A gift to the Department of Surgery helps our physicians and scientists find new treatments and cures for serious diseases.
Scot H. Merrick, M.D. is Chief of the Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Helen and Charles Schwab Distinguished Professor in Surgery.
Dr. Merrick received his M.D. with Honors from the
University of Washington School of Medicine and completed his
General Surgery and Cardiothoracic residencies at the University of
California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Merrick is certified by the
American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery and
American Board of Surgery, Surgical Critical Care. His special
interest is in surgery of the mitral valve and he is one of the
leading experts in homograft mitral valve replacement and mitral
Dr. Merrick is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Surgeons. He is an active member of the Northern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Western Thoracic Surgical Society, Naffziger Surgical Society, San Francisco Surgical Society, Pacific Coast Surgical Association, Club Mitrale, Bay Area Thoracic Surgeons and the American Heart Association. In addition, Dr. Merrick has served on the Emergency Cardiac Care Committee of the American College of Cardiology and on the program committee of the Western Thoracic Surgical Association. Highly respected by his peers, Dr. Merrick was named to the list of U.S. News "America's Top Doctors," a distinction reserved for the top 1% of physicians in the nation for a given specialty.
Suitulaga "Sugi" Hunkin has been overweight most of his life. He attributes that to his love of food and his Samoan ancestry. Because of his size, he also had trouble breathing and experienced irregular heartbeat - symptoms his doctors diagnosed as heart disease called cardiomyopathy, which usually leads to heart failure...........He needed heart transplantation surgery to replace his failing heart, but before that could happen, he needed to lose at least 100 pounds. "If a patient is very obese, he bears a lot of risks and complications, inter-operatively as well as post-operatively," said Georg Wieselthaler. M.D., Professor of Surgery of UC San Francisco's Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery, and director and surgical chief of the UCSF Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support. "And therefore it's absolutely favorable for patients to try and have a body mass index of below 35 before going into a complex operation."
Hunkin chose UCSF to help him with his heart failure. Its pioneering Cardiothoracic Surgery program, now led by Scot H. Merrick, M.D., was established 50 years ago by chair Leon Goldman, MD, and Benson Roe, M.D. The Heart and Lung Transplant Program has historically had high one-year survival outcomes among academic surgery programs nationally. To help Hunkin stay alive, Wieselthaler installed a ventricular assist device (VAD), a mechanical device that helps a failing heart pump blood. The VAD allowed Hunkin stay alive, but it did not help him lose weight. *Excerpt above adapted from UCSF News
In its most recent survey, U.S. News in collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. listed twenty-five (25) surgeons in the UCSF Department of Surgery, nearly one-third (1/3) of the clinical faculty, on the list of U.S. News "Top Doctors". The list, compiled from the opinion of colleagues, denotes the top 10% of physicians within a region practicing a given specialty. Fifteen of the 25 department surgeons were also named by their peers to the list of America's Top Doctors (ATD), a distinction reserved for the top 1% of physicians in the nation for that specialty. The listings are published online at U.S. News. The group rankings are intended to guide patients in selecting a doctor and physicians in making specialty referrals.