August 11, 2006

Bichell named chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

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David Bichell, M.D.

Bichell named chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Nationally regarded pediatric cardiac surgeon David Bichell, M.D., has joined the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt as chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and co-director of the Pediatric Heart Institute.

Bichell hails from Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago, where he served as the director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and associate professor of Surgery.

He has also previously served as the director of Cardiovascular Surgery and director of the Children's Heart Institute at San Diego Children's Hospital.

“We are elated that Dr. Bichell is joining the faculty of the Children's Hospital,” said John Brock III, M.D., surgeon-in-chief for Children's Hospital. “He was the absolute first choice of every member of the search committee to lead the pediatric cardiac surgical program into the future.

“Dave is a warm and caring individual, is renowned as an outstanding surgeon, and has shown a great willingness to be a team builder in every aspect of his career. We expect great things for the pediatric cardiac surgery program under Dave's leadership.”

Bichell's surgical specialties include congenital heart diseases, including single-ventricle defects, correction of complex neonatal heart defects and pediatric heart transplantation. He also specializes in minimally invasive techniques for heart surgery.

Bichell was chosen from a national pool of the top pediatric cardiac surgeons in the country.

“I think his experience, training and expertise, and his willingness to collaborate closely with Pediatric Cardiology and other Pediatric specialists, will allow us to propel what is already an excellent pediatric heart program to the upper echelon of pediatric cardiology programs in the country,” said Dan Beauchamp, M.D., chair of Surgical Sciences.

Bichell received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

He completed a residency in General Surgery at Barnes Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine; a residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School; and chief residencies in Cardiac Surgery at Brigham & Women's and Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School.

He also completed a research fellowship in the Departments of Biochemistry and Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and a clinical fellowship in Cardiac Surgery at Brigham & Women's.

Bichell trained in cardiac surgery at the Brigham & Women's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital with John Byrne, M.D., chair of Vanderbilt's Department of Cardiac Surgery.

“Dr. Bichell brings to Vanderbilt a wealth of experience in complex congenital heart surgery having been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital and having led both the University of California-San Diego and the University of Chicago congenital heart programs,” Bryne said. “He will be a magnificent 'head coach' to build a world class congenital heart program.”

Bichell is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Congenital Heart Surgeon's Society, the Western Thoracic Surgical Association, the Chicago Surgical Society, the Midwest Pediatric Cardiology Society and the Western Society of Pediatric Cardiology.

Also an artist, Bichell has created illustrations for several medical journals and textbooks.

At Children's Hospital, Bichell will also co-direct the Pediatric Heart Institute with Scott Baldwin, M.D., chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology.

“The unique thing about Dave is that in addition to being an outstanding surgeon with technical results second to none, he is also extremely supportive of building a team encompassing premiere clinical care, translational research and basic science investigation relating to congenital heart disease,” Baldwin said.

Bichell's research interests include valve and conduit innovations, pharmacologic advances in the treatment of children, brain protection during neonatal surgery and multi-institutional outcomes.