Carla Pugh is Professor of Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. She is also the Director of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement (T.E.C.I.) Center. Her clinical area of expertise is Acute Care Surgery. Dr. Pugh obtained her undergraduate degree at U.C. Berkeley in Neurobiology and her medical degree at Howard University School of Medicine. Upon completion of her surgical training at Howard University Hospital, she went to Stanford University and obtained a PhD in Education. She is the first surgeon in the United States to obtain a PhD in Education. Her goal is to use technology to change the face of medical and surgical education.
Her research involves the use of simulation and advanced engineering technologies to develop new approaches for assessing and defining competency in clinical procedural skills. Dr. Pugh holds three patents on the use of sensor and data acquisition technology to measure and characterize hands-on clinical skills. Currently, over two hundred medical and nursing schools are using one of her sensor enabled training tools for their students and trainees. Her work has received numerous awards from medical and engineering organizations. In 2011 Dr. Pugh received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Barak Obama at the White House. She is considered to be a lead, international expert on the use of sensors and motion tracking technology for performance measurement. In 2014 she was invited to give a TEDMED talk on the potential uses of technology to transform how we measure clinical skills in medicine. In April 2018, Dr. Pugh was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.