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Solórzano named chief of Surgical Oncology, Endocrine Surgery

Jan. 21, 2016, 10:14 AM

Carmen Solórzano, M.D.

Carmen Solórzano, M.D., professor of Surgery and director of the Endocrine Surgery Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), has been named chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery in the Department of Surgery.

Solórzano was selected following a national search that included more than 70 potential candidates.

“As the search process matured, it became clear that Dr. Solórzano is one of the country’s foremost surgical oncologists,” said R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., J.C. Foshee Distinguished Professor, chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences, and deputy director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC). “In addition to her leadership within the Department of Surgery, she will continue to support the Cancer Center’s clinical, research and educational missions.”

Solórzano said “it’s a big job” and she is excited about the challenge of the new role.

“We have a very strong Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery, which is nationally known, and we want to see it grow further.”

Solórzano joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2010 and specializes in endocrine surgery, including neoplasms and cancers of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands, the pancreas and digestive system, as well as neuroendocrine tumors.

Born in Nicaragua, Solórzano graduated from the University of Florida, where she earned Phi Beta Kappa academic honors and as a medical student earned Alpha Omega Alpha honors. She also completed a residency and postdoctoral fellowship in Florida before moving to Texas as a postdoctoral research fellow and clinical fellow in Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

She returned to Florida as assistant professor of Surgery at the University of Miami, where she became chief of Endocrine Surgery.

She has authored more than 100 publications, has lectured around the world and serves on the editorial boards for several journals.

Solórzano said she was drawn to caring for cancer patients by the complexity of the cases and the opportunity to help patients.

“I see a lot of the positive in it. When you see a cure or you can at least provide palliative relief, I think it’s a great reward,” Solórzano explained.

In addition to her current role at VUMC, Solórzano has served as chief of General Surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital since 2012. While a new chief will likely be recruited, Solórzano will continue to provide some surgical oncology services to veterans.

“I think that they need attention, and the collaboration between the Nashville VA and Vanderbilt is very important for patient care and the educational mission. We provide cutting-edge medical care to the veterans and I think that should continue,” Solórzano said.

Her first priority will be expansion of services to patients at VUMC, where she will work alongside Seth Karp, M.D., H. William Scott Jr. Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery.

“Dr. Solórzano has proven herself an outstanding leader in the department — a great clinician, educator and administrator. We are very excited for her to expand her role and I am personally looking forward to working with her,” Karp said.

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