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Solórzano named interim Department of Surgery chair

Aug. 2, 2018, 11:03 AM


Carmen Solórzano, MD, professor of Surgery and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery, has been named the interim chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Surgery.

Carmen Solórzano, MD

Solórzano will assume this additional role while a national search is conducted to fill the position vacated in July by Seth Karp, MD, H. William Scott Jr. Professor. Karp was named the new chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences, as the section’s previous chair, R. Daniel Beauchamp, MD, the John Clinton Foshee Distinguished Professor of Surgery, transitioned to his new role as Vice President for Cancer Center Network Affairs.

“Dr. Solórzano is an internationally recognized star in surgical oncology,” said Karp. “She has also provided outstanding leadership to the institution as the chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and is routinely recognized as one of our finest teachers. I’m looking forward to working with her in her new role.”

Solórzano 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. She has authored more than 100 publications and lectured around the world. Solórzano, who came to the United States from Nicaragua at 19 to pursue an education, said she would never have imagined one day becoming a department chair, even interim.

“I am truly honored,” said Solórzano. “I look forward to working alongside Seth Karp, Kyla Terhune, MD, and Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, to serve and lead the faculty, staff and trainees during this transition. I joined VUMC in 2010, and over this time I have learned that our Vanderbilt missions of outstanding clinical care, research and education would not be possible without fostering our greatest resource — our people.”

Solórzano is a member of the Society of University Surgeons, Association for Academic Surgery, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Thyroid Association, Society of Surgical Oncology, and the Western Surgical Association, among others.

She serves on editorial boards for the Journal of Thyroid Research, Journal of Surgical Oncology and Annals of Surgical Oncology, and she was recently named vice president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Solórzano earned Phi Beta Kappa honors as an undergraduate and Alpha Omega Alpha honors as a medical student. She remained at the University of Florida to complete her general surgery residency. She moved to Texas as a post-doctoral research fellow before completing a clinical fellowship in surgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Solórzano returned to Florida as assistant professor of Surgery at the University of Miami and rose to become chief of Endocrine Surgery. She was recruited to Vanderbilt in 2010 as professor of Surgery and director of the Endocrine Surgery Center.

In 2012, she also became chief of the Division of General Surgery at the Nashville VA Medical Center.

In June 2018, she was honored by the chief resident class with the John L. Sawyers Award for her outstanding contributions to surgical education.

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