Joseph Victor Sakran, M.D., M.P.A., M.P.H.

Headshot of Joseph Victor Sakran
  • Vice Chair and director, Clinical Operations
  • Associate Professor of Surgery

Languages: English, Arabic, Hebrew


Appendectomy, Diverticulitis, Elective General Surgery, Emergency General Surgery, Gallbladder Diseases, General Surgery, Incisional Hernia Repair, Inguinal Hernia, Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, Lipoma, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery, Splenectomy, Umbilical Hernia, Ventral Hernia more

Research Interests

Gun violence; injury prevention; outcomes research; trauma system development; public policy and advancement of surgery in poor resource settings. more


The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower, Suite 6107
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 443-287-6909

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

4940 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Phone: 443-287-6909


Dr. Joseph V. Sakran is a trauma surgeon, coalition builder, policy advisor, public health expert, and nationally recognized advocate for gun violence prevention. He is currently Director of Emergency General Surgery, Associate Professor of Surgery, and Associate Chief of the Division of Acute Care Surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. 

A survivor of gun violence himself, Dr. Sakran’s interest in medicine and trauma surgery began after a stray bullet nearly killed him during his senior year of high school. He has subsequently dedicated his life to treating the most vulnerable, reducing health disparities among marginalized populations, and advancing public policy that alleviates structural violence in low-income communities. 

In addition to being an active clinician, Dr. Sakran is widely known for building diverse coalitions and advocacy efforts within public health and policy communities. Following a 2018 comment by the National Rifle Association that doctors should “stay in our lane” with regard to gun violence prevention, Sakran launched This is Our Lane, a community of medical professionals dedicated to reducing firearm injuries and deaths. 

Internationally, Dr. Sakran has delivered care and sustainable solutions throughout numerous countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, with a focus on long-term interventions and capacity building that reduce the global burden of surgical disease. He has responded to a number of international disasters including the Asian Tsunami in 2004, and the Haitian Earthquake in 2010. 

Dr. Sakran has been recognized for his public health expertise, specifically on firearm injury prevention. He has been honored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Academy Health, and he is a 2020 recipient of Johns Hopkins’ Catalyst Award for pioneering research on physicians’ role in educating patients on safe gun storage. In 2019, Dr. Sakran was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar in which he furthered his research on safe gun storage. Selected by the National Academy of Medicine to be a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, he was honored to serve in the U.S. Senate in the office of New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, where he worked on health policy and regulatory issues from 2019-2020. 

Dr. Sakran makes frequent appearances in print and on television. He has written numerous opinion pieces for The Atlantic and, and his work has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, MSNBC, CNN, The Israeli Times, O Magazine, and The Pell Center’s Story in the Public Square. He has also testified multiple times in front of Congress on gun violence prevention. 

Dr. Sakran is an active leader in the medical and gun violence prevention communities. He serves on the governing council of the Young Fellows Association of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), and he is vice-chair of ACS’s International Subcommittee for Operation Giving Back. He served on the board of The Brady Campaign from 2018-2019 and frequently collaborates with other gun violence prevention organizations. 

Dr. Sakran received his medical degree from The Medical School for International Health in Israel, a unique collaboration between Ben-Gurion and Columbia University. He completed his general surgery training at Inova Fairfax Hospital, and later completed a fellowship in Traumatology, Surgical Critical Care, and Emergency General Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a Masters in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Sakran earned his undergraduate degree from George Mason University, where he first trained as a medic and firefighter. He is a first-generation Arab-American, has lived and worked throughout the United States, Israel, Africa, and India, and speaks Arabic and Hebrew. more


  • Vice Chair and director, Clinical Operations
  • Director, Emergency General Surgery
  • Associate Chief, Division of Acute Care Surgery
  • Associate Professor of Surgery

Departments / Divisions

  • Surgery - Acute Care and Adult Trauma Surgery



  • MD; Ben-Gurion University Medical School for International Health (2005)


  • General Surgery; Inova Fairfax Hospital (2010)


  • Surgical Critical Care; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (2012)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery (Surgery) (2010)
  • American Board of Surgery (Surgical Critical Care) (2011)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Matar MM, Jewett B, Fakhry S, Wilson DA, Ferguson P, Anton R, Sakran JV.  Identifying chronic heavy alcohol use in emergency general surgery patients: a pilot study.  Trauma Surg Acute Care Open. 2017 Sep; 2(1):1-5.  

Kent AJ, Sakran JV, Efron DT, Haider AH, Cornwell EE 3rd, Haut ER.  Understanding Increased Mortality after Gunshot Injury.  Am J Public Health.  2017 Dec; 107(12):e22-e23.  

Mehta A, Dultz LA, Joseph B, Canner JK, Stevens K, Jones C, Haut ER, Efron DT, Sakran JV.  Emergency General Surgery in Geriatric Patients: A Statewide Analysis of Surgeon and Hospital Volume with Outcomes.  J Trauma Acute Care Surg.  2018 Jan 31 [Epub ahead of print].

Mehta A, Efron D, Stevens K, Manukyan MC, Joseph B, Sakran JV.  Hospital Variation in Mortality after Emergency Bowel Resections: The Role of Failure-to-Rescue.  J Trauma Acute Care Surg.  2018 Feb 3 [Epub ahead of print].

Sakran JV, Mehta A, Fransman R, Nathens AB, Joseph B, Kent A, Haut ER, Efron DT.  Nationwide Trends in Mortality Following Penetrating Trauma: Are We Up for the Challenge?  J Trauma Acute Care Surg.  2018 Apr 3 [Epub ahead of print].

Activities & Honors


  • Top Resident Teacher Award – Virginia Commonwealth University, 2010
  • Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) – Oriens Award, 2011
  • Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) – Leadership Development Scholarship, 2013
  • Surgical Training Awareness and Residency (STAR) Award – Department of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, 2013
  • American College of Surgeons – Surgical Humanitarian and Volunteerism Award, 2014
  • Fellow Leadership Award – American College of Surgeons, 2014
  • Future Trauma Leaders Program – American College of Surgeons, 2015
  • Elected, Alpha Omega Alpha, 2016


  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons, 2005
  • Member, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2007
  • Member, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, 2008
  • Member, Association for Academic Surgery, 2009
  • Member, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, 2011
  • American College of Surgeons (FACS)


Professional Activities

  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons (ACS), 2005
  • RAS-Liaison, Inova Fairfax Hospital Surgical Residency Program, 2005 - 2010
  • RAS Liaison, Advisory Council for General Surgery, 2011 - 2014
  • Executive Committee Member, RAS, 2011 - 2016
  • Elected Secretary, RAS-ACS, 2012 - 2013
  • Vice Chair, RAS-ACS, 2013 - 2014
  • Chair, RAS-ACS, 2014 - 2015
  • Ex-officio RAS-ACS, Young Fellows Association Governing Council, 2015 - 2016
  • Steering Committee Member, Committee on Trauma-Weber Shandwick Initiative, 2015
  • Member, Performance Improvement committee, Committee on Trauma, 2016
  • Member, Advocacy committee, Committee on Trauma, 2016
  • Member and Vice-Chair, International Sub-committee, Operation Giving Back, 2016
  • Member, Young Fellows Association Governing Council, 2016
  • Member, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, 2016
  • Member, Careers Committee, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, 2012 - 2015
  • Presidential Appointment, Strategic Initiative Task Force, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, 2013 - 2016
  • Presidential Appointment, Social Media Task Force, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, 2015 - 2016
  • Member, Annual Scientific Assembly Section, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, 2015

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

US gun violence: School shooting victim becomes surgeon to save others, Australian Broadcasting Corporation,(05/01/2016)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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