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Craig J. Baker, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery (Educational Scholar)
Vice Chair, Educational Affairs
Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, LAC+USC Medical Center
Acgme Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program Director
HCT 4300 Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 5849


Dr. Baker is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Cardiac Surgery at LAC+USC. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Baker is the Vice Chair of Surgical Education and Program Director of the Cardiothoracic Training Program. Dr. Baker received his medical degree from Georgetown University where he graduated Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed 7 years of General Surgery training at the University of Southern California which included 2 years in the Cardiothoracic research laboratory.

Dr. Baker completed three years of Cardiothoracic residency at the University of Southern California. He subsequently accepted a fellowship in pediatric cardiac surgery at the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles under the direction of Dr. Vaughn Starnes. The following year Dr. Baker accepted a position in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Keck School of Medicine.

Dr. Baker has an ongoing interest in pediatric and adult congenital cardiac disease, cardiac transplantation, coronary artery bypass grafting, and valve repair and replacement. He performs all types of complex adult cardiac surgery including minimally invasive valve surgery. He is a member of multiple prestigious national societies and has co-authored numerous papers and book chapters on of a variety of topics related to adult and pediatric cardiac surgery, transplantation, and surgical education. Dr. Baker is recognized as a national leader in cardiac surgical education and has received several teaching awards.

In 2011, Dr. Baker was appointed Chief of Cardiac Surgery at LAC+USC.


Cohen RG, Hackmann AE, Fleischman F, Baker CJ, Cunningham MJ, Starnes VA, Bowdish ME. Type A Aortic Dissection Repair: How I Teach It. Ann Thorac Surg. 2017 Jan; 103(1):14-17. View in: PubMed

Abdoli S, Tatum JM, Fratello AL, Bowdish ME, Baker CJ. Type B Aortic Arch Interruption in an Adult. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Nov; 102(5):e431-e432. View in: PubMed

Antonoff MB, Verrier ED, Allen MS, Aloia L, Baker C, Fann JI, Iannettoni MD, Yang SC, Vaporciyan AA. Impact of Moodle-Based Online Curriculum on Thoracic Surgery In-Training Examination Scores. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Oct; 102(4):1381-6. View in: PubMed

Bowdish ME, Hui DS, Cleveland JD, Mack WJ, Sinha R, Ranjan R, Cohen RG, Baker CJ, Cunningham MJ, Barr ML, Starnes VA. A comparison of aortic valve replacement via an anterior right minithoracotomy with standard sternotomy: a propensity score analysis of 492 patients†. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 Feb; 49(2):456-63. View in: PubMed

Mokadam NA, Lee R, Vaporciyan AA, Walker JD, Cerfolio RJ, Hermsen JL, Baker CJ, Mark R, Aloia L, Enter DH, Carpenter AJ, Moon MR, Verrier ED, Fann JI. Gamification in thoracic surgical education: Using competition to fuel performance. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015 Nov; 150(5):1052-8. View in: PubMed

Greene CL, Minneti M, Sullivan ME, Baker CJ. Pressurized Cadaver Model in Cardiothoracic Surgical Simulation. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Sep; 100(3):1118-20. View in: PubMed

Bansal N, Kumar SR, Baker CJ, Lemus R, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. Age-Related Outcomes of the Ross Procedure Over 20 Years. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Jun; 99(6):2077-85. View in: PubMed

Sullivan ME, Trial J, Baker C, Inaba K, Etcheverry J, Nally M, Crookes P. A framework for professionalism in surgery: what is important to medical students? Am J Surg. 2014 Feb; 207(2):255-9. View in: PubMed

Vaporciyan AA, Yang SC, Baker CJ, Fann JI, Verrier ED. Cardiothoracic surgery residency training: past, present, and future. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013 Oct; 146(4):759-67. View in: PubMed

Shinbane JS, Shriki J, Fleischman F, Hindoyan A, Withey J, Lee C, Wilcox A, Cunningham M, Baker C, Matthews RV, Starnes V. Anomalous coronary arteries: cardiovascular computed tomographic angiography for surgical decisions and planning. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2013 Apr; 4(2):142-54. View in: PubMed

Baker RY, Nguyen TJ, Hernandez AM, Wong AK, Baker CJ, Starnes VA. Breast implants and minimally invasive cardiac surgery: a case series. Ann Plast Surg. 2012 Jul; 69(1):10-3. View in: PubMed

Baker CJ, Sinha R, Sullivan ME. Development of a cardiac surgery simulation curriculum: From needs assessment results to practical implementation. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012 Jul; 144(1):7-16. View in: PubMed

Shinbane JS, Shriki J, Hindoyan A, Ghosh B, Chang P, Farvid A, Saxon LA, Cao M, Cesario D, Takahashi M, Colletti PM, Wilcox A, Baker C, Starnes V. Unoperated congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries, nonrestrictive ventricular septal defect, and pulmonary stenosis in middle adulthood: do multiple wrongs make a right? World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2012 Jan 1; 3(1):123-9. View in: PubMed

Ham SW, Rowe VL, Ochoa C, Chong T, Lee WM, Baker CJ, Cohen RG, Cunningham MJ, Weaver FA, Woo K. Thoracic aortic stent-grafting for acute, complicated, type B aortic dissections. Ann Vasc Surg. 2011 Apr; 25(3):333-9. View in: PubMed

Oki KN, Sinha R, Lee AW, Baker CJ. Emergency off-pump revascularization for left main dissection in pregnancy. Am Surg. 2011 Feb; 77(2):253-5. View in: PubMed

Blanco AA, Haddy S, Baker CJ. Perimembranous ventricular septal defect and Gerbode defect. Echocardiography. 2010 Feb; 27(2):215-7. View in: PubMed

Kanaan S, Baker C, Starnes V. Resection of giant coronary artery aneurysms in a Takayasu's arteritis patient. Ann Thorac Surg. 2008 May; 85(5):1795-6. View in: PubMed

Kim RY, Baker CJ. Pectus excavatum and chest pain: a case report. Cases J. 2008; 1(1):351. View in: PubMed

Baker CJ, Boulom V, Reemtsen BL, Rollins RC, Starnes VA, Wells WJ. Hemidiaphragm plication after repair of congenital heart defects in children: quantitative return of diaphragm function over time. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008 Jan; 135(1):56-61. View in: PubMed

Baker CJ, Wells WJ, Derby CA, Rizi S, Starnes VA. Ascending aortic extension for enlargement of the aortopulmonary space in children with pulmonary artery stenosis. Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Nov; 80(5):1647-51. View in: PubMed

Bowdish ME, Barr ML, Schenkel FA, Woo MS, Bremner RM, Horn MV, Baker CJ, Barbers RG, Wells WJ, Starnes VA. A decade of living lobar lung transplantation: perioperative complications after 253 donor lobectomies. Am J Transplant. 2004 Aug; 4(8):1283-8. View in: PubMed

Baker CJ, Nigro JJ, Daggett CW, Wells WJ. Needle embolism to the heart. Ann Thorac Surg. 2004 Mar; 77(3):1102. View in: PubMed

Starnes VA, Bowdish ME, Woo MS, Barbers RG, Schenkel FA, Horn MV, Pessotto R, Sievers EM, Baker CJ, Cohen RG, Bremner RM, Wells WJ, Barr ML. A decade of living lobar lung transplantation: recipient outcomes. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004 Jan; 127(1):114-22. View in: PubMed

Wells W, Malas M, Baker CJ, Quardt SM, Barr ML. Depopulated vena caval homograft: a new venous conduit. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2003 Aug; 126(2):498-503. View in: PubMed

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