American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Past and Current Clinical Scholars

Karl Bilimoria, MD, MS,Karl Bilimoria, MD, MS (Presentations and Publications), was the first American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Scholar in Residence. During his two years at the College, Dr. Bilimoria performed numerous studies focused on examining and improving the delivery of care for surgical oncology patients. He used the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) for many of these notable studies. In addition, Dr. Bilimoria worked extensively on the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program® (ACS NSQIP®) to assess hospital surgical quality and developed multiple additional initiatives for ACS NSQIP. Dr. Bilimoria continues to be heavily involved with the ACS, ACS NSQIP, and the Clinical Scholars in Residence program.

Dr. Bilimoria earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. He subsequently undertook a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; attended medical school at Indiana University, Indianapolis; and completed his general surgery residency at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. He is currently a surgical oncology fellow at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. His long-term clinical interests are in melanoma and sarcoma, while his research will continue to focus on surgical quality improvement and health services research.

Angie Ingraham, MDAngie Ingraham, MD (Presentations and Publications), was an ACS Clinical Scholar in Residence from July 2008 to June 2010. Her research focused on patient- and hospital-level outcomes following emergency general surgery procedures using data from ACS NSQIP. She also worked with leaders in surgery to study outcomes following traumatic injuries using the National Trauma Data Bank. Finally, Dr. Ingraham supported various ACS programs and collaborated with numerous ACS staff members; specifically, she assisted with the development of the Trauma Quality Improvement Program, served on the Definitions Committee of the ACS NSQIP, and coordinated the development and publication of the ACS NSQIP Best Practice Guidelines and Case Studies.

Dr. Ingraham studied biology at Truman State University, Kirksville, MO, and completed medical school at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (IL). She is currently a surgery resident at the University of Cincinnati (OH). Dr. Ingraham is interested in pursuing a fellowship in trauma/critical care/acute care surgery after her general surgery training.

Mehul Raval, MDMehul Raval, MD (Presentations and Publications), was actively involved in several projects at the ACS during his tenure as a Clinical Scholar in Residence from July 2008 to June 2010. While at the College, Dr. Raval performed an assessment of multi-specialty representation and case-mix adjustment in the ACS NSQIP. He helped coordinate the initial testing of the ACS NSQIP Pediatrics module, assisted with the formation of an Illinois ACS NSQIP collaborative, and conducted a national survey of surgeons involved in the ACS NSIQP. Dr. Raval also developed online compliance reports for the ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network. Additionally, Dr. Raval completed research projects using the NCDB and the Kids’ Inpatient Database to study trends in the delivery of pediatric surgical care.

Dr. Raval completed his undergraduate education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his medical education at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC. He also completed a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship.

Warren Chow, MDWarren Chow, MD, MS (Presentations and Publications), was the James C. Thompson Geriatrics Surgical Fellow at the ACS. He started his tenure in the Clinical Scholars in Residence program in July 2010. For his research, he evaluated the performance of ACS NSQIP hospitals in surgical care for geriatric patients using risk-adjusted outcomes. He developed quality improvement strategies for geriatric surgery, including best practice guidelines. Dr. Chow also explored advanced statistical methods for modeling outcomes in ACS NSQIP.

Dr. Chow received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. He completed his graduate engineering studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Chow is a general surgery resident at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has an interest in vascular surgery.

Ryan Merkow, MDRyan Merkow, MD (Presentations and Publications), began his first year as a Clinical Scholar at the ACS in July 2010 after completing three years of general surgery residency at the University of Colorado Denver. As a Clinical Scholar, he worked on several surgical quality improvement initiatives, including developing the ACS NSQIP Procedure Targeted program, the ACS Risk Calculator project, and National Quality Forum initiatives, and worked with the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate and improve bariatric surgical quality in the U.S.

Dr. Merkow completed his undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and medical education at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. He is currently a categorical general surgery resident at the University of Colorado Denver. His career plans and interests are in surgical oncology, surgical outcomes, and health services research.

Haejin In, MD, MBA, MPHHaejin In, MD, MBA, MPH,  joined the ACS as a Clinical Scholar in Resident in November 2012. Her research interests focused on health outcomes research including cost effectiveness, patterns of resource utilization, identification and implementation of best practices, and issues of incentive alignment in medicine with a particular focus in cancer care. Her prior research includes a National Cancer Institute funded postdoctoral fellowship with the Program in Cancer Outcomes Research Training (PCORT) at the Massachusetts General Hospital at which time she worked with the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center and the Center for Outcomes and Policy Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. During her time at the ACS, Haejin explored methods to improve the ACS National Cancer Database (NCDB) and patterns of care in cancer recurrence. 

Dr. In was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, and earned her medical degree from Dongguk University, South Korea. She completed her general surgery residency training at Boston University Medical Center. She also holds a masters in business administration from Boston University and a masters in public health from Harvard University.

Mila Ju, MDMila Ju, MD, joined the ACS Clinical Scholars-in-Residence Program in July 2012 after finishing three years of integrated vascular surgery training at Northwestern University. Her work as a Clinical Scholar involves several surgical quality improvement projects, such as ACS Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program (CUSP) pilot, ACS Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Surgical Care Survey (S-CAHPS) project, and National Quality Forum and Physician Quality Reporting System initiatives development.

Dr. Ju received her MD from the University of Kansas and her bachelors in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She is the first resident to enter the 0-5 Integrated Vascular Surgery residency program at Northwestern in 2009, and will finish her training in 2016.

Jennifer Paruch, MDJennifer Paruch, MD, Jennifer Paruch, MD, began her first year as the Surgical Oncology Scholar-in-Residence at the ACS in July 2012 after completing three years of general surgery residency at the University of Chicago. As a Clinical Scholar, she has worked on several surgical quality improvement initiatives, including the ACS NSQIP Risk Calculator, a review of program accreditation, developing cancer quality measures, and evaluating hospital performance for cancer surgery. 

Dr. Paruch completed her undergraduate education at the University of Chicago and medical education at the University of Michigan. She is currently a categorical general surgery resident at the University of Chicago. Her career plans and interests are in surgical oncology, surgical outcomes, and surgical ethics.

Elliot Asare, MDElliot Asare, MD, is the first American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Clinical Scholar-in-Residence at the ACS. He began his fellowship in July 2013 after completing three years of general surgery residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Asare is currently working on a number of projects with the AJCC, including improving the prognostic ability of TNM stage by incorporating significant non-anatomic factors and working with AJCC staff and technical writers to improve and transform the next AJCC staging manual. He will also be closely engaged with disease site expert panels, evidence-based medicine core and precision medicine core that have been assembled for the upcoming 8th edition of the Cancer Staging Manual.

Dr. Asare completed his undergraduate education at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA, and his medical education at Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC. He is currently a categorical general surgery resident at the Medical College of Wisconsin. His career plans and interests are in surgical oncology, development of cancer survival prognostic tools, and establishing cancer registries in low-income countries.

Sanjay Mohanty, MDSanjay Mohanty, MD, began his first year as the ACS/American Geriatrics Society (AGS) James C. Thompson Geriatrics Surgical Fellow in 2012 after completing two years of general surgery residency at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI. Currently, he is working on several geriatrics-related projects, including developing a set of best practice guidelines for the perioperative care of geriatric patients, determining the risk factors for postdischarge institutionalization following surgery, and understanding the location preferences of patients receiving complex surgical care. He is also participating as a member of an AGS-sponsored panel developing Clinical Practice Guidelines on Postoperative Delirium.

Dr. Mohanty completed his undergraduate education at the University of Michigan and medical education at Indiana University. He is currently a categorical general surgery resident at Henry Ford Hospital. His career interests are in geriatric surgical outcomes, quality improvement, and oncology.

Ravi Rajaram, MDRavi Rajaram, MD, is currently in his second year as the Surgical Oncology Scholar-in-Residence at the College. He is a general surgery resident at Northwestern University and began the fellowship program at the ACS in July 2013. His interest is surgical outcomes and quality improvement research as it relates to general surgery and surgical oncology as well as his career interest, thoracic surgery. His current focus includes evaluating readmission in thoracic surgery, examining use and timing of adjuvant therapy for lung cancer, and developing quality metrics for lung cancer care. Dr. Rajaram completed his undergraduate education at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and his medical education at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN. His future career plans include pursuing a fellowship in thoracic surgery and becoming an academic surgeon with a research platform dedicated to health services and outcomes research.

Elizabeth Berger, MDElizabeth Berger, MD, is a first year ACS Clinical Scholar-in-Residence with a specific interest in breast cancer research and outcomes. She is also a general surgery resident at Loyola University Chicago. She is currently working with the NCDB to evaluate recent trends of nodal dissection in early staged breast cancer after breast conservation and systemic therapy. Additionally, she is interested in the adoption and success of quality measures for improving care in breast cancer and is working closely with the NAPBC to evaluate outcomes of accredited centers. She is also collaborating on a longer-term project that is evaluating the effectiveness of routine surveillance versus symptom-based imaging on the detection of recurrence in breast cancer. Along with her other projects, she is working with Dr. Bilimoria on the Illinois State Quality Improvement Collaborative with a focus on the educational component within each hospital and how to most effectively implement quality and process improvement education. In conjunction with her research at the College, she is completing a master’s degree in Health Services and Outcomes Research at Northwestern University.

Julia Berian, MDJulia Berian, MD, is a current first year ACS Clinical Scholar-in-Residence. She is also a surgical resident at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Dr. Berian received her medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Chicago. Her professional goal is to build an academic career in both surgical practice and clinical research. Her surgical interests lay specifically in gastrointestinal surgery, particularly colorectal cancer treatment, as well as surgical care of the elderly patient. During her research time, she is pursuing a master’s degree in Health Sciences and Outcomes Research through Northwestern University. She will be partnering with the Oncology NSQIP NCI Center Consortium as well as the Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative, and also plans to pursue her interests in Geriatrics research.

Michael Wandling, MDMichael Wandling, MD, is in his first year as an ACS Clinical Scholar-in-Residence and is focusing his research on trauma and emergency surgery. He is also a general surgery resident at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. Specifically, his initial work is focusing on the prehospital transport of gunshot wound victims and the impact it has on morbidity and mortality. He is also studying the posthospital disposition and rehabilitation of severely injured patients, DVT/VTE quality measures in trauma, and the impact of public reporting on clinical outcomes and quality improvement. 

In addition to his research, he is working on the Emergency General Surgery Pilot at the ACS and has an active role in the Illinois State Quality Improvement Collaborative. Dr. Wandling is also a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s Institute of Public Health and Medicine, where he is earning a master’s degree in Health Services and Outcomes Research. He will be pursuing a career in trauma, emergency surgery, and surgical critical care.