James Merlino, MD

216.444.1877

James Merlino, MD
Department: Colorectal Surgery
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code A30
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
WorkAppointment:216.444.1877
WorkFax:216.636.2751
James Merlino, MD
Department: Professional Staff Affairs
Chief Experience Officer
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code A30
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
WorkAppointment:216.444.1877
WorkFax:216.636.2751
James Merlino, MD
Department: Patient Experience Office
Associate Chief of Staff
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code A30
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
WorkAppointment:216.444.1877
WorkFax:216.636.2751
Surgeon:
Yes
Treats:
Adults Only

Biographical Sketch

James Merlino, MD, is the Chief Experience Officer of the Cleveland Clinic health system, and is a practicing staff colorectal surgeon in the Digestive Disease Institute. He is also the founder and current president of the Association for Patient Experience. As a member of the Clinic’s executive team, he leads initiatives to improve the patient experience across the Cleveland Clinic Health System. In addition to his work in patient experience, he also leads efforts to improve physician-patient communication, and referring physician relations.

Partnering with key members of the Clinic leadership team, he helps to improve communication with physicians and employees, and to drive employee engagement strategies. Along with the Clinic CEO, he is co-chairperson of the Cleveland Clinic Diversity Council, and also sits on the professional affairs committee. He is a recognized world leader in the emerging field of patient experience.

Dr. Merlino believes that all employees are caregivers and partners in delivering great patient care to positively impact the patient experience. He believes the guiding principle of ‘Patients First’ requires more than world-class clinical care . . . it requires care that addresses every aspect of a patient’s encounter with Cleveland Clinic, including the patient’s physical comfort as well as educational, emotional and spiritual needs. Ultimately, he believes Patients First is about treating your patients the way you would want your family members to be treated.

Prior to returning to the Clinic, Dr. Merlino practiced at one of the largest county hospitals in the United States. There he was involved in several quality initiatives, and served as the director of surgical quality. He was instrumental in implementing care paths for the management of complex colorectal surgery patients, and advocated for the implementation of the American College of Surgeons NSQIP program to that hospital.

Dr. Merlino is certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and the American Board of General Surgery, and he is a fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Merlino received his undergraduate degree in business administration at Baldwin-Wallace College, and his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in general surgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland, and his fellowship in colorectal surgery at Cleveland Clinic. During his residency, he took a two year research sabbatical to complete an AHRQ funded research fellowship in Health Services Research. Prior to attending medical school he worked in public service and served as a trustee of a large community hospital.

Dr. Merlino’s wife, Amy, is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic.

Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic
Colorectal Surgery
Cleveland, OH USA
2005
Residency - University Hospitals of Cleveland
General Surgery
Cleveland, OH USA
2004
Medical School - Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Cleveland, OH USA
1997
Undergraduate - Baldwin Wallace College
Berea, OH USA
1991

Certifications

  • Surgery
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery

Specialty Interests

Anorectal Disease, cancer of the colon, carcinoma of the colon, carcinoma of the rectum, carcinoma of the small bowel and large bowel, colon & anus, colon and rectal cancer, colon and rectal surgery, Colon Cancer, colonic neoplasia, Colonoscopy, Colorectal Cancer, colorectal cancer research, colorectal surgery, Crohn's Disease, diverticiulitis pelvic pouch procedures for mucosal ulcerative colitis and familial adenomatous polyposis sphincter-saving operations, diverticular disease, diverticulitis, familial inherited colorectal cancer, fecal incontinence, incontinence, intestinal fistulae, intestinal stomas, inflammatory bowel disease, laparoscopic colectomy, laparoscopic colon resection, laparoscopic colon surgery, laparoscopic colorectal surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, laparoscopy, rectal cancer, Rectal Prolapse, rectum, rectal-sparing operations for carcinoma of the rectum, reoperative abdominal and pelvic surgery, reoperative surgery, Sphincter-preservation Surgery, sphincter-saving operations, sphincter-sparing procedures, surgery for carcinoma of the colon and rectum reoperative abdominopelvic surgery, surgery for Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis, surgical treatment for mucosal ulcerative colitis, Ulcerative Colitis

Treatment & Services

  • Abdominal Perineal Resection
  • Advanced Polypectomy
  • Anorectal Fistula Treatment
  • Anorectal Surgery
  • Anoscopy
  • Appendectomy
  • Clinical Trials
  • Colectomy
  • Colon And Rectal Surgical Procedures
  • Colon Surgery
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Cancer Research
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Consultation for Complicated Colon and Rectal Disease
  • Fecal Diversion
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
  • Gastrointestinal Exams
  • Hemorrhoid Arterial Ligation
  • Hemorrhoidectomy
  • Ileoanal Pouch
  • Ileoscopy
  • Inherited Colon Cancer Risk Assessment
  • Intestinal Stomas
  • J Pouch
  • Laparoscopic Abdominal Perineal Resection
  • Laparoscopic Colectomy
  • Laparoscopic Colon Resection
  • Laparoscopic Colon Surgery
  • Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery
  • Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery
  • Laparoscopic J-pouch Surgery
  • Laparoscopic Rectopexy
  • Laparoscopic Surgery
  • Laparoscopic Surgery for Digestive Diseases
  • Laparoscopy
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Pelvic Pouch Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis
  • Polypectomy
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage Surgery
  • Pouchendoscopy
  • Pouchoscopy
  • Proctoscopy
  • Rectal Cancer Surgery
  • Rectal Surgery
  • Rectal Ultrasound
  • Rectal-Sparing Operations For Carcinoma Of The Rectum
  • Rectoplexy
  • Rectum Reoperative Abdominopelvic Surgery
  • Re-Do Rectal Surgery
  • Reoperative Abdominal Surgery
  • Reoperative Pelvic Surgery
  • Reoperative Surgery
  • Resection of Colon and Rectal Diseases
  • Rubber Band Ligation Of Hemorrhoids
  • Sphincter Sparing Surgery
  • Sphincter Surgery
  • Stapled Hemorrhoidectomy
  • Strictureplasty
  • Surgery
  • Surgery For Carcinoma Of The Colon
  • Surgery For Crohn's Disease
  • Surgery for Fecal Incontinence
  • Surgery for Pilonidal Cyst
  • Surgery for Rectal Prolapse
  • Surgery for Rectovaginal Fistula
  • Surgical Endoscopy and Endoscopic Procedures
  • Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM)

Specialty in Diseases and Conditions

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. The Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, the Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 2/4/2010, Dr. Merlino has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by the Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about the Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • English
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