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Joseph Shrager

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center

Contact Information

  • Clinical Offices
    Cardiothoracic Surgery 300 Pasteur Dr CVRB MC 5407 Stanford, CA 94305
    Tel Work (650) 721-2086 Fax (650) 724-6259
  • Academic Offices
    Personal Information
    Tel (650) 721-2086
    Not for medical emergencies or patient use

Professional Overview


Dr. Shrager assumed the role of Professor and Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery in July 2008. He came to Stanford from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he served as Associate Professor and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Hospital. He earned his medical degree at Harvard, trained in surgery at Penn, and completed his thoracic surgery training at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Shrager has been identified as one of “America’s Top Doctors” and one of “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer” in Castle Connolly’s prestigious listings for multiple years running. Dr. Shrager has been awarded US News and World Report “Top Doctor” recognition in every year since that rating system was inaugurated in 2012 ; this award places him among the top 1% of thoracic surgeons nationwide based upon reviews by physician-peers. Evidence of his expert status among his peers also includes membership on the editorial board of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Shrager practices all aspects of thoracic surgery but has specials interest and experience in lung cancer, surgery for emphysema, and mediastinal diseases. His clinical publications reflect these interests. In all cases, he looks towards minimally invasive approaches where appropriate, including VATS (thoracoscopic) lobectomy for early stage lung cancer and transcervical thymectomy.

In the basic research realm, Dr. Shrager has focused upon the responses of the respiratory muscles to various disease states and interventions. His lab’s work has been published in important journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Clinical Focus

  • Cancer> Thoracic Oncology
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery
  • Lung Cancer
  • Thymoma
  • Esophageal Cancer
View All 20clinical focus of Joseph Shrager

Administrative Appointments

  • Physician Leader Thoracic Oncology DMG, Stanford Cancer Center (2010 - present)
  • Chief, Stanford Division of Thoracic Surgery (2008 - present)
  • Chief, Section of General Thoracic Surgery, UPenn (2003 - 2007)
  • Editorial Board Member, Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2001 - present)
  • Member, AATS Workforce on Education (2008 - present)
  • Member, STS Workforce on Evidence-based Surgery (2006 - present)
View All 7administrative appointments of Joseph Shrager

Honors and Awards

  • Elected Member, American Surgical Association (2010)
  • Elected Member, Society of Clinical Surgery (2008)
  • "Top Doctors" Listing, “America’s Top Doctors” - peer elected (2007,08,09,10,11,12)
  • "Top Doctors" Listing, “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer -- peer-elected (2006,07,08 09 10 11 12)
  • Elected Member, American Association for Thoracic Surgery (2002)
  • “Top Docs” Listing, Philadelphia Magazine (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007)
View All 18honors and awards of Joseph Shrager

Professional Education

Medical Education: Harvard Medical School MA (1988)
Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital MA (1997)
Board Certification: Thoracic Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery (1999)
Residency: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania PA (1995)
Thoracic Surgery: Massachusetts General Hospital, Thoracic Surgery (1997)
Surgery Training: Hospital of the Univ of Penn, Surgery (1995)
View All 7



Graduate and Fellowship Program Affiliations

Scientific Focus

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

In clinical research, Dr. Shrager has been an innovator studying outcomes in a variety of areas within Thoracic Surgery including: parenchyma-sparing operations and minimally invasive resections for lung cancer, transcervical thymectomy for myasthenia gravis, and surgical treatment of emphysema.

In the lab, Dr. Shrager is focused on the impact of disease states upon the diaphragm. His group published the seminal paper (NEJM) describing diaphragm atrophy assoc'd with mechanical ventilation.


Publication tag cloud

Publication Topics

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