Richard J. Shemin, MD
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Richard J. Shemin, MD

  • Cardiac Surgery
Cardiovascular Center | 100 Medical Plaza, Suite 630 East, Los Angeles, CA 90095


Richard J. Shemin, MD  
Robert & Kelly Day Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

The Robert and Kelly Day Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery is held by Richard Shemin, M.D., Chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery, vice chair of the Department of Surgery, and a Distinguished Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Shemin is a distinguished leader in the field of cardiothoracic surgery. He has held roles as Chair of The American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Director of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, and Governor of the American College of Surgeons. He is the current President of the Board of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the American Heart Association. 

As a pioneer of less invasive procedures for aortic valve replacement, aortic aneurysm replacement and  robotic mitral valve repair, Dr. Shemin has been crucial to the growth of UCLA’s reputation as a world-renowned cardiothoracic surgery center. As the Program Director for the ACGME Cardiothoracic Residency Program, he is committed to training the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons. He has received several teaching awards.  Recently he was inducted into the prestigious American College of Surgeons Academy of Master Surgeon Educators.

In addition to his clinical and teaching duties, Dr. Shemin is a dedicated researcher collaborating with  Clinical Outcomes Research Laboratory (CORELAB) and has directed a  Stem Cell Basic Science Research Laboratory. He has made significant contributions to medical literature through publications (340 publications) in high-impact journals.

Dr. Shemin has been successful in bringing several clinical trials to UCLA as a principal investigator, including the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Partner III trial that continues to revolutionize aortic valve stenosis treatment. He was a principle investigator for the ICE AFIB trial, a national trial that investigates a complex ablation lesion set (MAZE III) in the left and right atrium created with a cryoablation probe. Dr. Shemin hopes the trial will lead to FDA approval of the device and lesion set for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. He has also become principal investigator for the national multicenter Restore trial, testing an experimental device to repair mitral valve regurgitation due to ruptured chordae. Dr. Shemin is also at the forefront of the use of robotics technology in cardiothoracic surgery: his results have led to UCLA receiving designation of the Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award from the Mitral Foundation and the American Heart Association two years in a row, 2021-2022.

Since 2008, Richard J. Shemin, M.D., one of the nation’s top heart surgeons, has held the position of Executive Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and Co-director of the Cardiovascular Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His national
reputation in performing valvular (mitral and aortic) repair and replacement serves as a platform for his pioneering studies to evaluate new technology for mechanical prostheses and bioprotheses, as well as surgical
therapy for improving the long-term survival of heart-failure patients. He continues to be a leader in the development of minimally invasive cardiac surgery, specializing in robotic-assisted procedures, and collaborates with UCLA’s Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology. Dr.
Shemin initiated UCLA’s participation in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database to standardize quality improvement and patient safety. His current research aims to induce stem cells to become cardiovascular cells, in order to repair or replace damaged areas of the heart.

Dr. Shemin attended Boston University’s six-year medical program and received his medical degree in 1974. He received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society in his junior year. After his surgical training at Harvard’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Dr. Shemin served as clinical associate in cardiac surgery at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. He also trained in cardiothoracic surgery at New York University Medical Center. Dr. Shemin is a certified Diplomate of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, for which he served as director for six years. He was elected vice chair in 2011 and became chair in 2013 for two years. After pursuing work in heart transplantation at Stanford University, Dr. Shemin helped lead the team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to perform, in 1984, the first heart transplant in New England. He also served as the director of its Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit. He was recruited back to Boston University School of Medicine, becoming Professor and Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and later was named Vice Chairman, Division of Surgery. In addition, he co-directed the Cardiovascular Center at Boston Medical
Center that participated in the Medicare Participating Heart Bypass Center Demonstration to evaluate clinical, financial, and operational performance.

Dr. Shemin has held many leadership and board positions with prestigious associations, societies, and other organizations. He has been honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from both the Boston University School
of Medicine and Boston University, and he was recognized for Outstanding Leadership from the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education. Dr. Shemin frequently lectures worldwide and has been awarded multiple research grants from peer-review organizations,
serving as co-principal investigator for major revascularization trials and new technologies in valvular heart disease. Dr. Shemin currently serves on the editorial board for both the Journal of Cardiac Surgery and the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, was an associate editor for Circulation, and he is a guest reviewer for numerous other leading journals.




Medical Board Certification

Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, 1984


Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York University School of Medicine, 1982
Surgery, National Institutes of Health, The Clinical Center, 1978


Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 1980
Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 1976


Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 1975


MD, Boston University School of Medicine, 1974


  • Voted Super DoctorsSuper doctors, Southern California, 2024
  • Super Doctors® Southern California, 2024
  • Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2018, 2021, 2023
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Boston University School of Medicine, and Outstanding Leadership, Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education

Hospital Affiliations

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center


TAVR and the Value of the STS/ACC TVT Registry
"What are the surgical treatments and approaches to aneurysms of the ascending aorta?" | Aortic Aneurysm
"What happens if one ignores the surgical treatment for an aneurysm of the ascending aorta?" | Aortic Aneurysm
"Are aneurysms associated with diseases of the aortic valve?" | Aneurysms
"If an aortic dissection occurs, what is the surgical treatment?" | Aortic Dissection
"Is there an age limit to safe aortic surgery?" | Aortic Surgery
"What is the modern treatment of complex ruptures and dissections of the aorta?" | Aortic Surgery
"Is it possible to do less invasive approaches to both the ascending aorta as well as the transverse arch?" | Aortic Surgery
"How do we protect the brain?" | Aortic Surgery

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  • Super Doctors® Southern California, 2024
  • Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2018, 2021, 2023
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Boston University School of Medicine, and Outstanding Leadership, Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education