University of Wisconsin–Madison

Clinical Information


  • Acute Care Surgery

Carla M. Pugh, MD, PhD, FACS


  • Susan Behrens, MD Professor of Surgical Education
  • Vice Chair, Education and Patient Safety, Department of Surgery
  • Vice Chair, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Department of Surgery
  • Clinical Director, MOC Portfolio Program and UW Health Clinical Simulation Program
  • Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Division of Trauma, Acute Care Surgery, Burn and Surgical Critical Care
  • Divisions of General Surgery
(608) 262-2147

600 Highland Avenue
MC 7375
Madison, WI 53729


  • MD, Howard University College of Medicine, 1992
  • General Surgery Residency, Howard University Hospital, 1992-1997
  • PhD, Stanford University School of Education, 2001
  • Clinical Fellowship in Acute Care Surgery, University of Michigan, 2009


In 2011 Dr. Pugh received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Dr. Pugh is also the developer of several decision-based simulators that are currently being used to assess intra-operative judgment and team skills.

Clinical Specialties

Dr. Pugh is certified by the American Board of Surgery. She specializes in general surgery. She is a member of the Department of Surgery’s Section of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

Research Interests

Dr. Pugh’s research interests concern the use of simulation technology for medical and surgical education assessment. Dr. Pugh holds a method patent on the use of sensor and data acquisition technology to measure and characterize the sense of touch. Currently, more than 100 medical and nursing schools use one of Dr. Pugh’s sensor-enabled training tools for their students and trainees. The use of simulation technology to assess and quantitatively define hands-on clinical skills is one of her major research areas.

Simulation Engineering for Surgical Education (SEnSE) Lab

Recent Publications:

    • Improving diagnosis in healthcare: Local versus national adoption of recommended guidelines for the clinical breast examination.
    • Nathwani JN, Garren A, Laufer S, Kwan C, Pugh CM
    • Am. J. Surg. 2017 Dec 05;
    • [PubMed ID: 29229379]
    • The hands and head of a surgeon: Modeling operative competency with multimodal epistemic network analysis.
    • Ruis AR, Rosser AA, Quandt-Walle C, Nathwani JN, Shaffer DW, Pugh CM
    • Am. J. Surg. 2017 Dec 02;
    • [PubMed ID: 29224911]
    • Faculty perceptions of resident skills decay during dedicated research fellowships.
    • D'Angelo AD, D'Angelo JD, Rogers DA, Pugh CM
    • Am. J. Surg. 2017 Nov 14;
    • [PubMed ID: 29169821]
    • Modeling Surgical Technical Skill Using Expert Assessment for Automated Computer Rating.
    • Azari DP, Frasier LL, Quamme SRP, Greenberg CC, Pugh CM, Greenberg JA, Radwin RG
    • Ann. Surg. 2017 Sep 06;
    • [PubMed ID: 28885509]
    • Residents' response to bleeding during a simulated robotic surgery task.
    • Walker JL, Nathwani JN, Mohamadipanah H, Laufer S, Jocewicz FF, Gwillim E, Pugh CM
    • J. Surg. Res. 2017 Dec; 220: 385-390
    • [PubMed ID: 29180207]

All Publications on PubMed