Skip to main content


Richard H. Feins, M.D., professor of surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is one of three 2013 winners of the Distinguished Academic Achievement Award at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

The award, recognizing outstanding scientific or academic achievement, was presented May 31, 2013, during the medical school’s alumni reunion.

Dr. Feins, a 1973 graduate of the University of Vermont medical school, trained in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., where he served on the faculty until 2005. He then joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a thoracic surgeon and professor of surgery.

Dr. Feins has been a national leader in education of future thoracic surgeons and in simulation-based training for surgery residents. He is principal investigator of a three-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Improved patient safety by simulator based training in cardiac surgery) that is studying whether use of surgery simulators improves training of cardiothoracic surgery residents and leads to better patient safety. Seven other institutions (Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mayo Clinic, University of Rochester, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Washington) are participating in the study along with UNC. The study is now in its third year.

Dr. Feins has served as a director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and as its chair from 2007 to 2009. He also has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Joint Council for Surgical Education, the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, and the General Thoracic Surgery Club.

He is co-director of the national Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident Boot Camp, held in Chapel Hill each summer to train incoming cardiothoracic surgery residents.