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Chad Purnell, M.D.

Chad Purnell, M.D., is a board-certified craniofacial and plastic surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago. His areas of interest include cleft lip and palate repair, jaw surgery, microsurgery and facial reconstruction. He is also focused on children with craniofacial syndromes such as Treacher Collins syndrome and Apert syndrome, breathing problems related to craniofacial syndromes and children with facial paralysis.

Dr. Purnell previously was acting instructor/senior fellow at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. In the past he also served with Operation Smile as a surgical resident volunteer (Stryker Fellowship) in Guwahati, India, performing cleft lip and palate repairs.

Dr. Purnell has published numerous scholarly papers, edited book chapters and presented at medical conferences. He is a peer reviewer for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Global Open. He is a past resident ambassador on the editorial board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the past resident editor of Plastic Surgery News: Resident Magazine. He has also provided material for, the American Academy of Pediatrics advice website for parents.

Dr. Purnell is an associate member of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and a Sir Charles Bell Facial Nerve Society member. He is also a candidate member of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, an affiliate member of the American Association of Pediatric Plastic Surgeons, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section of Plastic Surgery.

He is a multiple recipient of the Northwestern Department of Surgery Resident as Teacher Award, and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He also received the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors Silver Award for the best use of social media in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Purnell is a recipient of a research grant between Georgia Tech and Shriners Hospitals to develop open source infrastructure to use computer learning to advance research using electronic medical records.


  • Fellowship, craniofacial surgery, University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, Wash.
  • Residency, plastic and reconstructive surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago
  • Research Resident, Craniofacial Biology Lab, Stanley Manne Research Institute of Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago
  • Graduate, M.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Undergraduate, BS in science, Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Elkins Park, Pa.
  • Undergraduate, BS in biology, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pa.