At the center of Dr. Philip Fidler’s burn care philosophy is a simple plan: Give every patient an opportunity to have some fun.
“I want them to get back to doing leisure activities,” he said. “Sure, getting back on their feet is great. Getting the opportunity to work is wonderful. However, when they can do something they really enjoy, that brings them happiness. It’s been said happiness is food for the soul, but it is also food for healing.”
A New York native, born in the Bronx, Dr. Fidler has dedicated a large part of his life to helping others. Between high school and college, he served as a volunteer farmer, trash collector, and teacher for a year in Israel. He found his medical direction during his residency following medical school at the University of Kansas of School of Medicine. He treated patients at the State University of New York Downstate campus in Brooklyn’s Kings County hospital—one of the country’s busiest urban trauma centers.
“I learned one of the most important lessons of medicine there: Patients are what matter, and treating them takes creativity, patience and courage—all things that you can never be prepared for without hands-on experience,” he said.
Dr. Fidler also completed fellowships in surgical critical care at Yale University School of Medicine, and burn surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Shriners Hospital for children, at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He is board certified in both surgery and surgical critical care. His tenure in the world of burn care began when he joined Yale New Haven Health System’s Bridgeport campus as Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery and Instructor in the department of Plastic Surgery. He practiced Trauma, Emergency Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, and soon became director of Connecticut’s only burn unit. Under his leadership, the burn care program’s patient volume nearly doubled, and the service was lauded for excellence in education.
In 2008, Dr. Fidler joined the MedStar Washington Hospital Burn Center in Washington, D.C., and served as director and associate professor of surgery at Georgetown University School of Medicine. In 2015, he joined the staff of Burn & Reconstructive Centers of Colorado, and help fulfill the need for a combined adult and pediatric burn center in the mountain and plains regions of the US. Dr. Fidler has been a member of the Government Affairs committee of the American Burn Association and is currently on the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Committee and has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Burn Care and Research for years. As past president of the North American Burn Society, Dr. Fidler encouraged burn survivors and providers to work with adaptive sports counselors to improve their psychosocial well-being and better enjoy the outdoors. In 2016, Dr. Fidler was named a Gusi Peace Prize Laureate for excellence in medicine and burn patient advocacy and was honored at a ceremony the Philippines.