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Samer Nashef is an adult cardiac surgeon at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, United Kingdom. He qualified as a doctor at the University of Bristol in 1980, and trained in general surgery in London and Exeter. His specialist training in cardiac surgery was in Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester and Bordeaux in France. He was appointed consultant surgeon at Papworth in 1992. He practices all types of cardiac surgery in adults. His specialist clinical areas include minimally invasive coronary bypass and hybrid coronary revascularisation, mitral repair, surgery for atrial fibrillation and aortic root surgery with valve preservation.

He has many research interests, a major one of which being the measurement and monitoring of the quality of surgical treatment. In that field, he has led national and international projects, including the EuroSCORE Project. He is the author of The Naked Surgeon and a compiler of cryptic crosswords for the Guardian and the Financial Times. In his discussion, Samer Nashef will address safety and transparency in medicine and how we can design safer health systems in the future.

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Rhodes Scholars can register on the Rhodes Scholar Network. If you are interested in this discussion please contact


Other information

Rhodes Scholar Tinashe Chandauka (South Africa-at-Large & Trinity 2015), shares an account of the talk below:

Professor Samer Nashef, a respected British Cardiac Surgeon from Papworth hospital, Cambridge. was well received by a packed audience at Rhodes House on Thursday 25 January. He has spent a lifetime developing risk and performance measures for cardiac surgeons.  Highlights of the evening included a discussion of:

  • The development of the EURO score classification, a pre- cardiac surgery risk classification system that can be used to determine a patient’s level of risk of dying due to the procedure.
  • Advocating for the use of cumulative sum scores across the United Kingdom to track the performance of cardiac surgeons and detect surgeon’s who maybe performing more poorly than expected before considerable loss of life occurs.
  • His description of how he landed in hot water after discovering that the surgical unit specializing in the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms had poorer outcomes when compared to other general surgery units at the same hospital doing the same procedure. Blacklisted from applying for surgical training jobs anywhere near this hospital, he learnt that measuring performance in healthcare would not be an easy road!
  • A robust debate about the dangers of applying performance measurement systems without provision that these systems can be gamed by health practitioners and interpreted in the wrong way by the lay public.

In the context of skyrocketing global healthcare costs, his message was that the true value of healthcare is not to be measured solely as money saved, but as quality of life gained by medical intervention.