Akuezunkpa O. Ude Welcome, MD, a renowned bariatric and minimally invasive gastrointestinal surgeon, has been named chief of surgery at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn. Dr. Ude Welcome has been an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine for 11 years. She comes to Brooklyn after practicing surgery at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, most recently as associate program director for NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Bellevue’s joint General Surgery Residency in Manhattan.
As the new chief of surgery, Dr. Ude Welcome will focus on several priorities, including expanding bariatric surgery services at the Weight Management Program at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn and increasing access to and volume of critical surgical services.
Recent high-profile hires in trauma care, surgical critical care, and acute care surgery are expected to lead to increasing academic productivity and research output by expanding the educational footprint for medical student education and residency training.
She is also preparing for more elective cases for the acute care surgery team in 2022.
“Dr. Ude Welcome brings a breadth and depth of extensive surgical experience to Brooklyn,” says Robert Montgomery, MD, DPhil, the H. Leon Pachter, MD, Professor of Surgery and chair of the Department of Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “She is a consummate professional whose leadership qualities will elevate the work of the entire surgical department and provide expert and compassionate patient care.”
With extensive experience as a mentor of surgical residents, Dr. Ude Welcome is seeking to attract outstanding residents to the Brooklyn campus, particularly those who are interested in projects related to healthcare access, healthcare equity, and eliminating health disparities. These residents are expected to demonstrate resiliency and the desire to work with one of the most diverse patient populations in the city.
Dr. Ude Welcome is one of the few surgeons in Brooklyn performing a high volume of robotic bariatric procedures. She has performed thousands of bariatric procedures in her career and last year alone completed 500 such procedures, with 20 percent of those surgeries performed robotically. Robotic bariatric surgery is a fast-growing area and, similarly to laparoscopic surgery, provides great benefits to patients including reduced pain and scarring, shorter hospital stays, fewer wound complications, and lower infection rates. It allows surgeons the ability to perform bariatric revisional surgery with lower blood volumes and fewer complications. It also is ergonomically beneficial for surgeons as they experience much less muscle fatigue.
“Dr. Ude Welcome is an amazing addition to the NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn leadership team,” says Bret J. Rudy, MD, senior vice president and chief of hospital operations for NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn. “As chief of surgery, Dr. Ude Welcome brings her expertise as an accomplished surgeon, educator, and administrative leader to Brooklyn. The department will thrive and reach new heights under her leadership.”
Dr. Ude Welcome places a premium on patient care and acknowledges the Brooklyn staff for their hard work and sacrifice in a time of unprecedented stress.
“We have a singular vision to provide really good care to patients in the community,” Dr. Ude Welcome says. “It’s important to explain to patients what to expect. Most of the time they are coming to us in times of distress. My job is to guide them down the path they are most likely to follow, to warn them about contingencies, and to reassure them if those contingencies arise.”
About Dr. Ude Welcome
For six years, Dr. Ude Welcome served as surgical skills lab director at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Before coming to NYU Langone, she spent five years as an assistant professor of surgery at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and served during two of those years as the surgery clerkship director at Columbia University.
Dr. Ude Welcome holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University, where she graduated cum laude, and a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed her residency in general surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University, and was an advanced laparoscopy fellow also at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University.
She received the Association of Women Surgeon’s Merit Award in 2004 and in 2014. For six years, she served on the executive admissions committee at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.
“I want to be part of an environment where I feel I can really make a difference,” she says. “I believe we can increase the breadth and depth of care that we can offer to the Brooklyn community.”