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SIU Alumnus Joins Cardiothoracic Division

Published Date:
Traves Crabtree, MD

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine alumnus Traves Crabtree, MD, '95, has returned to his alma mater as a professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He also a member of SIU HealthCare, the medical school's group practice.

Crabtree specializes in lung and esophageal cancer. He will also treat benign esophageal diseases and reflux diseases and perform video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and lung volume reduction surgeries (LVRS).

Crabtree was born and raised in southern Illinois. "It's always been a dream of mine to take care of the people in the region and to make it more personal for the patient before, during and after the surgery," said Crabtree. "There's something about not just the technical aspect of doing the operation but being able to comfort the patient and be with them through the process of dealing with cancer."

Before joining the faculty of SIU School of Medicine, Crabtree was an associate professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he also completed a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship in 2004. He completed a general surgery residency and a surgical infectious disease research fellowship at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (2002, 1999). He earned his medical degree at SIU School of Medicine (1995) after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1991).

Crabtree was named a Castle Connolly "Top Doctor" in 2012 and one of the "Best Doctors in America" in 2016 by Best Doctors, Inc. He received the Society of Thoracic Surgeons' General Thoracic Richard Clark Award for his clinical research. He is a member of numerous professional societies and organizations, including the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Thoracic Surgeons and American Association of Thoracic Surgeons. Crabtree was recently appointed to the Editorial Board of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery and holds editorial responsibilities for the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Crabtree has authored nearly 120 national and regional publications on lung cancer treatments, esophageal cancers and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). His goal is to define the population best suited for SBRT or surgery. He holds several patents and has recently created a lung simulation model, designed with non-biological skin, muscle and bone tissue, to provide surgical education and training for physicians.

Crabtree, his wife, Felicia, and their youngest child live in Chatham.

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