Meet Our Surgeons

The surgeons at Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians have over two decades of cumulative experience in the surgical treatment of Morbid Obesity. The surgeons have an established reputation for being world wide leaders in the field of Bariatric Surgery, as well as innovators in patient education and rehabilitation. All of the surgeons perform laparoscopic and open procedures.

Utilizing their comprehensive knowledge and expertise, each patient that has surgery through Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians is provided with an extensive follow-up program. This program assists the patient in managing the post-operative physical elements of bariatric Surgery as well as the transition and implementation of the lifestyle that is required to achieve and maintain optimum health.

Each surgeon has their own unique personality and life interests. The common bond that exists between them is their desire to assist patients in achieving the health goals and quality of life that is desired.

Please take a moment to review each surgeon's biography.

  • Steven C. Simper, M.D., F.A.C.S
    • Steven C. Simper, M.D., F.A.C.S
    •   It is the will and ambition of our patients who ultimately make their weight loss possible. Treating the Whole Person is a critical part of the care given to my patients. - Steven C. Simper

      Dr. Simper performed his first bariatric procedures in 1984 at Wilford Hall Medical Center, in Texas. Currently, he performs the LGBP, LBPD-DS, Sleeve, Band, and Revisional surgery.

      He joined RMAP in 2001, and began performing the Lap Gastric Bypass LGBP. Since 2008, he has developed his skill and expertise with the powerful Laparoscopic Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch LBPD-DS. He is among a handful of surgeons who performs this procedure. He both proctors other surgeons and is a speaker at bariatric conferences in regards to the LBPD-DS. In following his patients, and witnessing results, he has become a strong advocate for this procedure in the select individual who needs a powerful surgery.

      Through 2011, he has performed over 100 LBPD-DSs as the primary surgeon. He also perfoms LBPD-DS as a revisional surgery for those who have failed other bariatric procedures.

      Dr Simper has been a presenter in both National and International Bariatric Meetings, and is active in publishing papers and attending seminars to further his knowledge as to the surgical treatment of obesity.

      His education, training and qualifications include:

      • American Board of Surgery - Board Certified General Surgery
      • American Board of Surgery - Board Certified Vascular Surgery
      • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
      • Fellow of the American Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery
      • Obesity Action Coalition - Advisory Board Member
      • University of Utah School of Medicine - Top 10% of Class - ROTC Air Force Scholarship
      • General Surgery Residency - Wilford Hall Medical Center - USAF San Antonio, TX - Top Surgical Intern
      • Non-Cardiac Thoracic and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship - Biloxi VA Hospital, MS
      • Vascular Surgery Fellowship - Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA (1992-1993)
      • Staff Surgeon - Incirlik, Turkey - USAF (1987-1988)
      • Chief of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Scott AFB, IL (1989-1992)

      Dr. Simper is a native of Brigham City, Utah. After fulfilling his Air Force commitments and training, he returned to Utah to be closer to his family and the outdoors. He has six children, and his avocations include reading, fishing, mountain biking, hiking and hunting.

  • Rodrick McKinlay, M.D., F.A.C.S.
    • Rodrick McKinlay, M.D., F.A.C.S.
    • Dr. Rodrick McKinlay joined Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians in 2004. Dr. McKinlay is as a board certified general surgeon with expertise in minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery. In addition to the surgical treatment of obesity, his practice involves a wide range of minimally invasive gastrointestinal surgery, including hernia repair, gallbladder removal, anti-reflux surgery, and the surgical treatment of spleen and adrenal disorders.

      Dr. McKinlay graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1993 and then received his medical degree from the University of Utah in 1997, where he graduated with honors in medicine and surgery. After completing General Surgery residency at the University of Arizona, he began a minimally invasive surgery (MIS) fellowship at the University of Kentucky, focusing on research in MIS. He concluded the clinical portion of the fellowship at the University of Maryland.

      Dr. McKinlay is Board Certified in General Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In addition to striving for top-quality surgical care using the latest technology, Dr. McKinlay emphasizes treating the whole patient with respect and attention to detail. Seeing the change that can occur in a patient\'s life after weight loss or other surgery is what he enjoys most about caring for patients.

      He loves to spend time with his family, especially in the outdoors. He particularly enjoys playing soccer, running, and skiing. Fluent in Spanish, he also enjoys literature and the arts.

  • Nicholas Paulk, MD., F.A.C.S.
    • Nicholas Paulk, MD., F.A.C.S.
    • Dr. Nicholas Paulk is a native to Salt Lake City where he attended the University of Utah for his undergraduate degree in Biology.  He then went to OHSU in Portland Oregon for medical school and proceeded to Exempla St. Joseph’s for general surgery residency in Denver Colorado.  He returned to Salt Lake in 2011 to practice General Surgery with emphasis on advanced laparoscopy and robotic surgery.  In 2016 he joined Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians in order to pursue bariatric surgery in addition to advanced laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery.  Dr. Paulk is board certified in general surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgery.

       “Bariatric surgery is not just lifesaving – it is transformative.  Those who undergo surgery routinely report that the surgery changed their lives.  They feel better, they’re more healthy and active, and they’re not limited by their disease.  Not only do they have more life, they have better life.  I can’t think of any area in medicine where a doctor is as privileged to be part of such a positively life altering endeavor as in bariatric surgery.”  –Dr. Paulk


      Dr. Paulk is married with three children.  Outside of work, he coaches his son’s baseball team, participates in several road and mountain bike races each year, and is an avid skier. He is fluent in Italian and enjoys camping and going to Lake Powell with his family.

  • Sarah Christensen, PA
    • Sarah Christensen, PA
    • Sarah Christensen join the team as a physician assistant in August 2015. She attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah with both academic and musical scholarships and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2009. She then completed her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho in 2011. Prior to joining Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians, Sarah spent 3.5 years working in liver transplant, managing end-organ failure and post-transplant care. She is certified by the National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants. 


      Sarah assist Dr. Simper, Dr. McKinlay, and Dr. Paulk in the operating room as well as the clinical setting, assisting in all aspects of patient care in surgery and the office. 

      Sarah grew up in Boise, Idaho but relocated to Utah shortly after graduation. She enjoys music and plays the saxophone, piano, and guitar. Sarah loves to spend time traveling and lived in Moscow, Russia for several months volunteering at a local school. 

Procedures Offered: Gastric Bypass, Adjustable Gastric Band, Duodenal Switch, Sleeve Gastrectomy | More Information

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