Mario Skugor, M.D. FACE

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine CCLCM of CWRU and Director of Education – Cleveland Clinic 

I graduated from the Zagreb Medical School in 1986 and then spent two years as a research associate in the Institute for Nuclear Medicine in Zagreb. During 1991-1992 I was in the Croatian army. In 1993, I finished my nuclear medicine residency and moved to Ohio State University as a researcher in Bone and Mineral Metabolism Laboratory. I completed my internal medicine residency at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Cleveland in 2000. In my final year I served as a chief resident. My career followed with endocrinology fellowship in the Cleveland Clinic from 2000-2002. Since then, I have been on the staff in Cleveland Clinic focusing on diabetes, obesity, thyroid disorders and disorders of calcium metabolism.

I served on the Board of Directors of Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and was president of that association in the period 2007-2008.

I served as associate director of endocrinology fellowship program in the period 2009-2011.

I was Vice-Chairman of the Global Patient Services at the Cleveland Clinic from 2009-2013 and Chairman in period 2013-2015.

Currently I hold the title of Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of CWRU and also the Catherine and Edward Lozick Chair in Endocrinology and Metabolism. I also serve as director for education at the Endocrine and Metabolic institute.

Presentation title: COVID and medical tourism

Medical tourism was a growing industry until it was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Cleveland Clinic is a premier global health care enterprise. Pre-pandemic, 3% of the volume at Cleveland were international patients, accounting for 8-9% of income. With the onset of the pandemic, this volume decreased by 85%. Our main focus at that time was on safety and the preservation of jobs. With vaccines becoming available, the international patient volume increased in the spring of 2021. In fact, we now have a surge of patients requiring highly specialized procedures postponed due to pandemic. The rise of the virus Delta variant so far did not affect our elective services, and we are optimistic that the surge of the virus will soon abate.

Croatia is becoming a premier tourist destination on a worldwide scale, offering opportunities for the development of medical tourism in the fields of dentistry, cosmetic medicine, orthopedic procedures, physical rehabilitation and, potentially, bariatric procedures.