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Circulation first in rapidly bleeding trauma patients - is it time to question the ABCs of trauma?

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Dr Paula Ferrada MD. FACS. FCCM. MAMSE., currently serves as the Division and system chief for Acute Care surgery and Trauma for the Inova healthcare system and continues to serve as  an educator as well as a professor of Medical Education for the University of Virginia.

She is a Colombian born female Surgeon-Leader. She is an internationally recognized advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion.

She trained in general surgery at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She is the first Colombian woman to graduate from a general surgery program within the Harvard system.  She completed a fellowship in surgical critical care at the University of Pittsburgh and spent an additional year of fellowship training at Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland as their first Acute Care Surgery Fellow.

After her training she joined Virginia Commonwealth University as faculty, where she served in different leadership roles, including as a peer elected member of the Medical College of Virginia Physicians board. She served in the capacity of surgical critical care fellowship director and director of the surgical and trauma critical care units. Since her clinical and leadership accomplishments she has rapidly risen to the rank of full Professor of Surgery at this institution. 

She is an accomplished educator. Dr Ferrada has received multiple teaching awards from Harvard medical students, and she was honored with two major awards from the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School: the Irby James teaching award and the Leonard Tow Humanism in medicine awards as a statement of her commitment to education. She was inducted as a member of the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, of the American College of Surgeons. 

Ferrada is an active member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Ultrasound Faculty (NUF), she is the creator and directs the module of echocardiogram and thoracic ultrasound for the American College of Surgeons and currently serves as the credentialing and certification vice chair for this committee.

Dr Ferrada served as the Chair for the Young Fellows Association. This organization body represents surgeons 45 years and younger, members of the American College of Surgeons. Before becoming the chair, she served as the mentoring program leader, as well as the education pillar leader, helping create many opportunities for young surgeons in the American College of Surgeons. 

Internationally, she is the executive secretary for the Pan-American Trauma Society; she created a mentorship program for young surgeons, an ultrasound course for all first responders, published the first multicenter trial sponsored by this organization, directed the committee of the education and research and founded a scholarship for this organization. 

She has been a Councilor for the Virginia Chapter of the ACS, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Virginia chapter and served as the President for the chapter.  

She has served as the Chair of the Mentoring Committee for the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma and as the Director of the Division of Membership for this organization. During her tenure she created a mid-career leadership program, a speakers’ bureau and a Twitter chat to support the members.

She has been able to translate her passion into many research projects that in turn have improved patient care. She has over 110 papers published in peer-reviewed journals, is part of the editorial board for the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, the main journal in her specialty. She is also an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Surgery and serves on the board for the Journal Surgery and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS). 

She has edited several books on the care of the traumatized patients. She has been able to secure funding form the Department of Defense and the Food and Drug Administration, and has led multiple multicenter trials and practice guidelines for the management of acute care surgical patients.