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Samuel A. Tisherman, MD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:



R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, P1G01

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

I received my undergraduate degree in Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. I then completed medical school at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1985.  I stayed in Pittsburgh and completed a general surgery residency in 1993 and a surgical critical care fellowship in 1994 at the University Health Center of Pittsburgh.


I was a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh from 1994-2014, where I was promoted to Professor with tenure in the Departments of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery in 2009. I served as Director of the Neurotrauma ICU, Director of the Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowships, and Director of the Multidisciplinary Critical Care Training Program. I was awarded membership in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Academy of Master Educators.

My research has focused on the management of severe hemorrhagic shock and cardiac arrest, with a special interest in therapeutic hypothermia. Along with Drs. Peter Safar and Pat Kochanek, I have worked on the development of Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation (EPR), a novel approach to the management of the exsanguinating trauma patient utilizing hypothermia to "buy time" for resuscitative surgery. I am currently conducting a clinical trial of EPR with the RA Cowley Shock Trauma Center as the coordinating center for the study.

Within the Center for Critical Care and Trauma Education, we are expanding the educational programs within the Shock Trauma Center and the University of Maryland Medical System. This includes the development of novel simulation programs to train multi-professional teams in the optimal management of the most critically ill and injured patients. With funding from the Department of Defense, we are also studying trauma surgical skill retention and refresher techniques.

Research/Clinical Keywords

hemorrhagic shock, cardiac arrest, therapeutic hypothermia, education, surgical skill, simulation

Highlighted Publications


Bulger EM, May S, Brasel KJ, Schreiber M, Kerby JD, Tisherman SA, Newgard C, Slutsky A, Coimbra R, Emerson S, Minei JP, Bardarson B, Kudenchuk P, Baker A, Christenson J, Idris A, Davis D, Fabian TC, Aufderheide TP, Callaway C, Williams C, Banek J, Vaillancourt C, van Heest R, Sopko G, Hata JS, Hoyt DB, ROC Investigators: Out-of-hospital hypertonic resuscitation following severe traumatic brain injury: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2010;304:1455-64.

Tisherman SA, Alam HB, Chiu WC, Emlet LL, Grossman MD, Luchette FA, Marcolini EG, Mayglothling JA: Surgical critical care training for emergency physicians: Curriculum recommendations. J Amer Coll Surg. 2013;217:954-959. 

Tisherman SA, Schmicker RH, Brasel KJ, Bulger EM, Kerby JD, Minei JP, Powell JL, Reiff DA, Rizoli SB, Schreiber MA: Detailed description of all deaths in both the shock and traumatic brain injury hypertonic saline trials of the resuscitation outcomes consortium. Ann Surg. 2015;261(3):586-90. 

Schreiber MA, Meier EN, Tisherman SA, Kerby J, Newgard C, Brasel K, Egan D, Witham W, Williams C, Daya M, Beeson J, McCully BH, Wheeler S, Kannas D, May S,  McKnight B, Hoyt DB, and the ROC Investigators: A controlled resuscitation strategy is feasible and safe in hypotensive trauma patients: Results of a prospective randomized pilot trial. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015;78(4):687-97. 

Kutcher ME, Forsythe RM, Tisherman SA: Emergency preservation and resuscitation for cardiac arrest from trauma. Int J Surg. 2016;33(Pt B):209-212.

Research Interests

  1. Development of strategies to improve long-term survival from prolonged uncontrolled hemorrhagic shock, with a particular interest in hypothermia.
  2. Development of hypothermic and pharmacologic strategies to enable emergency preservation for the exsanguinated trauma patient for transport and delayed resuscitation.
  3. Advanced resuscitation techniques for victims of refractory cardiac arrest, including cardiopulmonary bypass and open-chest cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  4. Use of simulation to teach crisis management skills.
  5. Trauma surgical technique evaluation, retention, and refreshing.

Clinical Specialty Details

My clinical specialty is surgical critical care. As Director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, I am involved in quality improvement initiatives focused on cardiac resuscitation, airway emergencies, and family-centered rounds.

Awards and Affiliations

2000 Shubin-Weil Award for Excellence in the Teaching and Ethical Practice of Critical Care Medicine, Society of Critical Care Medicine

2006 Asmund S. Laerdal Memorial Lecture Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine 

2006 Clinical Preceptor of the Year, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine          

2009 Lifetime Achievement Award in Trauma Resuscitation Science, American Heart Association Resuscitation Science Symposium

2012 Best trauma abstract, American Heart Association Resuscitation Science Symposium

2014 Ake N. Grenvik, MD, PhD, Faculty of the Year, Multidisciplinary Critical Care Training Program, University of Pittsburgh

2014 Multidisciplinary Critical Care Training Program Hall of Fame

2016 Distinguished Service Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine

Grants and Contracts

2016-present (PI: 5%): “Emergency Refreshing of Combat Surgical Skills”. US Army Medical Research & Materiel Command, BA150808.

2007-present (Local PI: 10%): “Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation for Cardiac Arrest from Trauma (EPR-CAT)”,                        Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, US Army, W81XWH-07-1-0682.

Professional Activity

Society of Critical Care Medicine, Council member, 2016-present.

Surgical Critical Care Program Directors Society, President-elect, 2014-2016. President, 2016-present.

Trauma, Burns, and Critical Care Board of the American Board of Surgery, Member, 2015-present.