Dr. Ralph Didlake was appointed chief academic officer in 2013. A native of New Mexico, Didlake is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He trained in general surgery at UMMC, including two years in the study of transplantation research in the experimental surgery laboratory founded by Dr. James Hardy. He later completed a surgical fellowship in organ transplantation at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
After practicing transplant, general and vascular surgery for 23 years, Didlake developed a compelling interest in the human context of modern medical and surgical care. This interest led him to pursue a master’s degree in bioethics and health policy from the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics at Loyola University, Chicago. In 2008, he was appointed director of the UMMC’s newly established Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, a position he continues to hold. He is also professor of surgery.
Didlake is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is a member of the American Society for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, among many other organizations. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and abstracts and has been principal investigator or co-investigator on a number of National Institutes of Health and foundation grants.
Didlake has shepherded the Medical Center’s long-range, interdisciplinary commitment to enhancing professionalism.
In his spare time, he enjoys restoring antique radios and has an interest in poetry criticism, especially 20th century Russian poets. He and wife Millie are enjoying being grandparents.