Dr. Clifford Ko

Clifford Y. Ko, MD, MS, MSHA, FACS is the director of research and patient care at the American College of Surgeons. He oversees the organization’s quality improvement programs, including the bariatric surgery and cancer accreditation programs, the trauma and pediatric surgery verification programs, and the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

Dr. Ko’s work focuses on quality measurement, process improvement and reliability in surgical care. He has advised national and international efforts in surgical quality, including the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine and the National Quality Forum. Dr. Ko has received grant funding to study quality of care from multiple national agencies, published hundreds of peer-reviewed manuscripts and has written more than 20 book chapters. He frequently speaks nationally and internationally, and was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the top 50 experts in patient safety.

Current national initiatives for Dr. Ko include overseeing the writing of the ACS Quality Manual and development of a geriatric surgery quality program. Clinically, Dr. Ko’s practice focuses on colorectal cancer. At UCLA, he is the Robert and Kelly Day Professor of Surgery, and has won the faculty teaching award three times. He’s also professor of health services at the UCLA School of Public Health.

Dr. Ko received his bachelor’s in biology, a masters in biological and medical ethics and an MD from the University of Chicago. He also earned a master’s in health services from UCLA. Dr. Ko completed his surgery residency at UCLA Medical Center and took specialty training at the Lahey Clinic in Boston in colon and rectal surgery.