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Ray Tan, MD, MSHPM, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member researching cancer care delivery and the translation of care improvements, especially for high-risk populations including the elderly. Tan provides care for urologic and bladder oncology patients.

Associate Professor, Urology
Director of Urologic Oncology, UNC Department of Urology
Co-Director, Urologic Oncology Program
UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Prevention and Control

Meet Ray Tan

Area of Interest

My research focus has centered on the study of cancer care delivery and the translation of care improvements, especially for high-risk populations including the elderly. To pursue this work, I have undertaken in-depth training in health services research and urologic oncology. During my residency in urology at the University of Michigan, I spent an entire year immersed in our department’s health services research division, under the tutelage of Drs. David Miller, John Wei, and Brent Hollenbeck. Here, I gained proficiency in administrative claims, large dataset, and econometric techniques. Thereafter, I obtained post-graduate training at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program and a Society of Urologic Oncology fellowship. During this time, I received formal training in advanced statistical methods, earning a Masters of Science in Health Policy and Management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Under the guidance of Dr. Mark Litwin, I also broadened my methodological base with additional training in patient-reported outcomes, qualitative methods, quality improvement, community-based participatory research, and implementation science.

Inspired by my patients with urologic cancers, I sought out mentorship from geriatricians Drs. Debra Saliba and Alison Moore to better understand the impact of aging on cancer care. I have worked to solidify these newly-acquired skills through an ongoing examination of the role of geriatric care in the management of patients with kidney cancer, which has garnered funding support from the American Cancer Society. On a second but related front, I spearheaded an institutional workgroup drawn from nursing, physicians, and hospital administration to redesign radical cystectomy care. In a team-based manner, we developed real-time quality metrics using natural language processing, applied new costing techniques to our service line, and qualitatively audited the patient experience using in-depth patient and care provider interviews. This multi-faceted process has yielded several care improvements including a patient surgical guide, interdisciplinary team rounding, and a nighttime rest and recovery program. Taken all together, my training and experience speak to the scope of work I now aim to pursue in both population and delivery sciences as an Assistant Professor of Urology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Find publications on PubMed

Awards and Honors

  • James W. Woods Junior Faculty Award, UNC School of Medicine, 2021-2022
  • 1st Place, Poster Session II, Society Urologic Oncology 2015 Winter Meeting, Washington, DC, 2015
  • 2nd Place, Julian Wan Research Excellence Award, Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2012
  • Best Poster, 2012 American Urological Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, 2012
  • Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in Clinical Skills and the Art of Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, 2007
  • Cum Laude, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, 2007
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, 2007
  • Annual Medical Student Scholarship, Department of Urology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, 2007
  • Magna Cum Laude, Duke University, Durham, NC, 2002
  • Thomas J. Watson Merit Scholarship, 1999-2002
  • Dean’s List, Duke University, Durham, NC, 1999-2002

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Headshot of Ray Tan