Michael Bentz, MD
Michael Bentz, MD, has been appointed interim chair of the University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery within the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, effective September 1. Bentz succeeds Dr. K. Craig Kent, who held the chair position since 2008.
Bentz is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in plastic and reconstructive surgery and a leader in plastic surgery education. He holds the endowed Layton F. Rikkers MD Chair of Surgical Leadership and is professor of surgery, pediatrics and neurosurgery.
“Mike Bentz is an outstanding surgeon and educator, and an experienced administrative leader,” says Dr. Robert N. Golden, dean of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “I am confident he will continue the momentum Dr. Kent built at one of the country’s leading academic surgical research departments while the medical school undertakes a national search for a new chair of surgery.”
The UW Department of Surgery is the state’s largest academic surgery department, with 110 faculty members and 99 residents and fellows. Its surgeons treat patients at multiple locations across Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Last year, the department ranked sixth in the nation for NIH funding to U.S. surgery departments, according to Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.
In 1999, the University of Wisconsin recruited Bentz from the University of Pittsburgh to lead its Division of Plastic Surgery. Under his leadership, the UW Plastic Surgery Residency transformed into one of the most sought-after programs in the country. His division participates in biannual international missions to provide surgical services to Nicaragua’s under-served populations and offers valuable training to Nicaraguan plastic surgery residents in the U.S. In 2002, Bentz was named Professor Honorario (of Surgery) at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua for his role in the program.
Last year, Bentz served as President of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, and currently sits on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Plastic Surgery Residency Review Committee (the organization that develops residency curriculum nationwide). He also serves as president elect of the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons.
A native of Pennsylvania, Bentz received his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Indiana University in 1980. He attended medical school and completed his general surgery residency at Temple University. Bentz then matriculated at the University of Pittsburgh where he completed a fellowship in microvascular surgery research and a plastic and reconstructive surgery residency.
Kent left the University of Wisconsin to serve as dean of The Ohio State University College of Medicine and vice president of health sciences at Wexner Medical Center.