Department of Surgery

Mary McCarthy, M.D., FACS, Chair

James B. Peoples, M.D.

Elizabeth Berry Gray Chair and Professor of Surgery
Program Director, General Surgery Residency
Wright State University Department of Surgery, 1988-2002

James Peoples, M.D.Dr. Peoples was professor of surgery, the Elizabeth Berry Gray Chair of Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine's Department of Surgery, and director of the region's general surgery residency program.

A native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Dr. Peoples received an A.B. degree in Chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and an M.D. degree from New York University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in surgery at University of Pittsburgh's Hospitals of Health Center in Pittsburgh. He completed post-graduate continuing education in the Program for Chiefs of Clinical Services at Harvard School of Public Health in 1991 and 1996.

From 1977-1979, Peoples was a major in the Medical Corps of the United States Army where he was stationed at the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Seoul, Korea, and at Kimbrough Army Hospital in Ft. Meade, Maryland. He received the Army Commendation Medal for his service. He was recruited by Dr. Dan Elliott, the founding chair, to join the full time faculty at Wright State University in 1979.

In 1988, Dr. Peoples served as acting chair of the Department of Surgery and was named chair of the department in 1990. Since 1988, he also served as director of one of the largest general surgery programs in the United States. The program trains seven physicians in each year of the five-year program and received a "perfect report card" from its accrediting body in 2001. Dr. Peoples was instrumental in training thousands of physicians and medical students in surgical procedures, and he was regarded as an international authority on surgical diseases. In 2000, he was named the first Elizabeth Berry Gray Chair of Surgery.

Board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Peoples was a member of several professional societies: the Association for Academic Surgery, Association of Program Directors in Surgery, Association for Surgical Education, Collegium Internationale Chirurgiae Digestivae, Dayton Surgical Society, Dayton Vascular Surgical Society, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, International Society of Surgery, Midwest Surgical Association, the Montgomery County Medical Society, Ohio State Medical Association, the Pancreas Club, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, and the Western Surgical Association. In addition, he served on the Program Committee of the Central Surgical Association from 1996-1999 and was that committee's chair from 1998-1999. He was a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons and an Honorary Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons.

A recipient of many honors, Dr. Peoples was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, received the Pittsburgh Surgical Society's Residents Award and the American College of Surgeons, Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter's Residents Award, and was named in Who's Who in the Midwest. Through peer nomination, he was included in The Best Doctors in America: Midwest Region from 1996-2002. He received the House Staff Teaching Award from Miami Valley Hospital in 1996 and was elected to the medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha, in 1997.

Throughout Dr. Peoples career, he authored numerous articles on a wide variety of surgical diseases, and from 1996-1998, he studied the early detection of breast and cervical cancer through a grant from the Center for Disease Control.

Dr. Peoples was very active in the community as well. He served on the Medical Advisory Board of the Community Blood Center of Montgomery County since 1992. He was on the Taste & Toast Committee of the Planned Parenthood Association of the Miami Valley since 1995, and was co-chair from 1996-1997. He was also a dedicated supporter of the Dayton Art Institute. Dr. Peoples passed away after an accident on July 19, 2002.