Joins Dr. Robert Gustafson as state’s only pediatric heart surgeons

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Medicine Children’s – the state’s sole provider of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery – has recruited Fawwaz Shaw, M.D., to join Robert Gustafson, M.D., surgeon in chief, who has been the only pediatric heart surgeon in West Virginia for more than three decades.

Fawwaz Shaw, M.D.

“Dr. Shaw came highly recommended by his mentors in Seattle,” Dr. Gustafson said. “They all felt he was a ‘gem’ and was one of the best fellows they had ever trained.”

Shaw received his medical degree from the American International School of Medicine in Georgetown, Guyana. He then went on to the University of Tennessee-St. Francis Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program. From Tennessee, he headed west to the University of Washington to complete a cardiothoracic surgery residency. He comes to WVU Medicine Children’s from Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he completed a residency in congenital cardiac surgery.

Shaw has authored and co-authored more than two dozen abstracts, textbook chapters, and other peer-reviewed publications. He is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Surgery.

“Dr. Shaw rose above the crowd in his interviews with our cardiologists and our nurses. Everybody loved him. They came to me with zero reservations and said, ‘We think this will work. We think he will be able to carry the program forward.’ That’s not easy to find,” Gustafson said.

Since returning to WVU Medicine Children’s in 1984, Gustafson, a Keyser native and two-time graduate of WVU, has treated close to 15,000 patients from across the state, country, and around the world. He said the timing for bringing on a second pediatric heart surgeon is right, especially with plans to increase the size of WVU Medicine Children’s both in terms of its physical footprint and the number of specialists and subspecialists available to treat patients.

Gustafson said his goal with recruiting Shaw and how he’d like to be remembered is for the program to succeed, grow, and get better over time after he retires.

“I think a person’s true legacy is defined when, in the end, there is someone who can carry your work forward,” he said. “If that’s the case, I will have done my job.”

Shaw officially joined the staff of WVU Medicine Children’s at the end of July.