Dr. Richard Prager received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and completed medical school at the State University of New York, Downstate in Brooklyn, New York in 1971. His General Surgical and Thoracic surgical training were completed at the University of Michigan in 1978.
He began his career at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery in 1978 with interests in adult cardiac, as well as general thoracic surgery. He returned to Ann Arbor in 1983 and joined the Cardiac and Thoracic Surgical Group at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. During this time, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital was selected a HCFA demonstration hospital for coronary artery bypass and Dr. Prager was the Medical Director of this national project. Over the ensuing years, he became the Associate Head of the Department of Surgery and Head of the Section of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery and the Medical Director of the Mercy Health Services Cardiovascular Network. In 1999, he moved to the University of Michigan as a Professor of Surgery and Head, Section of Adult Cardiac Surgery with ongoing interests in adult cardiac surgery, health outcomes research, patient safety, organizational efficiencies, and education.
Dr. Prager leads the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Quality Collaborative Initiative and is Chair of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Adult Cardiac Database Task Force, and Chair of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Quality Initiatives Taskforce. He is a Director of the University of Michigan’s Cardiovascular Center and recently assumed the role of Program Director of the Thoracic Surgery residency, and is President-elect of the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association.