Charting the Path Forward

faculty 2022

The Department of Surgery’s clinical programs are recognized for excellence across a broad spectrum of surgical services for the treatment of highly complex diseases and are comprised of dedicated surgical innovators who are committed to advancing discoveries that are transforming patient care and health outcomes.


Over the past several years, the department has focused on strategic growth and recruitment, bringing world-class faculty to MUSC. With a 40% increase in our surgical providers over the past seven years, MUSC’s Department of Surgery has grown to meet the clinical needs of the community.  Throughout this growth, our commitment to our patients remains resolute. With ten clinical divisions and countless multidisciplinary collaborations, we provide leading-edge care to thousands of patients each year.


With 17 new faculty recruited in the past two years and clinic expansion throughout the state, the department experienced significant growth across all divisions. This year, our WRVs exceeded 450,000.


clinical growth chart


Our growing team is expanding our clinical footprint in South Carolina.  In addition to the outreach clinics established over the past few years and the growing popularity of Telehealth, this year, our surgical faculty are even more integrated within MUSC Health’s growth across the state, improving access to care and bringing the latest and most innovative, minimally-invasive surgical techniques shown to improve patient outcomes to all patients in South Carolina.


  • MUSC Health - Lancaster received UNOS approval to initiate a kidney transplant program, making an immediate impact by offering renal failure patients a transplant option closer to home.
  • We established a new affiliation at the Breast Care & Surgery Program at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, with the addition of breast surgical oncologist Tara Grahovac, M.D.  
  • Our vascular surgery division has expanded to the Columbia area. They now have clinic locations in Charleston, Beaufort, Georgetown, and Columbia.
  • Our Cardiothoracic Surgery Division is a market leader in adult heart surgery for South Carolina. In FY-23, the division is expanding through a collaboration with Self Regional Healthcare Medical Center in Greenwood, SC with plans for more collaborations throughout the state. 

New Institutional Leadership 

Aligned with MUSC Healthcare and MUSC College of Medicine, our vision to excel as a leading academic surgical department remains clear. This year, several talented department members assumed essential leadership roles. The department also recruited a new faculty member to lead healthcare innovation. Each of these individuals is nationally recognized and brings to their new position valuable experience and extraordinary commitment.

Mark Lockett, M.D. was named Deputy Chief of Staff for Acute Care Services at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, where he previously served as Chief of Surgery. In this new leadership role, Dr. Lockett is responsible for supporting and managing departments that primarily provide acute care services including surgery, medicine, anesthesia, neurology,radiology, pharmacy, laboratory,and pathology, working closely with the VA Chief of Staff Chris Blasy, DO. He will also have an expanded role in the VA facility’s quality, value, and safety efforts. Dr. Lockett is a Professor of Surgery and ViceChair of Veteran’s Affairs in the Department of Surgery, and serves as the surgical lead for the South Carolina SurgicalQuality Collaborative.

Joseph Scalea, M.D. is a multiorgan transplant surgeon,innovator, and entrepreneur who joined MUSC in May. He was named the Executive Medical Director for MUSC Health Solutions, an organization that assesses and commercializes internal and early-stage external technologies. In this role, Dr.Scalea helps guide MUSCHealth Solutions’ strategic investments, and he guides technology development and implementation. Current investment activities include innovations in mobile-first patient-centered telehealth platforms, sleep science innovations, various MedTechconcepts, and a technology-leveraged concierge surgical care model for elite athletes. Dr.Scalea is a Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair of Innovation in the Department of Surgery.

Cynthia Talley, M.D. was appointed to serve as Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education (GME) for the College of Medicine. She assumed this role, reporting to Dr. Ben Clyburn, Senior Associate Dean for GME and CME Designated Institutional Official, on March 1, 2022. In this role, Dr. Talley will direct the Annual Program Evaluation (APE) process, reviewing all necessary items with regard to programs’ submission of the APE, responding to program or ACGME concerns, and assisting programs with missions, AIMS, action plans, and recommended strategies. Dr. Talley is a Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Surgery.

Ravi Veeraswamy, M.D. was appointed to a new physician leadership group, serving as Associate Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Surgical Services of MUSC Health -Charleston. He joins Dustin LeBlanc, M.D., Associate CMO, ATC and Emergency Medicine, Scott Russell, M.D., Associate CMO, Children’s, and Kristin Wise, M.D. Associate CMO, Adult Inpatient Care, who will all work closely with Carrie Herzke, M.D., CMO MUSC Health – Charleston. Last year, Dr. Veeraswamywas named the Chair of the Perioperative Executive Committee of the Charleston Division. His leadership and expanding roles facilitate optimal care of our patients and clinicians. Dr. Veeraswamy is Chief of Vascular Surgery and the Elliott-Robinson Endowed Chair of Vascular Surgery in the Department of Surgery.