Dr. Donald Shaul, our new pediatric surgeon at CHOC’s colorectal and bowel management program, comes highly regarded as a colorectal surgery expert. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Shaul has performed hundreds of life-saving surgeries, specializing in correcting the lower intestines of babies born with birth defects like imperforate anus and Hirschsprung’s disease.
It all began in high school. Even without any mentors or family members in healthcare, Dr. Shaul knew that he wanted to be a physician. He attended UCLA for medical school, where he fell in love with pediatric surgery. After completing residency at UC Davis, Dr. Shaul was trained in both pediatric surgery and pediatric urology during his fellowships at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).
As a young attending surgeon, Dr. Shaul found that the intricacies of complex colorectal repair combined his experience in pediatric surgery and urology and was both challenging and rewarding. Dr. Shaul spent the next 20 years working as a pediatric surgeon and urologist at CHLA. During this time, he was fortunate to have been mentored by two renowned surgeons, Drs. Alberto Pena and Hardy Hendren, and built on the knowledge gained from these relationships to care for his patients. Most recently, he was chief of pediatric surgery at Southern California Permanente Medical Group for nearly 11 years.
“The most rewarding part of being a surgeon is being able to help families deal with stressful situations like having a sick child,” says Dr. Shaul. “After so many years, performing the surgeries can become routine, but being able to help children and relieve their family’s stress never gets old.”
Now at CHOC, Dr. Shaul is eager to offer his unique expertise in pediatric surgery and urology to further advance CHOC’s expert treatment of patients in the colorectal and bowel management program, and to pass along his knowledge to younger colleagues. He looks forward to expanding care to CHOC’s surrounding region and promoting CHOC as the resource for excellent colorectal and bowel management care for children.
Additionally, Dr. Shaul also looks forward to serving as a resource to other children’s hospitals nationwide through data sharing. CHOC’s colorectal team will contribute treatment data to a national database on outcomes for patients with colorectal disorders. Because some of these diseases are so rare, says Dr. Shaul, one hospital won’t see very many cases. Children’s hospitals need to work together to share to discover the best care and treatment strategies for patients, he says.
In his free time, Dr. Shaul enjoys spending time outdoors. He is an avid fly fisherman, and likes to golf, ski and exercise with his wife and friends.
Refer a patient to the colorectal and bowel management program