Dr. Shrager assumed the role of Professor and Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery in July 2008. He came to Stanford from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he served as Associate Professor and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Hospital. He earned his medical degree at Harvard, trained in surgery at Penn, and completed his thoracic surgery training at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Shrager has been identified as one of “America’s Top Doctors” and one of “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer” in Castle Connolly’s prestigious listings for multiple years running. Dr. Shrager has been awarded US News and World Report “Top Doctor” recognition in every year since that rating system was inaugurated in 2012 ; this award places him among the top 1% of thoracic surgeons nationwide based upon reviews by physician-peers. Evidence of his expert status among his peers also includes membership on the editorial board of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Shrager practices all aspects of thoracic surgery but has specials interest and experience in lung cancer, surgery for emphysema, and mediastinal diseases. His clinical publications reflect these interests. In all cases, he looks towards minimally invasive approaches where appropriate, including VATS (thoracoscopic) lobectomy for early stage lung cancer and transcervical thymectomy.

In the basic research realm, Dr. Shrager has focused upon the responses of the respiratory muscles to various disease states and interventions. His lab’s work has been published in important journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Professional Summary

Professional Education
  • Board Certification: American Board of Surgery, General Surgery (2009)
  • Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital Thoracic Surgery (1997) MA
  • Residency: Hospital of University of Pennsylvania Surgery Residency (1995) PA
  • Medical Education: Harvard Medical School (1988) MA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery (1999)
  • Thoracic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Thoracic Surgery (1997)
  • Surgery Training, Hospital of the Univ of Penn, Surgery (1995)
  • MD, Harvard University, Medicine (1988)

Honors & Awards
  • "Top Docs" Listing, Philadelphia Magazine (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • "Top Doctors" Listing, "America's Top Doctors for Cancer -- peer-elected (2006,07,08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17)
  • "Top Doctors" Listing, "America's Top Doctors" - peer elected (2007,08,09,10,11,12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
  • "Top Doctors" Listing, San Francisco Magazine (2009, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17)
  • 2nd Edward D. Churchill Research Scholarship, American Association for Thoracic Surgery (1999-2001)
  • Cabot Graduation Prize, Harvard Medical School (1988)
  • Elected Member, American Association for Thoracic Surgery (2002)
  • Elected Member, American Surgical Association (2010)
  • Elected Member, Society for Clinical Surgery (2008)
  • Elected Member, Society of Clinical Surgery (2008)
  • Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians (2000)
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons (2001)
  • Havighurst Graduation Prize, Amherst College (Top History Thesis) (1984)
  • Manstein Graduation Prize, Amherst College (Top Premed Athlete) (1984)
  • National Research Service Award, National Institutes of Health (1990-1992)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Junior year induction, Amherst College (1983)
  • Simpson Fellowship, (For study at Harvard Medical School) (1984-1988)
  • Summa Cum Lauda, Amherst College (1984)
  • William I Inouye Award for Excellence in Teaching, Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Sch. of Med. (1991)

Administrative Appointments
  • Chief, Section of General Thoracic Surgery, UPenn (2003 - 2007)
  • Chief, Stanford Division of Thoracic Surgery (2008 - Present)
  • Co-Director, Stanford Center for Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery (SMITS) (2012 - Present)
  • Director, Stanford Respiratory Muscle Research Laboratory (2008 - Present)
  • Editorial Board Member, Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2001 - Present)
  • Member, STS Workforce on Evidence-based Surgery (2006 - Present)
  • Physician Leader Thoracic Oncology DMG, Stanford Cancer Center (2010 - Present)


Clinical Trials

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Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.

Practice Locations

Thoracic Surgery Clinic in Palo Alto Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

875 Blake Wilbur Drive

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 498-6000

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Thoracic Cancer Program in Palo Alto Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

875 Blake Wilbur Drive

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 498-6000

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

Esophagus Center Redwood City, CA
Redwood City, CA

420 Broadway Street, Pavilion D, 2nd Floor

Redwood City , CA 94063

(650) 736-5555

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

Chest Wall Surgery Program Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

875 Blake Wilbur Drive

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 498-6000

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

Patient Ratings

(55 Ratings)

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Patient Reviews

(78 reviews)

The PA and doctor thoroughly explained my problem and scheduled me for a lung biopsy.
Well informed about my care.
Great experience!
Dr. Shrager - Efficient, comprehensive, takes action - puts team together - Real professional experience - Knows what he's doing - Took interest in my condition. Superior follow up.
I have extreme confidence for Dr. Shrager but I sometimes feel he is so RUSHED.
I had a very successful surgery and I'm very thankful to Dr. Shrager, Joseph Ben.
He does the best he can within the limits of training he does have.
Dr. Shrager gave me honest answers, including expectations. That information helped me make decisions for myself. He's an excellent provider.
Excellent experience.
Very friendly, very professional, a remarkable DOCTOR and also caring and concern about the patient.
Dr. Shrager was great!
I am very thankful for Dr. Shrager, Joseph Ben, MD. God bless him and his home!
We are blessed to have Dr. Shrager as our caregiver. We are very relieved & trust his care.
Dr. Shrager and his entire team took time to talk through all my questions, prognosis etc.
Prof. Shrager is an excellent doctor treating his patients with a great care.
Providers made visit a good experience & answered the questions I had.
I hope on one I know gets this cancer - but if they do I would recommend Dr. Shrager.
I'm satisfied.
We are so lucky that Dr. Shrager is in my dad's insurance network!
+ = superb!!
I have been given a second chance at life thank to Dr. Shrager and God!! Always a good experience.
Always courteous and professional.
It couldn't have been better!
Helpful & encouraging -
Both the doctor & the NP were excellent.
Dr. Shrager made me feel safe in his care.
Overall satisfactory.
Was completely satisfied with my choice of selecting Stanford Univ. found I had received an outstanding health care experience.
The best doctor I have ever met. Very fortunate to have Dr. Shrager for the surgery. I highly appreciate his effort an less staff! I have had 2 surgeons before. He is the best for my quick recovery.
I have nothing but praise for Dr Shrager & his staff. I am fortunate that I have such highly qualified caregivers.
Outstanding experience!!!
Very good.
He & she were wonderful.
Very professional & efficient.
Dr. Shrager is amazing and extremely kind & caring.
Excellent person very explicit.
The care provider and nurse are concern with the patient's health condition.
I was actually surprised by how accessible Dr. Shrager was especially for scheduling surgery so quickly, I actually came to Dr. Shrager for a second opinion, and after meeting with him, decided to have him do my surgery! He is impressive!
I would refer my friends to this doctor or hospital.
Went well.
World class surgeon, but also absolutely outstanding physician w/patient.
Dr. Shrager is obviously an excellent surgeon. However, his "bedside manner" is a little cold and stiff and abrupt.
Very good & helpful experience.
Good experience.
Very good.
Excellent doctors. Straight forward, no B.S. Quite possibly saved my life!
Dr. Shrager is my hero.
Love Dr. Shrager! He was very knowledgeable and if he had any concerns/questions he call the oncologist so our questions would be answered!
I expected the doctor to spend a little time with me - even to bring up/open my CT and other scans; I expected a REVIEW of my cancer and the most vacant scan and I received NONE of this. I surprised and disappointed me entirely - After all, this is STANFORD.
My experience was so amazing! I felt so lucky to be able to get such amazing care & prompt surgery.
Coming from a rural setting, the quality of care and efficiencies are truly stunning -
Dr. Shrager was smart, direct, & competent.
All Good!
The best!
Love Dr. Shrager and Angela. Just wish I had come to them sooner. I especially appreciated Dr. Shrager's compassion when he had to tell me my tumor was Stage II instead of Stage I after all. Thanks.
Provided every thing I needed to know & understand.
A very great dr.
Everyone is very conscientious! Actual time seeing doctor felt rushed.
I was weak from surgery & needed more specific advise about how to heal more quickly & did not get that. However. Dr. Shrager did a great job with surgery & referred me to Dr. Heather Walker.
Wanted more info about 2 spots on my lung -> New or old & seen before now?
I would definitely recommend it!
Dr. Shrager, is an excellent thoracic surgeon. May God keep blessing him in his noble work!
Dr. Shrager an excellent surgeon - brisk and to the point.
The entire experience was VERY positive.
Dr. Shrager is an excellent doctor!
The best provider. He is #1.
I could have been more aware of what I needed to know. My first surgery hospital stay in 50+ years I was not knowledgeable of hospital protocol.
Dr. Shrager & staff offer superior care and I feel very fortunate to have had him as my surgeon. Everything about his clinic is top-notch and he really cares about his patients but also provides the best care possible.
Limited experience with ACC cancer. Some of his comments went against what I know of the disease.
Dr. Shrager is an excellent doctor and I feel very fortunate to be his patient.
Staff was outstanding and very helpful as well as available.
Excellent - professional - gave me confidence that I was in the best hands.
The intern was so informative and Dr. Shrager told me more than I have been able to understand and answered questions - than I have in the last several months of my dr. in home town.
Excellent doctor in MANY ways!! I did feel slightly rushed in my last visit though.

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