James J. Gallagher, M.D.
As a burn surgeon, I am privileged to care for the burn injured patient from the smallest child to the most senior members of our society. Burn injury is sometimes a small blister that requires only my reassurance that healing will take place naturally to complete devastation of the body, and at times a home and family. One of my greastest honors comes in my participation in the care of our injuried Fire Fighters. Being a New Yorker and having lost a family member who was a member of the FDNY, the ability to serve those who serve us is indeed a privilege.
Effective burn care is a result of paying close attention to detail as well as employing the state-of-the-art technology we have available here at NewYork-Presbyterian-Weill Cornell. Another important factor is to treat the whole person, not just the burn, being sensitive and aware of the many challenges burn patients and their families face as they recover and assisting them through our multi-disciplinary approach to burn care. Our goal is to facilitate complete reintegration into society for all the burn patients we treat, allowing them to lead happy and productive and painfree lives.
James Gallagher is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and an Assistant Attending Surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. A board-certified surgeon, Dr. Gallagher has extensive experience in the treatment of burns, surgical critical care, and international surgery. His areas of special interest include surgical education, international surgical outreach, the burned hand, burn resuscitation, and surgical care of the burn wound.
James Gallagher, M.D. received his B.S. Summa Cum Laude in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1988 and his M.D. from SUNY Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, New York in 1992. He completed his internship and residency training in general surgery at Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre, Pennsylvania in June, 1997.
After completing training in General Surgery, he worked in the western fingers small town of Dansville, New York. After four years in private practice in Dansville, the Gallagher family now was two small boys, Mrs. and Dr. Gallagher. They decided to sell their home, and leave Dansville. The Gallaghers moved to Cameroon West Africa. There Dr. Gallagher become the solo surgeon in a rural missionary hospital. The hospital was located at the edge of the Sarah desert in the Extreme Northern Province of Cameroon. The family lived there for over a year. During this time Dr. Gallagher developed his interest in nutrition, and teaching. Cameroon was also his first exposure to patients with burn injury. The care of burn patients is not a usual part of the practice of General Surgery or training in the United States.
Upon returning home to the United States, the Gallaghers moved to Stony Brook on Long Island’s North Shore. This allowed them to be near family and Dr. Gallagher became a fellow in surgical Critical care and trauma surgery at the University there. After completing his fellowship the family again moved, this time to Manhattan. Dr. Gallagher became the clinical burn fellow at the William Randolph Hurst Burn Center at New York Hospital.
After completing his burn fellowship, with great conviction and enthusiasm he now was resolved to narrow the focus of his career to the complete care of the burned patient. Dr. Gallagher accepted a position as an attending burn surgeon joining a team of four surgeons and more that 65 research scientists all devoted to the advancement of burn care in Galveston, Texas. Galveston is home to the world’s leading academic burn center. The Shriners Burns Hospital for Children and the Blocker Adult Burn Unit at the University of Texas Medical Branch have made an unparalleled contribution to the scientific literature in burn surgery and the metabolism of Critical illness. In this environment, mentored by the chief of staff Dr. David Herndon, Dr. Gallagher thrived. Dr. Herndon is the editor of Total Burn Care text book and a former president of the American Burn Association and The International Society for Burn Injury. Dr. Gallagher was appointed chairmen of performance improvement and infectious disease at the Shriners Hospital. A special part of Dr. Gallagher’s time in Galveston was the twice yearly trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. In Guadalajara, Dr. Gallagher was part of a team of American and Mexican burn reconstructive surgeons who provided care to children in need of surgical care to help relieve the long term effects of burn scar on their growing bodies.
On September 13th, 2008 Galveston Island was devastated by a direct hit from Hurricane Ike. Shriners Hospital Burns Hospital for Children was closed for over a year. This disaster forced the Gallaghers and many other families to relocate. From this terrible disaster a home coming was enabled. Dr. Gallagher and his family relocated to New York City and Dr. Gallagher rejoined the team at the Burn Center in New York Hospital. Now again a part of one of our nation’s greatest burn centers and in their home state the Gallaghers have settled to complete the raising of their three children.