Meet Dr. Michael Choti
Chair of the Department of Surgery
- Holder of the:
- Hall and Mary Lucile Shannon Distinguished Chair in Surgery
Michael Choti, M.D., M.B.A., is one of the world’s foremost authorities on gastrointestinal cancers, including pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat diseases there is. After 21 years at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he agreed to take the helm of the UT Southwestern Department of Surgery.
“UT Southwestern already has a tremendous legacy, particularly as it relates to science and serving the community, and it’s clearly on its way to being one of the top academic medical centers in the country,” he says. “I joined UT Southwestern both to be part of that and to help lead an already historically renowned department into its next phase. It’s a tremendous challenge, yes, but also an unrivaled opportunity.”
Dr. Choti says his vision as Chair is four-pronged: “(1) to ensure that patient care at UT Southwestern is comparable to the best care anywhere in the country and the world; (2) to significantly strengthen discovery and research in the Department of Surgery; (3) to further cultivate what is already the largest surgery training program in the country; and (4) to help develop more emphasis on serving the community and region. As the principal academic medical center in the region, I think that’s an obligation of ours.”
In terms of discovery and growth, UT Southwestern is the place to be. The resources, the talent, and the motivation are here, allowing us to offer the highest-quality, leading edge care for our patients.”
Being in a position to serve the community is, in fact, part of what attracted Dr. Choti to the field of medicine and led him to pursue his degree at the Yale University School of Medicine three decades ago.
“My general philosophy in life is to strive to help somebody every day and to learn something every day, and this is a profession that naturally allows one to do that,” he says. “It’s a job that makes you feel like you’re really making a difference. There’s nothing more rewarding.”
In addition to his administrative leadership and educational duties as Chair and Professor in the Department of Surgery, Dr. Choti is maintaining his active clinical practice and his cancer research.
“I think that as a leader of a clinical department, particularly one like surgery, it’s critical to have a strong footprint as a clinician,” he says. “A hospital has so many components, and having an active practice allows you to really have a very good pulse on the performance of the institution and the department.”
Dr. Choti acknowledges that balancing the various demands of his roles at UT Southwestern is a challenge, but he adds it’s one that he’s up for.