by Jill Clendening
Mayur Patel, MD, MPH, associate professor of Surgery and Ingram Chair in Surgical Sciences, has been named chief of the Division of Acute Care Surgery in the Department of Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
An internationally renowned trauma surgeon-scientist, Patel has been a member of the VUMC faculty since 2012. He has secondary appointments in the departments of Neurological Surgery and Hearing and Speech Sciences.
Bradley Dennis, MD, associate professor of Surgery, most recently served as interim chief of the division, and Oscar Guillamondegui, MD, MPH, professor and the Carol Ann Gavin Director in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, had led the division since December 2020.
“Dr. Patel has a unique aptitude for forging productive collaboration and enhancing the capability of those around him,” said Seth Karp, MD, H. William Scott Jr. Professor and chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences. “He is a highly respected and committed mentor, and for more than a decade he has been educating the next generation of learners pursuing research in a medical career. He is well prepared to lead Acute Care Surgery, ensuring the continued delivery of exceptional clinical care, solid mentorship of our trainees, and pursuit of research that strengthens the field and improves patient safety and outcomes.”
“We also greatly appreciate the leadership of Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui and Dr. Bradley Dennis as they have been significant forces in the growth and strengthening of the Division of Acute Care Surgery into one of the largest, most active programs in the country.”
Annually, the Acute Care Surgery team admits more than 5,000 trauma patients from Tennessee and surrounding states to VUMC’s Level 1 Trauma Center, as well as 650 burn patients, 2,000 surgical ICU patients and 1,000 emergency general surgery patients. More than 2,000 lifesaving operations are performed each year by this active group.
“Our Division represents the one of the finest, busiest and broadest Acute Care Surgery groups in the country, delivering the highest quality clinical care across Trauma, Burns, Surgical Critical Care and Emergency General Surgery,” said Patel. “On any day, we are directly responsible for at least 100 hospitalized patients in our 1,000-bed Vanderbilt University Hospital, simultaneously providing critical 24/7/365 coverage to the emergency department, intensive care units, floors and operating rooms.
“We do many things, we do them well and are always pushing ourselves to do better. Our incredible teams — including 17 faculty, eight fellows and a dedicated group of advanced practice providers, registered nurses, interdisciplinary colleagues and administrative partners — make this happen. I am thrilled to serve this high-functioning, tight-knit group,” Patel said
In his role as vice chair of Professional Development for the Department of Surgery, Patel supports the professional development and promotion of junior faculty. In addition to his VUMC responsibilities, he has been active in clinical practice, research, and leadership for the Veterans Affairs (VA) Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, where he most recently served as section chief of General Surgery and deputy chief of Surgical Services.
“The Division of Acute Care Surgery is one of the most vital in the Department of Surgery and VUMC, providing care not only to the acutely injured but also those patients with emergency general surgical needs, 24/7,” said Carmen C. Solórzano, MD, John L. Sawyers Professor of Surgical Sciences and chair of the Department of Surgery. “Dr. Patel’s regional and national leadership in the field of trauma, critical care surgery and traumatic brain injury is undisputed. Add to that his commitment to the education and development of faculty, medical students, surgical residents and fellows, and he was an easy choice for this key leadership role.”
Patel received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed a general surgery residency at Duke University Medical Center and a research fellowship focused on traumatic brain injury (TBI). at Ryder Trauma Center. He returned to VUMC to complete a fellowship in Acute Care Surgery and a Master of Public Health degree before joining the VUMC faculty.
Patel is a senior investigator in VUMC’s Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction and Survivorship (CIBS) Center, an interprofessional group of medical providers and trainees who work with patients who have suffered from delirium and are at risk for long-term impairment. His research focuses on brain dysfunction and critical illness related to TBI, long-term cognitive impairment, dementia and other aspects of intensive care unit survivorship. He has earned significant independent funding for his investigations, including three R01 grants, and established a T32 training program.
Patel was recently accepted as a fellow of the American Surgical Association. He has served on the National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review Surgery, Anesthesia and Trauma Study Section. Patel has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles, invited reviews, book chapters and editorials. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Surgical Research, the third edition of the “Advanced Trauma Operative Management” and the 22nd edition of the “Sabiston Textbook of Surgery.”
He is a member of many professional societies and organizations, including the American Surgical Association, American College of Surgeons, Center for National Trauma Research, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Association for VA Surgeons, Society of University Surgeons, Society of Asian Academic Surgeons, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Society of Clinical Surgery and National Academies for Science, Engineering and Medicine.