project Medishare, Haitian Relief Tent Hospital in Port-au-Prince. I served as Medical Director of this program, located at the Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from 2011 until January 2021
What was your path to wound care?
My first visit to Haiti was in 1988. Over the next 10 years, I became aware of the enormous global absence of basic wound and lymphedema care. In 1997, after 30+ years as a thoracic-vascular surgeon, I felt that I had fulfilled most of my original vocational goals. A number of my fellow surgical residents at the Univ. of Pittsburgh were initiating studies in wound healing and this opened the door. I saw a vacuum and decided that I might be able to make a difference. I opened the first wound healing -lymphedema clinic in Ft Lauderdale in 1997. In 2002 the Univ. of Miami, Miller School of Medicine offered me a position in the Dept. of Dermatology…and I never looked back!
What’s the most challenge part of your job?
I retired on Jan. 1, 2021, and my first challenge was to convince my dear wife of 59 years to take this chance with me. The major challenge though, which continues today, is to verify to the medical world the importance of third-world wound and lymphedema care. Haiti remains a mysterious combination of blessing and incurable malady.
How are you helping to change the field of wound care?
That is for others to answer. In the clinical field, it involves the lymphatic role in wound healing…and in the Humanities field, it involves global health.
What does being a Difference Maker mean to you?
I am aware that I was gifted with remarkable generational family nurturing and, most importantly, a major academic and residency foundation. With that as a background, if I made a difference, it was because I was in the right place at the right time.
What advice would you give someone pursuing wound care?
Follow your bliss. Wound care is not the road to wealth and fame. But for so many colleagues that I have met and worked with, it just may be the road to sainthood!
Tell us a story that reminds you why you pursued your career?
“I must remember the things I have seen. I must keep them fresh in memory, see them again in my mind’s eye, live through them again and again in my thoughts. And most of all, I must make good use of them in tomorrow’s life.” – Thomas A Dooley MD