About the Dean

John Fildes

John Fildes, M.D., FACS, FCCM, FPCS (Hon)


Dr. John Fildes is an internationally renowned trauma surgeon, researcher, educator and administrator in the fields of medicine and medical education.

A professor and inaugural chair of the UNLV School of Medicine Department of Surgery, Dr. Fildes delivered the 2019 keynote address at the 48th World Congress of Surgery in Poland.

Dr. Fildes’ research has appeared in 64-peer-reviewed publications, including the American Journal of Surgery, the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Critical Care Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Journal of Surgical Research, Cancer Medicine, and Circulatory Shock.

In August 2019 Dr. Fildes was appointed UNLV School of Medicine Dean by UNLV President Marta Meana.

Under Dr. Fildes’ guidance, University Medical Center, the main training hospital for the school of medicine, has become a national leader in trauma medicine. Of those who arrive alive at the trauma center where he has served as medical director -- many patients have less than a 1 percent chance to live – 96 percent survive and are discharged.

Dr. Fildes established the nation’s first acute care surgery fellowship program at UMC.

An honors graduate of Union College in Schenectady, NY, Fildes graduated with high honors from the medical school at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. He completed a residency and fellowship in general surgery at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in New York City and a fellowship in surgical critical care, burns and trauma at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

In the early 1990s Dr. Fildes became so respected for trauma work in Chicago that he became president of the Chicago Metropolitan Trauma Society and earned leadership roles in Chicago  with the American College of Surgeons.  He moved to Nevada in 1996 to become head of the UMC Trauma Center.

In the wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., Dr. Fildes was asked to testify before the U.S. Senate on the readiness of the nation’s trauma centers. He became national chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma in 2006.

After the Oct. 1, 2017 mass shooting on the Strip that took the lives of 58 people and wounded more than 800, President Donald Trump commended Dr. Fildes and his surgical team.

Dr. Fildes hopes to establish or grow several different kinds of specialty programs through the UNLV School of Medicine, including a liver transplant center, comprehensive oncology treatment for cancer and an expanded pediatric surgery program.