A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Rear Adm. Paul D. Pearigen received his Bachelor of Arts in English from The University of the South in 1983 and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University in 1987. Following residency training in emergency medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, he completed a fellowship in clinical pharmacology and toxicology at the University of California at San Francisco. He also holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and is designated as a Surface Warfare Medical Department officer.
He has served in various positions throughout Navy Medicine to include residency program director and attending physician in Emergency Medicine; chairman, Emergency Medicine; and director for Medical Education at Naval Medical Center San Diego, one of the Navy’s largest teaching and tertiary care military treatment facilities.
Operationally he served as officer in charge, Fleet Surgical Team 5 and Commander, Amphibious Task Force (CATF) surgeon with the USS Belleau Wood Amphibious Ready Group-11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He was also selected as the first Expeditionary Strike Group surgeon, deploying as the principal medical advisor and planner for six amphibious and combatant ships of the USS Peleliu strike group.
Additionally, he has served as the executive assistant to the surgeon general of the Navy; deputy commander, Naval Medical Center San Diego; commanding officer, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton; force surgeon, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet; assistant for Medical Matters, Office of the Naval Inspector General; and most recently as the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery liaison to the Defense Health Agency from December 2015 to November 2016.
Pearigen assumed duties as commander, Navy Medicine West Dec. 5, 2016. In this capacity, he directs Navy Medicine’s health care system in the Pacific providing medical care to more than 850,000 beneficiaries and he oversees Navy Medicine’s research and development activities worldwide. He also serves as the 12th chief of the Navy Medical Corps.
Pearigen’s personal awards include Legion of Merit (five awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal in addition to unit, service and campaign awards.
He holds the Certified Physician Executive credential, is board-certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and attained subspecialty certification in medical toxicology.