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Portrait of Carla M. Pugh, MD, PhD, FACS
Carla Pugh, MD, PhD


Carla Pugh, MD, PhD, Susan Behrens, MD Professor of Surgical Education and Vice Chair, Education and Patient Safety in the Department of Surgery, was recently selected to receive a Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award. The award provides $100,000 in flexible research funds over the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years.

Dr. Pugh is an expert in improving surgical and medical training through innovative research. Her programs combine sensors and medical simulation technology to measure doctors’ hands-on skills. Recently, her team discovered a significant, linear relationship between doctors’ touch skills and diagnostic accuracy. The ultimate goal of her work is to use technology to quantify doctors’ skills and provide detailed, individualized feedback to shorten the learning curve. Dr. Pugh is the clinical director of the UW Health Clinical Simulation Program and directs the Simulation Engineering for Surgical Education (SEnSE) lab, were engineers, computer scientists, surgeons and educators collaborate to build, test and implement innovative, provider-centric performance measurement technology. Support from the Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award will support Dr. Pugh’s project “Validation of Wearable Force Sensors for High-Stakes Skills Assessment of the Clinical Breast Exam.”

The Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award is a campus-wide award that recognizes research and teaching excellence. It is supported by the estate of professor, Senator and Regent William F. Vilas (1840-1908).

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