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The Chief: Robert McLafferty, MD, MBA, FACS

Updated: Feb 6

Robert B. McLafferty, MD, MBA grew up in Maine and did his undergraduate studies in Biology at Boston College. He then attended the University of Vermont, School of Medicine and from there went to Oregon Health & Science University to complete a residency in General Surgery and fellowship in Vascular Surgery. He joined the faculty in the Division of Vascular Surgery at Southern Illinois University in Springfield, Illinois where he participated in a robust academic surgery practice for 15 years and rose to the rank of Professor of Surgery in 8 years. He came back to OHSU and joined the Vascular Surgery Division as Professor of Surgery 2013 and is also the Medical Director of the Wound and Hyperbaric Center. From 2013 to 2019, he served the Chief of Surgery for the Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, one of the largest in the VA system. During that time, he obtained a Healthcare MBA from the combined program of Portland State University and OHSU. Dr. McLafferty is internationally known amongst his peers in vascular surgery. He is Distinguished Fellow in the Society for Vascular Surgery and a Past-President of the American Venous Forum, the Society of Clinical Vascular Surgery and the Vascular Disease Foundation. He directs a national conference entitled Modern Wound Care Management. Aside from his passion for medicine, he is an avid dad, musician, yogi, fitness geek, cook, traveler and loves all things outdoors.

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Dr. McLafferty’s Prescription for Success:

Number 1: Listen more, ask questions, talk less.

Number 2: If you want something in medicine, and maybe anything in life, YOU have to lead it.

Number 3: Coaches and mentors are very important, and you should not be afraid to ask them for help.

Number 4: Never stop learning in a formal way

Number 5: Be present. Opportunities are always around the corner.

Number 6: Take time for yourself.

Connect with Dr. McLafferty:

Dr. McLafferty on Twitter Dr. McLafferty’s Music on YouTube Email Dr. Mclafferty at

Notable quotes from Dr. McLafferty’s interview:

I just really really wanted to go to medical school. I was consumed by it at the time.
It’s incredibly ironic how these twists and turns in life take you. I think we gravitate towards people that we tend to identify with from a personality trait basis.
You can work hard, play hard, and relax hard.
It’s funny. You knock on the door, and kind of share your thoughts with someone, and before you know it, they are making you the medical director.
You want to take something to the finish line, you got to be ready for some steps backwards
Collaboration always pays off. Always.

Access the Show Transcript Here

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