David Goldenberg, MD, FACS, otolaryngology (head and neck) surgeon at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is seen in the operating room at the Medical Center in 2015, operating the Flex robot. He is pictured wearing a surgical mask and blue surgical scrubs, with the side view of another surgeon in scrubs seen to the left of the photo.

Department of Surgery

Surgery at Penn State College of Medicine

The mission of the Department of Surgery is to provide the highest quality care, to improve patient care through excellence in biomedical research, and to educate and train the future academic and community leaders in American surgery.

Since its establishment by Dr. John Waldhausen in 1969, the Department of Surgery has been dedicated to providing the highest quality surgical care possible. The department consists of 11 clinical divisions and sections and two research divisions providing state-of-the-art care and scholarly activity in all of the specialty disciplines. Together, they offer a wide range of high-quality services and procedures to referring physicians and their patients using state of the art diagnostic procedures and surgical techniques.

Peter Dillon, MD, MSc, is Chair of the Department of Surgery at Penn State College of Medicine. He is pictured in a white dress shirt, blue patterned tie and white medical coat against a blue background.
Peter Dillon, MD, MSc, Chair, Surgery

We believe that multidisciplinary collaboration involving physicians, nurses and other health care professionals assures that patients receive the best care possible in both inpatient and outpatient settings. In concert with our referring physicians, the department is dedicated to providing the highest quality, most state-of-the-art, most patient-centered care possible.

Peter W. Dillon, MD, MSc
Surgery Department Chair
John A. and Marian T. Waldhausen Professor of Surgery
Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs
Chief Operating Officer, Penn State Medical Group
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More about Surgery @ Penn State

Education

Our objective is to train the best clinical and academic surgeons possible. Our programs provide the opportunity for residents to learn in-depth the fundamentals of basic science as applied to clinical surgery.

We provide an outstanding experience in the pre-operative, operative and post-operative care of patients that constitute the principal components of the various programs as specified by the Residency Review Committee.

Research

While all divisions and sections have active research and scholarly initiatives, the department has two divisions devoted primarily to research.

  • The Division of Applied Biomedical Engineering is world-renowned for its pioneering bioengineering work with the Penn State artificial heart as well as cardiac assist devices.
  • The Division of Outcomes, Research and Quality is responsible for facilitating outcomes and quality studies as well as supporting faculty in the preparation and submission of grants and manuscripts.

As part of the University's commitment to translational research, the department is committed to innovative clinical research and technology transfer. Through the Technology Transfer Laboratory, promising advances in technology, surgical techniques and basic science observations can be developed and moved to the patient's bedside.

Clinical Care

The Department of Surgery has 70 clinical faculty organized in 11 divisions.

Several areas within the department achieved accreditation, including the Penn State Breast Center (NAPBC accredited), Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program (MBASQIP designated Center of Excellence), the Penn State Abdominal Transplant Program (UNOS certified). We also have Pennsylvania’s only Level I pediatric and adult trauma program (PTSF accredited).

Annual departmental statistics include more than 4,500 hospital admissions, 15,000 operative cases and 93,000 outpatient clinic visits.

The department utilizes both adult and pediatric NSQIP in monitoring quality and outcomes in patient care.

Dorothy V. Rocourt, MD, surgeon at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is seen in the operating room at the Medical Center in October 2014. She is pictured wearing a surgical mask and blue surgical scrubs, with the back of another surgeon in scrubs seen to the right of the photo.
Dorothy V. Rocourt, MD, surgeon at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is seen in the operating room at the Medical Center in October 2014.

Explore Programs in Surgery

Educational Programs