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In Conversation with

Dr James Chang

Dr. James Chang is currently the Johnson & Johnson Distinguished Professor and Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University.

         Dr. Chang graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences with joint degrees in Biology and Economics.  He spent a year with Volunteers in Asia as a lecturer in English at the Beijing University of Science and Technology in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.  Following this, he graduated from Yale Medical School with Alpha Omega Alpha and Cum Laude honors.  From 1991 to 1993, he was a Sarnoff Laboratory Research Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.  He then completed a residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center and a Hand & Microsurgery Fellowship at U.C.L.A. Medical Center. 

         He has spent the majority of his career at Stanford where he is currently Professor of Plastic Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center.  He is also an Attending Surgeon at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where he serves as Director of the Plastic and Hand Surgery Laboratory. His laboratory work involves translating tissue engineering concepts to reconstruction of tendon and bone in mutilated extremities.  His clinical work focuses on complex microsurgical reconstruction of the hand.

         Dr. Chang is the Hand Surgery volume editor for Converse’s Plastic Surgery, the authoritative six-volume textbook.  He was the Royal College of Surgeons Foundation traveling fellow and was awarded the 2006 Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellowship by the ASSH. Dr. Chang was the Vice-Chair of the Plastic Surgery Residency Review Committee of the ACGME and a Secretary/Treasurer of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  In these positions, Dr. Chang has been very involved in the training and certification of plastic surgeons and hand surgeons on the national level.  He was elected to the American Surgical Association in 2010.  In 2018, Dr. Chang was President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

          Dr. Chang teaches at Stanford on many levels.  His popular sophomore seminar, Surgical Anatomy of the Hand: From Rodin to Reconstruction, is the focal point of an exhibit at the Cantor Art Center in 2014.  He has mentored over 45 Stanford medical students and is very involved in the training of plastic surgery residents and hand fellows.  As C.M.O. of ReSurge (formerly Interplast), Dr. Chang manages the service and educational programs of this charitable organization that delivers reconstructive surgery to the underserved throughout the world.


         He is married to Dr. Harriet Walker Roeder, a psychiatrist.  They live on Stanford campus with their three daughters, Julia, Kathleen, and Cecilia.  In his spare time, Jim enjoys traveling, flyfishing, cycling, watching baseball, and drinking his friends’ expensive wines.

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