exterior of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington MA

Stepping Into the Home of Surgical Innovation

Meet Dr. Steven Stain, Chair of Surgery

Steven Stain, MD has known fellow surgeons who practiced at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center for many years. And he knew Lahey’s reputation for surgical excellence and focus on patients, first and foremost. While stepping into the academic medical center that has been home to giants of surgery since Lahey Clinic was founded, he is focusing on opportunities to elevate Lahey nationally.

Dr. Stain joined LHMC in January 2021 as Chair of the Department of Surgery, ready to apply his expertise to the department and Lahey’s leadership team. “Lahey was built for taking care of patients, with the clinics, patient floors, operating rooms, and physician offices in close proximity,” he said. “It is designed to provide the best care for patients while, for everyone who works here, creating the best opportunity to take the best care of patients. That’s an exciting thing to be a part of!”

A nationally recognized hepatobiliary surgeon, professor, and researcher, Dr. Stain most recently served as Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Department of Surgery at Albany Medical College for 15 years. Prior to that, he was Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Department of Surgery at Meharry Medical College and Professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, both in Nashville, Tennessee. As a longtime member and current board member of the American College of Surgeons, he has been involved in national quality and safety initiatives implemented broadly across the country.

He points to four areas of focus as he begins his work at Lahey: training the next generations of surgeons; sharpening the focus on academic research and publications in peer-reviewed journals; increasing the volume of operations performed at LHMC, and developing his own surgical practice.

“Lahey has an incredible legacy,” Dr. Stain said. “I want to bring a scholarly approach to solving problems by encouraging surgeons to analyze their clinical experience to enable them to learn and then write about the abundant operative volume present here at Lahey. When you work within an active academic environment, it sharpens you.” Dr. Stain is committed to creating a culture that encourages surgeons, residents, and fellows to conduct more research and publish their findings. In addition to contributing to the broader medical community, this will further elevate the hospital’s reputation, thereby attracting the best medical students to complete their residencies and fellowships at Lahey.

“Being part of a surgeon’s training is the most gratifying part of my work,” Dr. Stain said. “What I am most proud of is helping point people in the direction of their careers, and seeing them establish themselves. Many of my trainees are professors of medicine now.”

While mentoring and training residents and fellows is Dr. Stain’s greatest passion, taking care of patients, will always be the most enjoyable aspect of his wide-ranging work. Dr. Stain relishes building relationships with patients and is looking forward to being part of Lahey’s general surgery and trauma teams. “There are exceptional surgeons here, and I can’t wait to be part of the teams going into the operating room again,” he said.

Early in his new role, Dr. Stain is laying the groundwork for increasing the volume of surgeries performed at Lahey. This will enable our expert surgeons to treat more patients and provide trainees with more learning and research opportunities. He has begun to meet with OR nurses as well as nursing leaders, including Chief Nursing Officer Tracy Galvin, RN, to plan for increased staffing. “Without the nurses, our work is for naught,” he said.