Living By His Lifelong Motto

“In order to truly succeed, it’s never about you, but what you can do for others.”

Bruce Cairns has been living by this motto his whole life.

After graduating from medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the U.S. Navy and served 19 years as a commissioned officer. In the mid-90s as a surgery resident at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, he developed the skills needed to treat the surviving victims of a plane crash in 1997 just a mile from his naval home in Guam.

Since then, he has started a burn unit in Malawi with fellow Carolina surgeon Anthony Charles. While partnering with the Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center at Fort Bragg, Cairns started the Advanced Medic Instructor Training program, helping instructors and medic trainees develop their careers at UNC Health Care. It has since led to the Allied Health program, providing Special Forces medics a path to become physician assistants.

As director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, Cairns does all he can to live by his golden rule of staying humble and serving others.

Read the complete Carolina Story from the University Gazette…

Cairns is the John Stackhouse Distinguished Professor of Surgery Associate Professor of Surgery and Microbiology and Immunology.

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