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.
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.
Donald Mackay, MD
Surgery Department Interim Chair
William P. Graham III, MD, Professor in Plastic Surgery
Professor of Neurosurgery, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and Pediatrics
More about Surgery @ Penn State
Education in the Department of Surgery
The Department of Surgery's objective is to train the best clinical and academic surgeons possible.
Department residency and fellowship programs provide the opportunity for trainees to learn in-depth the fundamentals of basic science as applied to clinical surgery, and to develop subspecialty excellence, all while providing an outstanding experience in the pre-operative, operative and post-operative care of patients.
A number of opportunities are available for medical students as well, including clerkships, acting internships and electives. Meanwhile, continuing education programs provide opportunities for providers in a number of specialties to refine their skills.
Research in the Department of Surgery
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 in the Department of Surgery
The Department of Surgery has more than 90 clinical faculty organized in 11 divisions.
Several areas within the department have achieved accreditation, including the Penn State Breast Center (NAPBC-accredited), Penn State Surgical Weight Loss (MBASQIP-designated Center of Excellence) and Penn State Abdominal Transplant Program (UNOS-certified). Penn State Health also has 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.
Explore Programs in Surgery
- For medical students: Clerkships, acting internships and electives
- Continuing education: Credits are offered for various programs such as Surgery Grand Rounds and programs such as Contemporary Topics in Thyroid Cancer, Liver Transplantation Symposium, Multidisciplinary Treatment of Advanced Colorectal Cancer and more. See Continuing Education opportunities
- Residencies (ACGME-approved)
- Fellowships (ACGME-approved)
- Fellowships (non-ACGME)
- Applied Biomedical Engineering
- Cardiac Surgery
- Colon and Rectal Surgery
- General Surgery Specialties and Surgical Oncology
- Minimally Invasive Surgery/Bariatrics
- Outcomes Research and Quality
- Pediatric Surgery
- Plastic Surgery
- Thoracic Surgery
- Trauma, Acute Care and Critical Care Surgery
Services and Affiliations
- Advanced robotic surgery
- Breast Center
- Cardiovascular disease care (Heart and Vascular Institute)
- Center for Medical Innovation
- Clinical Trials Office
- Colorectal surgery
- Cosmetic services and surgery
- Critical care medicine
- General surgery
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center
- Liver Center
- Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center
- Minimally invasive surgery
- National Surgical Quality Improvement Program
- Pediatric surgery (Penn State Health Children’s Hospital)
- Penn State Cancer Institute
- Plastic surgery
- Research resources (core facilities)
- Surgical weight loss
- Thoracic surgery
- Transplant surgery