Mackinnon receives clinical excellence award from Castle Connolly

Susan E. Mackinnon, MD, chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is one of three U.S. physicians to be honored with a Clinical Excellence Award by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., which publishes America’s Top Doctors and other guides to choosing physicians.

She received the award March 26 in New York.


Mackinnon, the Sydney M. Shoenberg Jr. and Robert H. Shoenberg Professor and director of the School of Medicine’s Center for Nerve Injury and Paralysis, is the first physician from Washington University to receive the award, which recognizes physicians and leaders in health care whose dedication, talents and skills have improved the lives of thousands of people worldwide.

“This is a fitting recognition for Dr. Mackinnon, who has devoted her professional life to helping patients with complex nerve injuries,” says Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, the Bixby Professor and head of the Department of Surgery, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor and director of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

“Her seminal contributions have literally changed the way we now care for these kinds of injuries. She has been the leader in her field and is loved and respected by her patients and colleagues.”

Mackinnon, a surgeon at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, is an international authority on nerve regeneration, nerve transfer and on short-term use of limited immune-suppression drugs in transplant patients. In 1988, she performed the first donor nerve transplant, a procedure that can restore movement in patients with injured limbs previously considered irreparable.

In addition to her work in nerve transplantation, Mackinnon has developed a number of nerve transfer techniques in which healthy nerves are rerouted to limbs left paralyzed by damaged ones.

In 2007, Mackinnon was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for U.S. medical scientists. She also received the Medal Award in Surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1988. She consistently is named among the Best Doctors in America by Best Doctors Inc. and among America’s Top Doctors.

Mackinnon has been involved in leadership of several prominent plastic surgery professional organizations since the early 1990s. She was president of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons in 2007-08; of the American Association of Hand Surgeons in 2005; of the American Society for Peripheral Nerve in 1995 and was chair of the Plastic Surgery Research Council in 1995.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.