Chief of GI Surgery at University of Utah Tapped to Chair UB Medical School's Department of Surgery

By Lois Baker

Release Date: December 27, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Merril T. Dayton, M.D., chief of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Utah College of Medicine, has been named chair of the Department of Surgery in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, effective July 1.

Dayton holds a bachelor's degree in zoology from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and received his medical degree in 1976 from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, his hometown.

Following an internship and junior residency in surgery at UCLA Hospital and Clinics in Los Angeles, he completed a two-year fellowship at the Center for Ulcer Research and Education in the Wadsworth Veterans Administration Physiology Research Center, also in Los Angeles. Returning to UCLA, he served as senior and then chief resident of surgery and completed a one-year gastrointestinal surgery fellowship.

Dayton spent three years as assistant professor of surgery at the University of Iowa College of Medicine before joining his alma mater's surgical faculty in 1986. He served as chief of general surgery at the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center from 1987-97 and was named chief of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Utah in 1998.

He also served as assistant dean of admissions at the medical school from 1990-95 and has maintained an active teaching schedule throughout his professional career. He was promoted to full professor of surgery in 1997. His primary clinical interests are inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal surgery.

Dayton has been active in several professional organizations, including the Association for Surgical Education, which he served as president, as well as filling a variety of other administrative posts; the American College of Surgeons; the Society of University Surgeons; the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Association of VA Surgeons. He has lectured and published widely. In 1996, Dayton was included in "The Best Doctors in America: Pacific Region."