Shimae C. Fitzgibbons

Shimae C. FitzgibbonsShimae C. Fitzgibbons, MD, MEd, is an attending general surgeon and director of Surgical Simulation and Education at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (MGUH). In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she is the associate program director for the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital general surgery residency program, the clerkship director for the Georgetown University School of Medicine surgical clerkship, and an assistant professor within the Department of Surgery.

In her clinical practice, Dr. Fitzgibbons consults with patients and performs surgery for hernia, gastrointestinal conditions, gallbladder disease, and other conditions requiring urgent or emergency general surgery intervention. As a board certified general surgeon with a master’s degree in education, Dr. Fitzgibbons’ academic role involves teaching and training medical students and residents. In this capacity, she is currently leading a team of investigators in evaluating central venous catheter-related complication rates at two large, tertiary-care teaching hospitals within the MedStar Health system. In her work as a member of MGUH’s Patient Safety Committee on Education, Dr. Fitzgibbons focuses on improving the delivery of patient safety education to healthcare professionals.

Her research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Surgery, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Annals of Surgery, and the Journal of Pediatric Surgery. She has also authored or coauthored chapters on thyroid cancer treatment and laparoscopic surgical approaches for lumbar spinal fusion.

Dr. Fitzgibbons is active in several professional societies, including the American College of Surgeons, the Association for Surgical Education (ASE) and the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS).  She currently is secretary for the DC chapter of the AWS and is a past council member. In addition, she serves on the Committee for Graduate Surgical Education and the Committee on Simulation for the ASE. Dr. Fitzgibbons speaks English as her primary language, and she is fluent in Spanish.

Her medical degree is from the combined program of Dartmouth Medical School/Brown Medical School, Hanover, NH, and Providence, RI. She continued her education with an internship and residency in general surgery at Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, MA. In addition, she completed a two-year fellowship in surgical research at Boston Children’s Hospital. She obtained her master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA.

Research Interests

Dr. Fitzgibbons’ research interests include the following:

  • Medical education
  • Delivery of medical education
  • Hernia surgery
  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Colonic motility disorders
  • Gallbladder diseases
  • General surgery techniques

Selected Research

Central Venous Catheter Baseline Complication Rates at Two Large Tertiary-Care Teaching Hospitals

In this study, Dr. Fitzgibbons is leading an effort to define complication rates associated with the placement of central venous catheters at two large tertiary-care teaching hospitals and to evaluate the impact of simulation-based technical training on those rates. This project will result in improved understanding of the impact of training efforts on patient outcomes related to a specific medical intervention.

Identifying the Need for and Content of an Advanced Laparoscopic Skills Curriculum: Results of a National Survey

Through use of an initial needs assessment survey, Dr. Fitzgibbons and colleagues identified deficits in advanced laparoscopic skills among graduating general surgery residents. Areas of deficit included advanced suturing, bimanual coordination, and managing difficult anatomy. The results of this research will be used to develop an advanced laparoscopic curriculum for surgical residents. This research has been published in the American Journal of Surgery (2016;211:421-425. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2015.10.009).

View Dr. Fitzgibbons’ publications on PubMed.

Visit Dr. Fitzgibbons’ clinical practice page.


  • Research Areas
  • Medical Education
  • Other Surgical