In the Spotlight: Peter Yu, M.D.

Peter Yu, M.D. A new pediatric surgeon with unique expertise in fetal surgery has joined CHOC Children’s Specialists Pediatric Surgery. Dr. Peter Yu specializes in the full spectrum of pediatric surgery, including neonatal, thoracic, and hernia surgery, and has quickly become an integral part of the surgery team.

“I’m extremely happy to be at CHOC,” Dr. Yu says. “There is so much talent and potential here, as well as a pioneering spirit and willingness to undertake big things.”

He is working closely with Dr. David Gibbs, division chief, pediatric surgery, CHOC Children’s Specialists, and Dr. Mustafa Kabeer, pediatric surgeon, CHOC Children’s Specialists, to launch a multi-disciplinary fetal surgery program at CHOC in the near future.

This highly complex surgery was uncharted territory about 30 years ago, Dr. Yu says. Many advances have been made in the field since, including new techniques that have allowed for the in utero surgical intervention of previously unsurvivable conditions. With special training from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the pioneering institutions in fetal surgery, Dr. Yu is determined to bring that level of expert care to CHOC and add to his team’s scope of services.

Among his goals, he hopes to help his team enhance the trauma program, advance CHOC’s minimally invasive surgery program, and increase CHOC’s national reputation through quality patient care and innovative research.

A passion for pediatric surgery

Dr. Yu followed in his older brother’s footsteps to become a doctor and attended Stanford University for his undergraduate studies. He graduated from the medical school at University of Missouri School of Medicine, where he fell in love with the culture and technical aspects of surgery, as well as the potential to make sick patients better quickly.

“I realized that the best surgeons were kind, dedicated, hard-working and team players – traits that I really value. When I discovered pediatric surgery, I felt it was a perfect fit for me, as it allows me to take care of children with an incredibly broad spectrum of pathology through surgical excellence,” he says.

Dr. Yu completed his general surgery residency at University of California, San Diego, followed by a surgical critical care fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and a pediatric surgery fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Additionally, he is board certified in general surgery, pediatric surgery and surgical critical care, and is currently working on a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

This dedicated physician is interested in outcomes research to better understand the end results of specific health care practices and interventions.

“We presently live in an era where massive amounts of data are available at the click of a few buttons. The roadblock for many physicians is that we often don’t know how to access this data or organize it,” Dr. Yu explains. “My goal, along with my partner, Dr. Yigit Guner, as well as the division of pediatric general and thoracic surgery at CHOC, is to build an outcomes research center. This center will help all CHOC physicians access healthcare data and turn it into something meaningful so that we can provide the highest quality of clinical care to our patients, and do so in a financially sustainable manner.”

Dr. Yu has given numerous national presentations at meetings such as the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress and the Association for Academic Surgery and Society of University Surgeons Academic Surgical Congress. He is a member of several organizations, including the American Pediatric Surgical Association and Society of Critical Care Medicine.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys surfing, basketball and competitive swimming on a local U.S. Masters swim team.

To get in contact with Dr. Yu or to refer a patient, please call 714-364-4050.