Research Summary

Dr. Emily Finlayson is a colorectal surgeon with expertise in the treatment of colon and rectal cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. She is a specialist in minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Finlayson's research examines population-based surgical outcomes, focusing particularly on functional outcomes in the frail elderly.

Finlayson earned her medical degree at Harvard Medical School. She trained in general surgery at UCSF and in colon and rectal surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She also earned a master of science degree at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and she completed a research fellowship with the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Vermont.

Finlayson served on the surgery department faculty at the University of Michigan and on the Michigan Surgical Collaborative for Outcomes Research and Evaluation. She returned to UCSF in 2009.

Research Funding

  • September 1, 2017 - May 31, 2020 - Developing Tools to Support the Appropriate Use of Surgery in Frail Older Adults , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R21AG054208
  • April 15, 2014 - March 31, 2020 - Optimizing treatment for nursing home residents with acute cholecystitis , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01AG044425
  • September 1, 2006 - August 31, 2012 - Functional Outcomes After Major Surgery in Nursing Home Residents , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: K08AG028965


Yale University, B.A., 1985-1989, Classical Civilizations
Stanford University, 1991-1992, Post-bacc. Pre-med
Harvard Medical School, M.D., 1993-1997, Medicine 
Dartmouth Medical School, M.S., 2000-2002, Health Services Research

Honors & Awards

  • 2006-2011
    Beeson Scholar
  • 2015
    Excellence in Teaching Award, Academy of Medical Educators

Selected Publications

  1. Bongiovanni T, Gan S, Finlayson E, Ross JS, Harrison JD, Boscardin WJ, Steinman MA. Trends in the Use of Gabapentinoids and Opioids in the Postoperative Period Among Older Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Jun 01; 6(6):e2318626.  View on PubMed
  2. Colley A, Lin J, Pierce L, Johnson C, Bongiovanni T, Finlayson E, Sudore R, Wick EC. Experiences with targeting inpatient advance care planning for emergency general surgery patients: A resident-led quality improvement project. Surgery. 2023 Oct; 174(4):844-850.  View on PubMed
  3. Ma M, Peters XD, Zhang LM, Hornor M, Christensen K, Coleman J, Finlayson E, Flood KL, Katlic M, Lagoo-Deenadayalan S, Robinson TN, Rosenthal RA, Tang VL, Ko CY, Russell MM. Multisite Implementation of an American College of Surgeons Geriatric Surgery Quality Improvement Initiative. J Am Coll Surg. 2023 08 01; 237(2):171-181.  View on PubMed
  4. Smith EJT, Gasper WJ, Schneider PA, Finlayson E, Walter LC, Covinsky KE, Conte MS, Iannuzzi JC. Cognitive Impairment is Common in a Veterans Affairs Population with Peripheral Arterial Disease. Ann Vasc Surg. 2023 Apr; 91:210-217.  View on PubMed
  5. Colley A, Lin JA, Pierce L, Finlayson E, Sudore RL, Wick E. Missed Opportunities and Health Disparities for Advance Care Planning Before Elective Surgery in Older Adults. JAMA Surg. 2022 10 01; 157(10):e223687.  View on PubMed
  6. Colley A, Finlayson E, Zhao S, Boscardin J, Suskind A. High risk of complications after a "low risk" procedure: A national study of nursing home residents and older adults undergoing haemorrhoid surgery. Colorectal Dis. 2023 02; 25(2):298-304.  View on PubMed
  7. Bongiovanni T, Gan S, Finlayson E, Ross J, Harrison JD, Boscardin J, Steinman MA. Prolonged use of newly prescribed gabapentin after surgery. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 12; 70(12):3560-3569.  View on PubMed
  8. Colley A, Finlayson E, Sosa JA, Wick E. "I Wish Someone had Asked Me Earlier"-Perspectives on Advance Care Planning in Surgery. Ann Surg. 2022 Dec 01; 276(6):e649-e651.  View on PubMed
  9. Greenberg AL, Lin JA, Colley A, Finlayson E, Bongiovanni T, Wick EC. Characteristics and Procedures Among Adults Discharged to Hospice After Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery in California. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 07 01; 5(7):e2220379.  View on PubMed
  10. Chou WH, Covinsky K, Zhao S, Boscardin WJ, Finlayson E, Suskind AM. Functional and cognitive outcomes after suprapubic catheter placement in nursing home residents: A national cohort study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 10; 70(10):2948-2957.  View on PubMed
  11. Shah SK, Adler RR, Xiang L, Clark CJ, Cooper Z, Finlayson E, Kim DH, Lin KJ, Lipsitz SR, Weissman JS. Patients living with dementia have worse outcomes when undergoing high-risk procedures. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 10; 70(10):2838-2846.  View on PubMed
  12. Van Kuiken ME, Zhao S, Covinsky K, Boscardin J, Finlayson E, Suskind AM. Reply by Authors. J Urol. 2022 06; 207(6):1283.  View on PubMed
  13. Van Kuiken ME, Zhao S, Covinsky K, Boscardin J, Finlayson E, Suskind AM. Frailty Is Associated with an Increased Risk of Complications and Need for Repeat Procedures after Sling Surgery in Older Adults. J Urol. 2022 06; 207(6):1276-1284.  View on PubMed
  14. Cohan JN, Ozanne EM, Hofer RK, Kelly YM, Kata A, Larsen C, Finlayson E. Ileostomy or ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for ulcerative colitis: patient participation and decisional needs. BMC Gastroenterol. 2021 Sep 19; 21(1):347.  View on PubMed
  15. Kalbfell E, Kata A, Buffington AS, Marka N, Brasel KJ, Mosenthal AC, Cooper Z, Finlayson E, Schwarze ML. Frequency of Preoperative Advance Care Planning for Older Adults Undergoing High-risk Surgery: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Surg. 2021 07 01; 156(7):e211521.  View on PubMed
  16. Kalbfell EL, Buffington A, Kata A, Brasel KJ, Mosenthal AC, Cooper Z, Finlayson E, Schwarze ML. Expressions of conflict following postoperative complications in older adults having major surgery. Am J Surg. 2021 10; 222(4):670-676.  View on PubMed
  17. Suskind AM, Covinsky K, Finlayson E. Comparative Outcomes for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgery among Nursing Home Residents and Matched Community Dwelling Older Adults. Reply. J Urol. 2021 07; 206(1):175.  View on PubMed
  18. Suskind AM, Zhao S, Nik-Ahd F, Boscardin WJ, Covinsky K, Finlayson E. Comparative outcomes for older adults undergoing surgery for bladder and bowel dysfunction. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 08; 69(8):2210-2219.  View on PubMed
  19. Seib CD, Suh I, Meng T, Trickey A, Smith AK, Finlayson E, Covinsky KE, Kurella Tamura M, Kebebew E. Patient Factors Associated With Parathyroidectomy in Older Adults With Primary Hyperparathyroidism. JAMA Surg. 2021 04 01; 156(4):334-342.  View on PubMed
  20. Donovan AL, Braehler MR, Robinowitz DL, Lazar AA, Finlayson E, Rogers S, Douglas VC, Whitlock EL, Anesthesia Resident Quality Improvement Committee. An Implementation-Effectiveness Study of a Perioperative Delirium Prevention Initiative for Older Adults. Anesth Analg. 2020 12; 131(6):1911-1922.  View on PubMed

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