UNLV today announced that Dr. John Fildes will become the interim dean for the School of Medicine, effective Sept. 1, 2019. He will serve in the role as the university continues a national search for the next dean.
Dr. Fildes is stepping in for UNLV School of Medicine Founding Dean Barbara Atkinson, who will transition from dean into an advisory leadership role with the school.
“John is an exceptional leader and brilliant physician, and he has been a key member of Barbara’s team since day one,” UNLV President Marta Meana said. “As our inaugural chair of the Department of Surgery, he prepares our state’s future doctors with the knowledge and skills to help the most critical of patient needs. Our School of Medicine is in very capable hands.”
Since joining the UNLV School of Medicine in July 2017, Dr. Fildes has been nationally recognized. He received a Trauma Achievement Award at the 2018 annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. This award recognized his "exceptionally meritorious service as a member of the Regional Committee on Trauma," during the medical response after the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting in Las Vegas.
“Dr. John Fildes is a wonderful choice to serve as interim dean,” Dr. Atkinson said. “He’s an outstanding surgeon and widely respected, not only in Nevada but by the healthcare community across the nation. His years of experience successfully running the trauma program here and his leadership of one of our largest departments will serve him well.”
Dr. Fildes said his priority as interim dean would be to continue managing growth and ensuring students and residents receive top-notch training.
“I am honored to champion Dean Atkinson’s vision for the school going forward,” he said. “Under her leadership, we are indeed creating a world-class center of excellence and innovation for medical education, patient care and research – a school that prepares Nevada’s physicians for serving the healthcare needs of our diverse urban community.”
In addition to his role with UNLV, Dr. Fildes has worked for years with University Medical Center (UMC) Southern Nevada, a Level I trauma center, where he served as medical director and chair of the Department of Trauma and Burns since 1996. He established the first fellowship in Acute Care Surgery in the nation approved by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.
Since Dr. Fildes arrived at UMC – the main training hospital for the UNLV School of Medicine – it has become one of the national leaders in trauma care. Of those who arrive at the trauma center – many with less than a 1 percent chance to live – an incredible 96 percent survive and are discharged.
At the UNLV School of Medicine, Dr. Fildes has prepared active duty military physicians through general surgery and emergency medicine residencies. Dr. Fildes collaborated and led the efforts to establish the Sustainment of Trauma and Resuscitation Skills Program and the Sustained Medical and Readiness Training programs to train attending surgeons and medical personnel for battlefield medicine.
Dr. Fildes is a past chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, and will serve as the keynote speaker during the annual International Society of Surgeons conference next week in Poland.
Dr. Fildes also has worked alongside active duty military as a civilian senior visiting surgeon and consultant with the U.S. Air Force at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and on Bagram and Kandahar Air Bases in Afghanistan in 2008.