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New Surgical Realities

Nathan Adams

Nathan Adams, DMD, MD

If I could choose one word to describe my reaction to receiving an endowed Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chair, it would be “responsibility.” I feel a deep sense of responsibility to Jon and Karen Huntsman and their family, to the University of Utah, and to my own family.  

Mr. Huntsman would speak often about the need for each of us to find the unborn masterpieces in our lives. Certainly, this gift, this honor, provides the opportunity to discover the unborn masterpieces before us, taking this concept from the abstract or theoretical, into the realm of concrete realism.  

Along with my colleagues at the University of Utah, we have an opportunity and the resources to go forward with our efforts already underway in surgical education. We are utilizing some game-changing technology now available, such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. With these devices, we are determined to alter the way medical humanitarianism is administered and taught around the world.

Jon Huntsman once said, “Life is not a game of solitaire; people depend on one another. When one does well, others are lifted. When one stumbles, others are impacted. There are no one-man teams, either by definition or by natural law. Success is a cooperative effort, it’s dependent upon those who stand beside you.”  

This privilege provides the opportunity to stand beside one of the finest people the world has known. Surgical education is a hands-on form of education, difficult to replicate outside the operating room. By utilizing tools such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality we can digitize these unique settings and provide an extremely high level of education.   

Incorporating this technology also provides tremendous humanitarian potential by allowing more effective teaching of practitioners within communities worldwide. This will in essence ‘teach someone to fish’ more efficiently and effectively. When humanitarian teams leave for home, the procedures that bless and lift the people remain.

In the end, whatever is accomplished will be the legacy of Jon and Karen Huntsman.  A legacy and responsibility I’m proud and honored to be a part of.

Nathan Adams Huntsman Presidential Chair

Professor Adams with Peter Huntsman, Karen Huntsman, and President Ruth Watkins. 


Nathan Adams, DMD, MD

Guest blogger Nathan Adams is an assistant professor in the School of Dentistry, an adjunct professor of Otolaryngology, and a board certified Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon.

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