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Petracek named permanent chair of Cardiac Surgery

Dec. 12, 2013, 9:51 AM

Michael Petracek, M.D., has been named chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Cardiac Surgery.
Petracek, professor of Clinical Cardiac Surgery, has led the department on an interim basis since January.

Michael Petracek, M.D.

“After our national search we are pleased to name Dr. Petracek as chair of Cardiac Surgery.  His depth of knowledge and vast experience as a cardiac surgeon, clinical investigator and teacher is outstanding and will help lead the department to even greater success,” said R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences and John Clinton Foshee Distinguished Professor of Surgery, who led the executive search committee.

“Over the past year Dr. Petracek has led as interim chair during a critical period of transition for the department. It is evident that he has the determination and expertise to further our efforts in enriching the educational experience for our residents and fellows while continuing to grow this important program and lead the country in providing our patients personalized innovative care.”

One of the region’s leading heart surgeons for the past 30 years, Petracek received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1971. He completed residencies in Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery, as well as a research fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1983 as assistant clinical professor of Cardiac Surgery, he was a member of the team of surgeons at Saint Thomas Hospital who performed Nashville’s first adult heart transplant.

His expertise in minimally invasive valve surgery led to another significant milestone in cardiac surgery — the country’s first implantation of the St. Jude stentless aortic porcine valve and the Regent mechanical valve.

“I am very excited by this opportunity to lead the Department of Cardiac Surgery,” Petracek said. “Together with the outstanding surgeons of the department, it will be a pleasure to help build on the success that we have all worked hard to achieve.

“The collaborative environment that Vanderbilt Heart has developed between cardiology and cardiac surgery is very impressive.  Together we will meet present and future challenges head on while developing the model for cardiac care in a large academic center.”

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