The University of Arizona
Department of Surgery

Christopher Piercecchi, MSIV

Contact Information
Cardiothoracic Surgery: PO Box 245071; Tucson, AZ 85724-5071
Arizona Health Science Center: 1501 N. Campbell Ave.
Office Room Number 4301
Office Phone (520) 626-7951
Office Fax (520) 626-7955


  • Robotic simulation training
  • Team based training
  • Organizational development

Education and Background
Prior to medical school Chris worked as a Firefighter/Paramedic and Flight Paramedic in Albuquerque and Santa Fe New Mexico for 6 years. In addition, he served 9 years of combined active duty and reserves in the United States Air Force as a Pararescumen. During that time he successfully graduated from a challenging pipeline of training courses including: USAF Pararescue Selection and Apprentice courses, Combat Survival School, Army Airborne and Special Warfare Freefall Schools, Navy SCUBA School, and Pararescue Paramedic school. During his last deployment during Operation Enduring freedom in Afghanistan Chris performed combat search and rescue/personnel recovery operations with both the Air Combat and the Joint Special Operations Commands.

He was part of a historic combat search and rescue where he and his team rescued the “lone survivor”, a Navy SEAL from the mountains of Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush. Since then he has committed himself to a career in medicine and research and has earned the prestigious honor of being named a Patrick Tillman Scholar and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.

Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic: 1995, United States Air Force, Pararescue
Paramedic School, Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM.
B.A.  Philosophy: 2008, University of Arizona, College of
Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tucson, AZ.
M.D.: (anticipated 2012), University of Arizona, College of Medicine, Tucson AZ.
Residency: 2012, (anticipated-cardiothoracic surgery integrated 0-6), University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Chris is in his 4th year of medical school and upon graduating he will begin a one-year research fellowship with the department of CT surgery before starting his 0-6 cardiothoracic surgical residency here at the University of Arizona. He is currently in charge of developing and managing the robotic simulation-training program for the cardiothoracic department. He has organized multiple resources to build a functional simulation environment for both residents and faculty. He is currently working on a stand-alone robotic cadaver lab with the goal of establishing a national robotic training center. Chris is in the process of writing a NIH grant proposal for a project studying robotic implantation of mechanical devices and the effects of team based simulation training. In addition to these efforts he is directly involved with multiple research projects ranging from Total Artificial Hearts to Heart failure treatment.

Patient Information