Juan A. Sanchez, MD, MPA

Juan A. Sanchez


Chair, Department of Surgery

Designated ACGME Institutional Official


Juan is a physician executive with a record of leading successful, team-based initiatives focused on improving patient care. Drawing on several decades of experience, he has developed a broad range of skills at the nexus of clinical medicine and organizational dynamics. He leads through mutual respect, trust, and accountability, creating an environment of collaboration, adaptability in the face of change, and by promoting a culture of continuous improvement. Dr. Sanchez has steered quality improvement initiatives using contemporary strategies to prevent patient harm, improve clinical operations, and provide high-quality healthcare. He has much experience leading interdisciplinary teams to transform surgical care using patient-centered design approaches incorporating innovative business practices and digital technology.

As a recognized authority on patient safety, high-reliability, and organizational effectiveness, Dr. Sanchez lectures widely on a variety of related topics to create ultra-safe clinical environments. For over a decade, he has developed and refined test items for the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination and was a founding member of the National Board of Medical Examiner’s Patient Safety Taskforce. In addition, he has served on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award Program administered by the National Bureau of Standards and Technology of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He serves on the Guidelines Advisory Board of the Association for perioperative Nurses (AORN).

As a cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Sanchez led award-winning open-heart surgery teams to achieve outstanding clinical results. He has been recognized as a Top Doctor in Connecticut and the New York Metro Area for many consecutive years and was named to Best Doctors in America. Dr. Sanchez has been acknowledged for leadership and service with various awards, including the Bosomworth Quality Award from the University of Kentucky, for his work on clinical practice guidelines in cardiac surgery. He has directed ground-breaking research focused on protecting the heart against oxidative stress resulting in commercialized intellectual property assets. In addition to several books, he has authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles published in high-impact professional journals.

Dr. Sanchez has held academic appointments at leading institutions, attaining tenure and the rank of Full Professor for his well-established professional reputation and impactful scholarly work. A member of several prestigious societies, he serves on many national committees, study groups, and philanthropic boards. He has served as President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and as Vice-Chair of the College’s Committee on Perioperative Care. He also serves on the Editorial Board of the Physician Leadership Journal, among many other academic activities.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Dr. Sanchez completed a Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami and earned his medical degree at the University of Florida as well as a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University where he was a Kennedy Scholar and the Alley-Sheridan Scholar-in-Residence. He completed residencies in surgery and in cardiothoracic surgery at Georgetown and Yale Universities and served a postdoctoral fellowship at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.