MSMA 2020-2021 President:
George J. Hruza, MD, MBA, FAAD, FACMS, St. Louis, Missouri
George J. Hruza, MD, MBA, FAAD, FACMS, Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, from St. Louis, Missouri, will serve as President of the Missouri State Medical Association in 2020-2021. He was formally installed April 4, 2020, during MSMA’s 162nd Annual Convention.
Dr. Hruza was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic. In 1966, he escaped from the communist Czechoslovakia with his parents and older sister, initially to Sweden and ultimately to New York City where he learned English and graduated from Stuyvesant High school, a math and science focused school. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Physics Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa at New York University School of Arts and Science in 1978. From there he attended New York University School of Medicine to earn his MD in 1982 at the top of his class and joined Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.
Dr. Hruza did his internal medicine internship at New York Hospital-Cornell University, Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital and Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City taking care of some of the earliest patients with AIDS, the cause of which was unknown at the time. He became very interested in the visual and hands-on aspects of dermatology and received his dermatology training at New York University Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital, and Manhattan Veterans Administration Hospital getting a broad exposure to all dermatologic conditions including infrequently seen conditions such as leprosy, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and blistering disorders.
His physics background led to an interest in the use of lasers in dermatology that were in their infancy in 1986. He was one of the first laser surgery fellows at the Wellman Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard University under the tutelage of Dr. R. Rox Anderson, the inventor of the theory of selective photothermolysis and inventor/developer of most laser and energy-based applications in dermatology and several other specialties.
Dr. Hruza’s interest in skin cancer led to his going to University of Wisconsin-Madison to do a fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery for the treatment of challenging skin cancers under the tutelage of Dr. Fred Mohs, the inventor of the technique and Drs. Snow and Larson. After completion of his fellowship he was recruited to run the dermatologic surgery section at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where he rose to the position of Associate Professor of internal medicine (dermatology), otolaryngology and surgery (plastic surgery).
Dr. Hruza found that the business aspects of practice were growing more complex and important. With that in mind, he obtained an MBA from Washington University and shortly thereafter, went into solo private practice focusing on skin cancer treatment and laser and energy-based dermatologic procedures moving into a state of the art medical building with a certified ambulatory surgery center he built with his dermatology partner in Chesterfield, Missouri, 10 years ago. With the accelerating consolidation in healthcare by insurers, hospitals, labs, and physician practices Dr. Hruza partnered with United Skin Specialists three years ago.
Dr. Hruza has trained 21 Mohs micrographic surgery fellows, and continues to teach dermatology residents as an adjunct professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University and rotating fellows from University of Missouri-Columbia, and Saint Louis University at his Laser and Dermatologic Surgery Center in Chesterfield, Missouri.
Dr. Hruza has had a career-long interest in laser and energy-based technology and has contributed more than 150 publications to the medical literature including four textbooks on laser surgery and has lectured on laser and dermatologic surgery on five continents. He also serves on four dermatology journal editorial boards and as assistant editor of Dermatologic Surgery and formerly as assistant editor of the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology and section editor of the Archives of Dermatology. He has been the editor of the dermatologic surgery section of Bologna Dermatology, the main dermatology textbook, for the last three editions.
The rapid encroachment on the practice of medicine and the doctor-patient relationship by insurers, regulators, and legislators and healthcare entity administrators has led Dr. Hruza to become very involved with organized medicine throughout his career having served on the Association of Academic Dermatologic Surgeons, American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), American College of Mohs Surgery, AAAHC and American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) Boards of Directors, and the Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA) and St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society Council, as Treasurer of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) and MSMA, and as President of ASDS, ASLMS and St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society. He currently serves as the 2019-20 President of the American Academy of Dermatology.
When not traveling on behalf of organized medicine or on innumerable conference calls, Dr. Hruza is a passionate snow skier going to British Columbia every year with his wife, Carrie, to go helicopter skiing. Closer to home, they love to go on long distance bicycle rides, hikes, and to practice yoga. With his daughter Stephanie, he enjoys scuba-diving in the Caribbean. The whole family, Carrie, Stephanie, Paul, Hope and Rose, love traveling together far and wide.
As Missouri State Medical Association President, Dr. Hruza will continue to advocate for our patients, strengthening the doctor-patient relationship, and keep the physician central in the delivery of healthcare.