A Conversation with Richard Barakat ’81, MD, MBA
Deputy Physician-in-Chief, Regional Care Network and MSK Cancer Alliance, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Richard Barakat, ’81, is an internationally recognized surgeon and clinical investigator who specializes in advanced robotic and laparoscopic surgery for uterine cancer and radical procedures for debulking ovarian cancer. He was Chief of the Gynecology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering from 2001 to 2013 and currently holds the Ronald O. Perelman Chair in Gynecologic Surgery. Dr. Barakat was the lead investigator on several influential research projects at MSK, including a study to compare the benefits of laparoscopic versus standard surgery for patients with endometrial cancer, a study evaluating symptomatic lower-extremity lymphedema in women treated for uterine corpus cancer, and a study testing the efficacy of the Gynecologic Cancer Lymphedema Questionnaire in detecting lower-extremity lymphedema symptoms. He served as a member and examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and was the Vice Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Committee of the Gynecologic Oncology Group for five years; he remains actively involved with cancer prevention studies on that committee. He was President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology from 2013 to 2015 and is the current President of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (2014-2016).

Dr. Barakat is author or co-author of more than 340 peer-reviewed articles and numerous textbook chapters and is also an editor of a surgical atlas on gynecologic cancer and of the latest edition of Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology, one of the leading texts in the field.

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