Carl Schmidt, MD, is a cancer surgeon specializing in pancreatic cancer and liver cancer. As chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the WVU Cancer Institute, he is also a leader in expanding cancer treatment options for West Virginians.
Dr. Schmidt was drawn to cancer care, surgery, and research early in his career. Before starting his fellowship training in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, he completed a surgical residency, research fellowship, and master’s degree in clinical investigation at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
“I enjoy the complexity of cancer surgery and the close relationships I build with my patients,” Dr. Schmidt says. “We discuss what’s happening and their options for curing or controlling their cancer. Sometimes we have difficult conversations about balancing length of life and quality of life. That process of understanding their goals and earning their trust is rewarding.”
When Dr. Schmidt joined the Cancer Institute in 2018, he brought unique expertise in minimally invasive cancer surgery. He and another cancer surgeon, Brian Boone, MD, created West Virginia’s first robotic pancreas surgery program. Dr. Schmidt also helped perform the state’s first isolated hepatic perfusion. This procedure delivers chemotherapy directly to the liver, treating tumors that can’t be removed with surgery.
Dr. Schmidt values the Cancer Institute’s approach to care. “Many people need a combination of treatments,” he says. “I work closely with other specialists, such as radiation oncologists and medical oncologists. Our patients receive the best possible care from a team of doctors who are experts in their fields.”
Outside of the operating room, Dr. Schmidt researches new ways to improve the quality of cancer care. Through projects and clinical trials, he finds ways to make cancer treatments safer and more effective. “It’s because of research that we keep improving cancer care,” Dr. Schmidt says. “We see new and better therapies every year, including surgery techniques that are more precise and less invasive.”
Dr. Schmidt is a member of various professional organizations dedicated to surgical care. These include the American College of Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Oncology. He is also on the editorial board of several respected medical journals, including the Journal of Surgical Oncology and the Annals of Surgical Oncology.
Outside of work, Dr. Schmidt enjoys listening to music and spending time with friends.