Dr. Michel S. Makaroun elected president of SVS

CHICAGO, Ill., July 1, 2018 – Vascular surgeon Dr. Michel S. Makaroun was elected president of the Society for Vascular Surgery at its annual meeting in June. He will serve in this role for one year. Dr. Makaroun is a professor and chair of vascular surgery and of clinical and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh and co-director of UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute. He has served as SVS president-elect for the previous 12 months.

A native of Lebanon, Dr. Makaroun earned his medical degree and spent his first three years of residency at the American University of Beirut before joining the training program at the University Health Center of Pittsburgh in 1980. He joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1986.

As president, his top priority will be to address the thorny issue of the impending shortage of vascular surgeons. A recent survey of SVS members found that 55 percent of respondents were over age 55 and nearly half were already making retirement plans.

Vascular disease tends to afflict older Americans, and the vascular surgeon shortage will occur just as some 65 million Baby Boomers enter the age group that suffers most from vascular disease.

“Our vascular residencies and fellowships are turning out about 160 new surgeons a year, but our health economists predict this will be woefully inadequate and will result in a reduction of surgeons trained to deliver vascular care in the US as the older generation retires,” Dr. Makaroun said. “This is complicated by a maldistribution of the workforce to urban centers and the North East.”

Dr. Makaroun, developed both fellowship and residency training programs in Pittsburgh graduating four new surgeons per year, and along with previous SVS president, Dr. Richard Cambria, has worked to increase the number of vascular surgery training positions in the U.S.

Dr. Makaroun has been active in the SVS in a variety of roles since 1997 and most recently has served on the executive, international relations, membership and document oversight committees. He is a distinguished fellow of the SVS and served as secretary from 2013-2016.

He has held over 40 visiting professor or honorary lecture positions and has authored or co-authored 225 refereed publications and 60 book chapters. He has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous grant-funded projects.

Dr. Makaroun and his wife, Silva, who is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Pittsburgh, have two adult children, both physicians. Their son Sami is on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in the division of maternal fetal medicine. His daughter Lena also recently joined the University of Pittsburgh and the VA medical center in the division of Geriatric Medicine.

Vascular surgeons focus on the health of all arteries and veins of the human body except for the heart and the intracranial vessels. They treat both aneurysmal degeneration as well as narrowed and occluded arteries such as those causing peripheral artery disease and carotid artery disease. They also manage venous problems including deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary emboli and varicose veins. Vascular surgeons are highly trained in medical management, as well as endovascular interventions and complex open surgery when needed.