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Dr. John Porterfield


Areas of Interest
minimally invasive and robotic surgery of the adrenal, spleen, gall bladder, thyroid, parathyroid and inguinal hernia surgery


Dr. John R. Porterfield joined the UAB Department of Surgery in 2008, returning to Alabama, his home state, after training at the Mayo Clinic. He has since achieved associate professorship and additionally serves as director of the General Surgery Residency Program. A skilled instructor, with a gift for teaching, he has won numerous awards including several UAB Faculty Teacher of the Year awards. He is a dedicated mentor to a group of UAB student researchers and thrives on counseling high school, college and medical school students. Dr. Porterfield was recently inducted into the prestigious Southern Surgical Association. He also is an active member of numerous professional organizations including the Southeastern Surgical Congress, the Association of Program Directors in Surgery where he is currently serving as a board member, and he also serves on the American College of Surgeons Committee on Resident Education. Dr. Porterfield speaks nationally and internationally regarding his expertise in surgical education, endocrine and robotic surgery. He has authored five book chapters and contributed to 30 journal articles.

Selected Publications

1.              Rogers DA, Peterson DT, Ponce BA, White ML, Porterfield JR. Simulation and Faculty Development. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2015

2.              Chung TK, Rosenthal EL, Porterfield JR, Carroll WR, Richman J, Hawn MT. Intraoperative Nerve Monitoring and Vocal Cord Paralysis: Controlling Bias: In reply to Nguyen and Wang..J Am Coll Surg. 2015 May;220(5):973-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2015.02.005

3.              Goeddel LA, Porterfield JR Jr, Hall JD, Vetter TR. Ethical Opportunities with the Perioperative Surgical Home: Disruptive Innovation, Patient-Centered Care, Shared Decision Making, Health Literacy, and Futility of Care. Anesth Analg. 2015 May;120(5):1158-62

4.              Reddy K, Hooper K, Frost A, Hebert-Magee S, Bell W, Porterfield JR, Ramesh J. Pedunculated focal nodular hyperplasia masquerading as perigastric mass identified by EUS-FNA. Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 Jan;81(1):238-9; discussion 239-40

5.              Chung TK, Rosenthal EL, Porterfield JR, Carroll WR, Richman J, Hawn MT.Examining national outcomes after thyroidectomy with nerve monitoring. J Am Coll Surg. 2014 Oct;219(4):765-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2014.04.013. Epub 2014 May 29.

6.              Vetter TR, Adhami LF, Porterfield JR Jr, Marques MB. Perceptions about blood transfusion: a survey of surgical patients and their anesthesiologists and surgeons. Anesth Analg. 2014 Jun;118(6):1301-8

7.              Shindo ML, Caruana S, Kandil E, McCaffrey JC, Orloff L, Porterfield JR, Randolph G, Shaha A, Shin J, Terris D. Management of invasive well-differentiated thyroid cancer an American Head and Neck society consensus statement. Head Neck. 2014 Jan 28

8.              Glasgow RE1, Hawn MT2, Hosokawa PW3, Henderson WG3, Min SJ3, Richman JS2, Tomeh MG4, Campbell D5, Neumayer LA6; DS3 Study Group [Christein J, Cannon J, Morris M, Porterfield J, Stahl R, Grams J, Heslin M, Passman M, Altom L, Roberson E, Andtbacka R, Davis C, Enniss T, Langell J, Mulvihill S, Nelson E, Nirula R, Peche W, Pell J, Ryckaert A, Scaife C, Sklow B, Sorensen J, Vargo D, Volckmann E, Rao BN] Comparison of prospective risk estimates for postoperative complications: human vs computer model. J Am Coll Surg. 2014 Feb;218(2):237-45.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2013.10.027. Epub 2013 Nov 1

9.              Antiel RM, Reed DA, Van Arendonk KJ, Wightman SC, Hall DE, Porterfield JR, Horvath KD, Terhune KP, Tarpley JL, Farley DR. Effects of Duty Hour Restrictions on Core Competencies, Education, Quality of Life, and Burnout Among General Surgery Interns. JAMA Surg. 2013 Jan 16:1-8. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2013.1368.

10.           Antiel RM, Van Arendonk KJ, Reed DA, Terhune KP, Tarpley JL, Porterfield JR, Hall DE, Joyce DL, Wightman SC, Horvath KD, Heller SF, Farley DR.Surgical training, duty-hour restrictions, and implications for meeting the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies: views of surgical interns compared with program directors. Arch Surg. 2012 Jun;147(6):536-41. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.2012.89.

11.           Vetter TR, Boudreaux AM, Papapietro SE, Smith PW, Taylor BB, Porterfield JR Jr. The perioperative management of patients with coronary artery stents: surveying the clinical stakeholders and arriving at a consensus regarding optimal care. Am J Surg. 2012 Oct;204(4):453-461.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.02.012. Epub 2012 May 21.

12.           Porterfield JR Jr, Altom LK, Graham LA, Gray SH, Urist MM, Hawn MT. Descriptive operative reports: teaching, learning, and milestones to safe surgery. J Surg Educ. 2011 Nov-Dec;68(6):452-8.

13.           Kamdi AS, Kandavalli NB, Emusu D, Jain N, Mamtani M, Porterfield JR Jr. Weak or absent evidence for the association of HLA-DR antigens with risk of thyroid carcinoma: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Tissue Antigens. 2011 Nov;78(5):382-9.

14.           Snyder CW, Vandromme MJ, Tyra SL, Porterfield JR, Jr, Clements RH, Hawn MT.  Effects of virtual reality simulator training method and observational learning on surgical performance.  Word J Surg 2011 Feb;35(2):245-52.

15.           Lillegard JB, Porterfield JR. Ephedra-Induced Gastric Mucosal Injury. Case Reports in Gastroenterology 2010 Feb 4(1): 79-83.

16.           Porterfield JR, Cassivi SD, Wigle DA, Shen KR, Nichols FC, Grant CS, Allen MS, Deschamps C. Thoracic metastasectomy for thyroid malignancies. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2009 Jul;36(1):155-8.

17.           Porterfield JR, Factor DA, Grant CS.  Technique of Total Thyroidectomy for Large Substernal Goiters. Operative Techniques in Otolaryngology 2009 Mar:20(1):18-22.

18.           Porterfield JR, Factor DA, Grant CS. Operative technique for modified radical neck dissection in papillary thyroid carcinoma. Arch Surg. 2009 Jun;144(6):567-74; discussion 574.

19.           Porterfield JR, Grant CS, Dean DS, Thompson GB, Farley DR, Richards ML, Reading CC, Charboneau JW, Vollrath BK, Sebo TJ.  Reliability of benign fine needle aspiration cytology of large thyroid nodules. Surgery 2008 Dec;144(6):963-9.

20.           Cusati DA, Porterfield JR, Schiller HJ, Matthews LR, Farley DR. The trauma seemed minor, the AV fistula didn’t.  Contemporary Surgery 2008 Sept;64(9):431-436.

21.           Porterfield JR, Thompson GB, Farley DR, Grant CS, Richards ML.  Evidence-based Management of Toxic Multinodular Goiter (Plummer’s Disease).  World J Surg 2008 Jul;32(7):1278-84.

22.           Rohrer AJ, Porterfield JR, Grinberg GG, Mathis KL, Farley DR. Acute epigastric pain with an obscure origin. Contemporary Surgery 2008 Jul;64(7):321-4.

23.           Porterfield JR, Thompson GB, Young WF, Chow JT, Fryrear RS, van Heerden JA, Farley DR, Atkinson JR, Meyer FB, Abboud CF, Nippoldt TB, Natt N, Erickson D, Vella A, Carpenter PC, Richards ML, Carney JA, Larson D, Schleck C, Churchward M, Grant CS.  Surgery for Cushing’s Syndrome:  A Historical Review and Recent Ten-Year Experience.  World J Surg 2008 May;32(5):659-677.

Honors and Awards

Kirby Bland Senior Surgeon Faculty of the Year Award (2023)


Medical School
University of Alabama

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Mayo Clinic - Rochester, MN
General Surgery

Mayo Clinic - Rochester, MN
Endocrine Surgery


Campus Address
Kracke 417

Patient Appointments and Questions: 205-975-3000