Mark W Bowyer


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Ben Eiseman Professor of Surgery; Surgical Director of Simulation
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Simulation for Trauma and Surgical Training
Trauma, Acute Care Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care
Office Phone


Undergraduate Coe College
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Aug 1977 - June 1981
Bachelor of Science - 1981
Chemistry and General Science

Post-Graduate University of Colorado Health Science Center
Denver, Colorado
Aug 1981 - May 1985
Doctor of Medicine - 1985

Internship David Grant USAF Medical Center
Travis AFB, CA
1 July 1985 - 30 June 1986
General Surgery

Residency David Grant USAF Medical Center
Travis AFB, CA
1 July 1986 - 30 June 1990
General Surgery

Fellowship University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California
1 July 1990 - 30 June 1991
Critical Care Medicine


Retiring after 22 years of active duty military service as a Trauma and Combat Surgeon, Dr. Bowyer remains the Chief of Trauma and Combat Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (the military medical school) in Bethesda, MD. In this role, he is responsible for the training of current and future military doctors learning to care for those in harms way. As a faculty member of Advanced Trauma Life Support, Definitive Surgical Trauma Care, Definitive Surgical Trauma Skills, Emergency War Surgery, Advanced Trauma Operative Management, and Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposures in Trauma (ASSET) courses, Dr. Bowyer is an international force in trauma education. As one of the principle architects of the ASSET course he has shepherded it’s promulgation to over 100 course sites in 11 countries over the last 6 years. His active practice of trauma surgery at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington DC, one of the busiest trauma centers in the United States, and experiences as “Trauma Czar” in Iraq, provide him with credible real life experiences that he enthusiastically brings to the classroom. Dr. Bowyer is heavily involved in the activities of the American College of Surgeons, serving on multiple committees and is currently Chairman of the Surgical Skills Committee of the Committee on Trauma. Actively involved in the education of residents, he also hosts the popular “Surgical Jeopardy” competition at the annual ACS meeting. Additionally, as Surgical Director of the world renowned Val G. Hemming National Capital Area Medical Simulation Center, Dr. Bowyer has been on the forefront of adopting the use of surgical simulators as a replacement for animals in the teaching of advanced trauma and acute care surgical skills. Dr. Bowyer has been integrally involved in developing a simulation based surgical curriculum for medical students and residents. Dr. Bowyer has an ongoing interest and involvement in developing and validating augmented and virtual reality, as well as robust trauma, laparoscopic, acute care surgical, triage, and critical care based simulators. Dr. Bowyer also has an interest in and is currently working on projects that utilize simulation to improve patient safety. As an acknowledged expert in the fields of trauma and medical simulation he is in great demand as a speaker having presented in many national and international forums. Dr. Bowyer has published widely on a diverse range of critical care, trauma, and simulation topics.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

2017 Robert Danis Prize. This prize is awarded by the International Surgical Society to the surgeon who has made the most important and personal contribution to the fields of trauma (including skeletal fractures), burns or critical care

Advanced Trauma Life Support® Meritorious Service Award presented March 2011 – “In recognition of selfless dedication and commitment to improving the care of the trauma patient through his innovative organization and promotion of the ATLS® Course for Doctors, generous contribution of his time and expertise, and unflagging support of the ideals upheld by the ACS Committee on Trauma.”

The Baron Dominique Jean Larrey Award for Excellence in Military Surgery – presented at the 29th Annual USU Surgical Associates Day March 23, 2009.

The 14th Annual Satava Award- presented at the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality annual meeting to “an individual or research group demonstrating unique vision and commitment to the improvement of medicine through advanced technology”,Jan 2008

Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons Excalibur Award presented April 2004. This award is given to the “member who exemplifies the highest dedication, professional competence,character, and vision of a career United States Air Force Medical Officer”.

Awarded Bronze Star and Legion of Merit Awards

President of Ambroise Paré International Military Forum 2013-2015

President of Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons 2000-2001

Chairman of American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma Surgical Skills Committee 2010-2017

332nd Air Expeditionary Hospital, Balad Air Base Iraq 2006-2007 Chief of Surgery (“Trauma Czar”) responsible for the oversight of 32 physicians and the surgical care of more than 3500 combat casualties during a four month deployment.


Mackenzie CF, Garofalo E, Puche A, Chen H, Pugh K, Shackelford S, Tisherman S, Henry S, Bowyer MW. Performance of Vascular Exposure and Fasciotomy Among Surgical Residents Before and After Training Compared With Experts. JAMA Surg. 2017 March 1. Doi:10.1001/ jamasurg.2017.0092 [Epub ahead of Print].

Antevil JL, Bailey JA, Bowyer MW, Ritter EM, Elster EA. A New Reality: Critical Skills Retention and Readiness for Military Surgeons. International Review of the Armed Forces Medical Services. 2016; 89(1):53-63

Back DA, Waldmann K, Hauer T, Huschitt N, Bowyer MW, Wesemann U, Lieber A, Willy C. Concept and evaluation of the German War Surgery Course - Einsatzchirurgie-Kurs der Bundeswehr. J R Army Med Corps. 2016 Dec 1 [Epub ahead of Print]

Shackelford S, Garofalo E, Shalin V, Pugh K, Chen H, Paisley J, Sarani B, Henry S, Bowyer M, MacKenzie CF. Development and validation of trauma surgical skills metrics: Preliminary assessment of performance after training. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015; Jul 79:105-110

Bowyer MW, Shackelford SA, Garofalo E, Pugh K, Mackenzie CF. Perception does not equal reality for resident vascular trauma skills. J Surg Res. 2015: Oct 198 (2):280-8

Bowyer MW, Garofalo EM, St Andre DA, Miller RR, Holt BL, Bailey JA. A Novel Standardized Physical Model Based Curriculum to Teach Fasciotomy of the Lower Extremity. J Surg Res. 2014; 186: 670

Bowyer MW, Kuhls DA, Haskin D, Sallee RA, Henry SM, Garcia GD, Luchette FA. Advanced Surgical Skills for Trauma (ASSET): The first 25 courses. J Surg Res. 2013; 183(2):553-558

Bowyer MW, Hanson JL, Pimentel EA, Flanagan AK, Rawn LM, Rizzo AG, Ritter EM, Lopreiato JO. Teaching Breaking Bad News Using Mixed Reality Simulation. Journal of Surgical Research 159:462-7, 2009.

Bowyer MW, Manahl M, Acosta E, Stutzmen J, Liu A. Far Forward Feasibility: Testing a Cricothyroidotomy Simulator in Iraq. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics,132:37-41, 2008

Bowyer MW: “Training Surgeons for War Surgery”. In Eastridge B, Garner J, Greaves I, Rassmussen T (eds) War Surgery: Principles and Practice. Oxford Press; 2017 (in press).