The University of Arizona Department of Surgery welcomes back Rifat Latifi, MD, as professor of surgery and vice chair of International Affairs. He also is an honorary professor of the medical faculty of University of Tirana, Albania.
While maintaining his academic research appointment at the UA, Dr. Latifi left the department in 2011 to direct the trauma program at Hamad General Hospital in Doha, Qatar, the only Level I trauma center in Qatar. Under his leadership, the trauma center gained national, regional and international recognition for significantly reducing mortality and morbidity and for spearheading trauma research in the region.
Dr. Latifi first came to the UA Department of Surgery and The University of Arizona Medical Center in 2003, serving as director of Surgical Critical Care and associate director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program. In 2007, he served as interim chief of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care, Burn and Emergency Surgery. Before coming to the UA, he was assistant professor of surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Dr. Latifi specializes in trauma, general surgery and critical care, with special interest in re-operative surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery, telemedicine and nutrition support of surgery and critically ill patients.
Dr. Latifi is the author or coauthor of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He also has authored/co-authored and edited 12 books on surgical nutrition, advanced laparoscopy, telemedicine, trauma and complex surgical procedures and serves on editorial board of number of peer review journals.
In addition to his surgical practice and research, Dr. Latifi is dedicated to improving global health care by helping establish trauma systems along with telemedicine and e-health programs in rural regions and underdeveloped countries, especially those recovering from conflicts or disaster. He established the first teletrauma and telepresence program in Arizona (Southern Arizona Telemedicine and Telepresence (SATT)) that served residents along the U.S.-Mexico border. He is a founder and president of a not-for-profit organization, the International Virtual e-Hospital (www.iveh.org), whose mission is to assist in rebuilding the public healthcare system in developing countries by introducing and implementing telemedicine, telehealth and virtual educational programs through the concept of the IVeH Network.
Since 2002, he has overseen a team of three national telemedicine programs in Europe (Kosova and Albania) and Cabo Verde (Africa). All three telemedicine programs have become models of how to enhance medical services in low-resource areas.
Dr. Latifi has received “The 21st Century Achievement Award for Health” by the Computerworld Honors Program and the International Award for Health Promotion by the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC) and a number of teaching awards from residents and students.
A medical graduate of the University of Prishtina, Prishtina, Kosova, Dr. Latifi completed internships at the University of Prishtina and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, and residency training at Yale University School of Medicine. He also was a Surgical Critical Care Fellow atNew YorkMedicalCollege.
“We are very lucky to be able to recruit Dr. Latifi back to Tucson. He is well known internationally and brings great prestige back to or program. He will be instrumental in creating our Trauma Research Center,” said Peter Rhee, MD, chief, Division of Trauma, Critical Care, Burn and Emergency Surgery.
UA Department of Surgery Chair Leigh Neumayer, MD, added, “We are fortunate to have Dr. Latifi back with us at the University of Arizona. His wealth of knowledge and experience is integral to our clinical and research programs and will greatly benefit our patients.”
Dr. Latifi sees patients at the University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus. To make an appointment, please call 520-694-1000.