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Colleen M. Ryan, M.D., FACS

Colleen M. Ryan, M.D., FACS

Colleen M. Ryan, M.D., FACS, is an associate surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston. She is also an associate surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and a clinical director at Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System.

As an active clinical surgeon for over 25 years, Dr. Ryan’s main clinical activities now concentrate on the growing outpatient acute burn practice at the Boston Shriners Hospital. Dr. Ryan serves as the clinical director of the NIDILRR-funded Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System, with Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston being a main site. Dr. Ryan is the chairperson of the American Burn Association Organization and Delivery of Burn Care Committee, establishing guidelines for burn care and standards for the field and leading national efforts for burn disaster preparedness.

Dr. Ryan’s main research is focused on outcomes. She is an international leader in patient-reported outcome measures and is leading the development and implementation of burn specific measures, including the ABA/Shriners Burn Outcome Questionnaires and the Life Impact Burn Recovery Evaluation (LIBRE) Profile. In addition to being the clinical directory of the Burn Model System, Dr. Ryan serves as a clinical resource for many of the Boston Shriners Hospital researchers including Laurence Rahme, Ph.D., Yong-Ming Yu, M.D., Ph.D., and others.

Dr. Ryan has over 120 papers with an h-index of 31. Her landmark paper in NEJM describing a simple method for determining mortality from burn injury, known as the Ryan Score, is one of the most highly cited papers in the field of burns in the last 50 years. She has been funded by SHC, NIDILRR, NIH, DOD, the Fraser Family Fund and the Alden Trust. 

Dr. Ryan’s awards include the Nathaniel Bowditch Award, the Travel Award for the Japan Surgical Society and multiple best paper and best in category awards from the American Burn Association. She is consistently recognized as a Top Doctor in Boston and Top Doctor in America, as well as a Castle Connelly Exceptional Woman in Medicine. Dr. Ryan serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Burn Care and Research.

Current positions:

  • Associate Surgeon, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston
  • Associate Surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
  • Clinical Director, Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System


  • BA, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa.
  • M.D., Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
  • Intern/Resident/Chief Resident in Surgery, Harvard Fifth Surgical Program, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, Mass.
  • Surgical Registrar, Hammersmith Hospital, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, U.K.
  • NIH Research Fellowship
  • Surgical Infection Society Research Fellowship
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children Research Fellowship

Scholarly activities: