Peter Learn, MD

Peter A Learn, MD, Colonel, Air Force

Name: Peter A Learn, MD, Colonel, Air Force

USU Department of Primary Appointment: 
Vice Chair of Surgery for Education
Faculty Rank: 
Associate Professor
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

Research Interests:
Clinical outcomes in surgery
Systems of surgical care delivery

Office Phone: 
(301) 294-2183


Fellowship in Surgical Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Residency in General Surgery, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center-University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
BS in Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Dr. Peter Learn completed residency in General Surgery in 2007. He was an attending surgeon at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center prior to completing a Complex Surgical Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He was then assigned to San Antonio Military Medical Center and served as Associate Program Director for the General Surgery Residency 2011-2013 and Interim Program Director 2013-2014. He joined the faculty of USUHS in 2014. In 2015, he was appointed Associate Chair of Surgery for Quality and Outcomes at Uniformed Services University and Deputy Director of Surgery for Quality at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He led the creation of an interdisciplinary program focused on measuring and improving the quality of surgical care at WRNMMC and has led MHS initiatives on developing leaders in surgical quality and the system-wide use of surgical quality metrics. In 2021, he was appointed the Vice Chair of Surgery for Education. His clinical practice encompasses surgical oncology, including the management of hepatopancreatobiliary diseases, breast cancer, melanoma, sarcoma, and other gastrointestinal cancers. His research focuses on surgical care delivery systems, healthcare disparities, and surgical outcomes.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

  • Associate Chair of Surgery for Quality, USUHS, 2015-present
  • Consultant to the USAF Surgeon General for General Surgery, 2017-present
  • Governor for the USAF to the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors, 2017-present
  • LTGen Claire L. Chennault Award for Excellence, National Capital Consortium, 2018
  • Associate Program Director, General Surgery Residency, San Antonio Military Medical Center, 2012-2014
  • Deputy Commander for Clinical Services, Task Force MED-East, Operation Enduring Freedom, 2011


  • Gunasingha RMKD, Niloy IL, Wetstein BB, Learn PA, Turza LC. Keeping tabs: reducing postoperative opioid prescriptions for patients after breast surgical procedures. Surgery 2021
  • Dalton MK, Jarman MP, Manful A, Pisano AJ, Learn PA, Koehlmoos TP, Weissman JS, Cooper Z, Schoenfeld AJ. Long-Term Prescription Opioid Use Among US Military Service Members Injured in Combat. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 2021
  • Pak LM, Banaag A, Koehlmoos TP, Nguyen LL, Learn PA. Non-clinical drivers of variation in preoperative MRI utilization for breast cancer. Annals of Surgical Oncology 2020
  • Chaudhary MA, Learn PA, Sturgeon DJ, Havens JM, Goralnick E, Koehlmoos T, Haider AH, Schoenfeld AJ. Emergency General Surgery Volume and Its Impact on Outcomes in Military Treatment Facilities. Journal of Surgical Research 2020
  • Learn PA, Mullen MJ, Saldinger PF, Kreishman P, Cordts PR, Ko CY, Knudson MM, Elster EA. A Collaborative To Evaluate And Improve The Quality Of Surgical Care Delivered By The Military Health System. Health Affairs 2019
  • Changoor NR, Pak LM, Nguyen LL, Bleday R, Trinh QD, Koehlmoos T, Learn PA, Haider AH, Goldberg JE. Effect of an equal-access military health system on racial disparities in colorectal cancer screening. Cancer 2018
  • Schoenfeld AJ, Jiang W, Harris MB, Cooper Z, Koehlmoos, T, Learn PA, Weissman JS, Haider AH. Association between race and postoperative outcomes in a universally insured population versus patients in the state of California. Annals of Surgery 2016
  • Learn PA, Bach PB. A decade of mortality reduction in major oncologic surgery: the impact of centralization and quality improvement. Medical Care 2010