Kristin Mekeel

Chief of Transplant Surgery; Administrative Chief Officer for Surgical Quality
UC San Diego Health
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Brief Bio

Kristin Mekeel, MD, is a board-certified transplant surgeon who specializes in liver, kidney, and pancreas transplantation surgery in adults and children. She performs operations in patients with conditions such as chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, liver cancer and diabetes.

Dr. Mekeel serves as chief of the Division of Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery where she leads a group of four surgeons performing over 250 transplants, living and deceased donor organ procurements, and other surgeries per year.
She also serves as vice-chair of Quality for the Department of Surgery and program director for Surgical Quality at UC San Diego Health. In these roles, Dr. Mekeel oversees quality and safety for operating rooms and surgical subspecialties.

As a professor in the Department of Surgery, Dr. Mekeel instructs medical students and residents in transplantation and surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine. She is a well-respected educator and was awarded the faculty teaching award by surgical residents. Dr. Mekeel also participates in clinical research focusing on the outcomes of organ donation, kidney and pancreas transplantation, and hepatobiliary surgery. She has co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles and her work has appeared in American Journal of Transplantation, American Journal of Gastroenterology and Journal of the American College of Surgeons, among others.

Outside of the operating room, Dr. Mekeel is program director of the UC San Diego Center for Transplantation. Her leadership helped the program achieve a record number of transplants with excellent outcomes in 2019. She is an advocate for healthcare quality and patient safety in organ transplantation and throughout the hospital.

Dr. Mekeel champions organ donation and transplantation both locally and nationally and has served nationally on the United Network of Organ Sharing Pediatric Committee and Operations and Safety committees. She is also a board member for the John Brockington Foundation, which raises money and awareness for transplantation and organ donation in San Diego.

She completed a residency in general surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a fellowship in transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Mekeel earned her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is board certified in general surgery and a certified transplant surgeon by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

Dr. Mekeel is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and a member of the Association for Academic Surgery.

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