May 2, 2019

Solórzano named chair of Department of Surgery

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


by Jill Clendening

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

Carmen Solórzano, MD

Solórzano had been serving as interim chair since July 2018 while a national search was conducted to fill the position vacated by Seth Karp, MD, H. William Scott Jr. Professor. Karp now serves as the chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences.

“Dr. Solórzano has proven herself a master surgeon and educator with a national and international reputation treating disease of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenals,” said Karp. “She has held multiple national leadership positions in surgery. A recent recipient of the Sawyers Teaching Award, Dr. Solórzano is an ideal mentor for faculty, residents and students and is the personification of the spirit of collaboration and collegiality that makes Vanderbilt unique.

“Under her leadership over the past five years, the Division of Surgical Oncology grew significantly, as has the Department of Surgery over the past eight months as she served as interim chair. I look forward to working with her to develop her vision for the clinical, educational and scientific missions of the largest department in the Section of Surgical Sciences.”

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 150 publications and lectured around the world.

“I am honored to be selected for this very important position,” Solórzano said. “As I reflect on my surgical career so far, the most rewarding moments continue to be caring for patients at their most vulnerable moment, mentoring learners and colleagues, and collaborating with scientists to advance discovery. I want the Department of Surgery and VUMC to continue to be a place where faculty, learners and researchers can experience fulfillment in our mission which is centered on providing the highest quality and compassionate care to our patients.”

Solórzano is a member of the American Surgical Association, Southern Surgical Association, Society of University Surgeons, Association for Academic Surgery, American Thyroid Association, Society of Surgical Onco- logy, and the Western Surgical Association, among others. She serves on editorial boards for the Journal of Thyroid Research, Journal of Surgical Oncology, Annals of Surgical Oncology and World Journal of Surgery, and she was recently named vice president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons and Governor of the American College of Surgeons.

Solórzano came to the United States from Nicaragua at 19 to pursue an education. A graduate of the University of Florida, she 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.