Five Questions With: Dr. Katherine MacCallum

Dr. Katherine MacCallum is the latest addition to the team of surgeons at Brown Surgical Associates. A native New Englander, MacCallum completed her fellowship in vascular surgery at Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University. She specializes in vascular surgery, with a particular focus on critical limb ischemia and limb salvage, surgical education, and vascular sequelae in diabetes. She discusses her new role, her love for Providence and the importance of making care accessible to patients.

PBN: What will your new role look like as part of Brown Surgical Associates’ Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery? What are some of your goals for the new position?

MACCALLUM: In joining Brown Surgical Associates’ Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, I will become part of a fantastic team of providers who are wholly committed to delivering excellent care to their patients. The division specializes in all aspects of vascular surgery from wound care to atherosclerosis to aortic aneurysm repair and everything in between.

Ours is a dynamic field with constantly evolving techniques and technologies available to better patient outcomes, as well as the overall patient experience. It is my goal to integrate these into my daily practice in order to provide individually tailored, patient-centered options for surgical and nonsurgical management of these complex diseases.

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PBN: What drew you to vascular care in particular?

MACCALLUM: During my residency in general surgery, I was fortunate enough to have exposure to a busy vascular surgery division and excellent mentorship. I immediately fell in love with the delicate technical work that the surgical procedures required.

As I began to learn more about the field, I found the diversity of procedures performed, as well as the diversity of the problems treated, to be appealing. I also appreciated the patient relationships created; many are under your care for years given the chronic nature of most vascular diseases.

PBN: Born and raised in New England, you are now back practicing in the Northeast. Why was it important to you to practice in this community?

MACCALLUM: The biggest draw for me coming back to New England was to be closer to family. I found Providence to be the perfect location, as it’s a vibrant city with tons of culture and great food. I was particularly impressed with how tightknit Rhode Island is and felt that I could make a difference in the community.

PBN: As part of your background, you completed a fellowship in vascular and endovascular surgery at Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University. How did this fellowship prepare you to join Brown Surgical Associates?

MACCALLUM: Following completion of my general surgery residency, I elected to pursue a two-year fellowship in vascular surgery. I chose the Georgetown University/Medstar Health program, as it was clinically rigorous with an academic, university setting. I wanted to ensure that I had exposure to all nature of vascular diseases, both arterial and venous, as to gain the most knowledge and technical skill possible while still in training.

PBN: You’ve mentioned that there is a strong need for accessible vascular care in certain communities. What can be done to bridge this gap and ensure equal and quality access to vascular care?

MACCALLUM: With the way that many systems throughout the country are structured, specialized fields can be often limited to large, city hospitals. One of the strengths that drew me to Brown Surgical Associates was the emphasis on ensuring a presence in communities outside of the city center. For example, I will be seeing patients in Smithfield, as well as our Providence office.

Many of our patients are elderly, or have limited mobility, and access to a surgeon can be difficult, particularly if it requires a great deal of travel. My hope is that by extending our practice into the surrounding communities, we can help patients get the help they need closer to home.

Claudia Chiappa is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at

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