Garrett Salzman, MD

Garrett Salzman, MD

General Surgery
(VA Scholar)

MD  USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Residency – General Surgery, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

Biography: Dr. Garrett Salzman, a general surgery resident at UCLA, is interested in perioperative risk stratification and improving perioperative outcomes for older adults undergoing surgery.

During fellowship, Dr. Salzman published several co-authored peer reviewed papers. His most recent co-authored publication, “The Association of Frailty with Outcomes for Older Adults Undergoing Appendectomy” was published in The American Surgeon in May 2022. He has worked closely with UCLA Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on projects aimed at improving surgical care for older adult patients. His main project with the VA was entitled “The Association of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Housing Insecurity with General Surgery Outcomes in Veteran Patients.” This project, which was inspired by his work in the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center Emergency Department, focused on identifying characteristics of at-risk Veteran patients undergoing general surgery operations.

Dr. Salzman’s main fellowship research project is entitled “Differential Weighting of the 5-Item Modified Frailty Components Across General Surgery Operations and Outcomes.” Under the guidance of several NCSP mentors, he utilized advanced statistical methods to demonstrate that publicly available frailty metrics were being inappropriately applied as one-size-fits-all metrics across all operations and outcome types. Notably, this project determined that one single comorbidity was enough to classify certain older adults as frail, when it was previously thought that two or three diagnoses were required. Additionally, this project demonstrated that functional dependence, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease confer a risk of perioperative complications that is more than 30-times greater than that of hypertension or diabetes. His multidisciplinary mentorship team included Dr. Marcia Russell (WLA VA/UCLA), Dr. Melinda Maggard Gibbons (UCLA), Dr. Clifford Ko (UCLA), Dr. Debra Saliba (WLA VA/UCLA), and Dr. Nick Jackson (UCLA).

Additionally, Dr. Salzman worked with UCLA Health to develop an enhanced recovery pathway for patients undergoing colon and rectal surgery at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. He also worked with the American College of Surgeons to develop content for their Quality Improvement Course. Dr. Salzman also obtained the Master of Science, Health Policy and Management (Emphasis in Implementation Science) in 2021.

Dr. Salzman completed his fellowship clinical work in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center. In 2022-2023 he will continue his general surgery residency at UCLA. He aspires to work on research aimed at improving surgical outcomes for older adults. Upon the completion of residency, Dr. Salzman plans on completing an additional fellowship in Surgical Critical Care and Trauma Surgery.