Las Vegas Sun

January 24, 2022

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Surgeon named interim dean of UNLV School of Medicine

Dr. John Fildes has been named interim dean for the UNLV School of Medicine, effective Sept. 1, the university announced today. He will serve in the role as the university continues a national search for the next dean, officials said.

Fildes replaces the school’s founding Dean Barbara Atkinson, who will transition 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 1,” UNLV President Marta Meana said in a statement. “Our School of Medicine is in very capable hands.”

Fildes, who joined the UNLV School of Medicine in July 2017, is the inaugural chair of the school’s department of surgery.

Atkinson called him 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.”

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,” Fildes 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, Fildes has worked for years with University Medical Center, a Level I trauma center, where he has served as medical director and chair of the department of trauma and burns since 1996.

At the UNLV School of Medicine, Fildes has prepared active-duty military physicians through general surgery and emergency medicine residencies.

He has worked 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.