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Robert Meguid, MD, Named Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research for the CU Department of Surgery

Robert Meguid, MD, Named Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research for the CU Department of Surgery

Meguid aims to grow the department’s research enterprise with a focus on mentorship and patient care.

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Written by Mara Kalinoski on October 10, 2023

Robert Meguid, MD, MPH, FACS, is a professor of cardiothoracic surgery who took on the role of associate vice chair of clinical research for the University of Colorado Department of Surgery last month. His dedication to his research, his patients, and the future of medical science provide the basis for his work on surgical clinical outcomes and processes of care.

Meguid received his medical degree from The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and his Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He has been at the University of Colorado School of Medicine since 2012 as a practicing thoracic surgeon, professor, and now associate vice chair.

He has a longstanding interest in surgical research, specifically health services and clinical research. Since joining the faculty in 2012, Meguid has helped establish and directed the Surgical Outcomes and Applied Research Program, which is the formal health services research program in the CU Department of Surgery. Meguid also runs a health services research laboratory, which mirrors the research he oversees for the entire department.

The importance of the work

“One of the most satisfying and exciting aspects of my career as a surgeon is engaging in research with residents, medical students, and other faculty. That can be contributing to discovery, opening up opportunities, and engaging in mentorship,” says Meguid. “It's something I have a real passion for, and I hope to share that and pass that passion on to colleagues as well.”

In his new position as associate vice chair, he aims to focus on that mentorship as he helps grow the clinical research enterprise in the CU Department of Surgery at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

“Our goal is to mentor faculty and trainees in their research interests, facilitate collaborative research across the various surgical and non-surgical specialties in various disciplines, and grow the external funding component of research at our institution,” says Meguid. “We also hope to grow the visibility of our program’s research.”

Throughout his years of researching and performing surgery, Meguid emphasizes that patient care has been one of the cornerstones of his work.

“Knowing that we have an opportunity to impact the outcomes of our patients beyond just a single operation drives my work,” explains Meguid. “A lasting impact can transcend our own role as a clinician at an individual institution. There’s satisfaction in moving science forward for the benefit of patients.”

Building on research

The news of Meguid’s appointment to associate vice chair of clinical research should come as no surprise considering the invaluable work he has done over his career. One of Meguid’s most prominent contributions to the field comes in the form of the Surgical Risk Preoperative Assessment System (SURPAS), a patient-centered, patient-facing clinical decision support tool that aims to improve patient and provider understanding of the risks of upcoming surgery. The program is available throughout the UCHealth system, as well as online.

“Anyone who chooses to use it to understand what risks a patient is facing with an upcoming surgery receives help to guide their decision making, and we specifically developed it to be easy to use rapidly,” says Meguid. The patient-friendly and rapid design coincides with Meguid’s overarching aims of transparency, accessibility, and empathic surgical care.

“We've studied it extensively and found that among other benefits, patients report their anxiety prior to surgery is decreased when [SURPAS] is used to discuss their surgical risks,” says Meguid. “That's something that, as a provider, is really important to me.”

Meguid is looking forward to further developments as science pushes forward, especially in the capacity of his new role. “We have ongoing research to harness the power of hospital data, to identify post-operative complications, and to further automate patient risk assessment and track patient outcomes,” explains Meguid. “It's a really exciting time because we're developing the application of artificial intelligence for the benefit of patient outcomes.”