John Chovanes, DO, FACS


Cooper University Health Care Titles

  • Chief Military Surgeon
  • Trauma Surgeon

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Titles

  • Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery

Board Certifications

  • American Osteopathic Board of General Surgery

Professional Type

Cooper University Physician



About Me

John Chovanes, DO, FACS, USAR, is a Surgeon in the Department of Surgery in the Division of Trauma, Acute Care Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care of Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. Dr. Chovanes has been at Cooper Trauma since 2010 and is the founding Medical Director of Cooper’s Section of Military, Diplomatic, and Field Affairs. This section helps conduct intense clinical trauma training for our Nation’s elite commando and diplomatic special operations forces. 

Dr. Chovanes completed a double-fellowship in trauma surgery and surgical critical care at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. He is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine where he completed his internship and residency in general surgery and served as Chief Intern and Chief Surgical Resident. Prior to his surgical education, Dr. Chovanes was an EMT, paramedic, and registered nurse with various emergency medical units throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Dr. Chovanes was one of the youngest EMTs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and one of the original flight paramedics with University MedEvac, the first medical evacuation helicopter servicing Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is a life member of the Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Narberth and Lower Merion, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Chovanes is a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps. Since joining the reserves in 2001, Dr. Chovanes has completed six tours of duty in support of a variety of U.S. military operations. He served as a military trauma surgeon with the 325th Combat Support Hospital on Contingency Operating Base Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq, in 2007. He has served as both a trauma surgeon and the Deputy Commander of Clinical Services at Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khowst, Afghanistan, in both 2010 and 2012. In 2016, Dr. Chovanes was a trauma surgeon at Camp Manion with the 948th Forward Surgical Team during the Third Battle of Fallujah. Dr. Chovanes has received the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service after successfully removing an unexploded rifle-propelled grenade from a U.S. Soldier. He also received the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal for Heroism after the 2001 World Trade Center attacks for providing field surgical care for a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officer trapped in the collapsed basement of the World Trade Center. He was recently awarded a 2017 Veteran of Influence Award by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Dr. Chovanes was among those featured on Fox 29's Good Day Salute to the Military program. The segment focused on Dr. Chovanes' experiences during as a military surgeon in and how they related to his work as a trauma surgeon at Cooper. Watch the segment.

Office Locations

Level 1 Trauma Center

One Cooper Plaza
(for GPS use 246 S 6th St)
Camden , NJ 08103
Maps & Directions

Education & Training

Medical SchoolPhiladelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Philadelphia, PA
InternshipPhiladelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Philadelphia, PA
ResidencyPhiladelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Philadelphia, PA
FellowshipSurgical Critical Care and Trauma Surgery - Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Special Interests

Trauma surgery, surgical critical care, emergency surgery, emergency medical services (EMS)


  • Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • American College of Osteopathic Surgeons

Awards and Honors

  • Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service
  • Soldiers Medal, awarded from United States Army for Heroism for World Trade Center Rescue
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jerseys A.T. Still Award for WTC Rescue
  • PCOM Alumni Award for WTC Rescue
  • Pennsylvania House of Representatives Citation for Bravery, WTC Rescue
  • 2014 Outstanding EMS Physician Award
  • South Jersey Magazine - "Best Doctors 2015"
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons