Matthew Taylor, MD, thoracic surgeon and Alok Dash, MD, fellow, thoracic surgeon at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is seen in the operating room at the Medical Center in 2016, operating the Flex robot. They are 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.

Donald Mackay, MD, is Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery at Penn State College of Medicine. He is pictured in a dress shirt, tie and medical coat against a professional photo background.
Donald Mackay, MD, Interim 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.

Donald Mackay, MD
Surgery Department Interim Chair
William P. Graham III, MD, Professor in Plastic Surgery
Professor of Neurosurgery, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and Pediatrics

Contact us to find out more

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.

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.

Recent Publications

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.

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

Jobs in Surgery

Information on jobs that may be available in the Department of Surgery can be found at psu.jobs (for non-clinical positions) or careers.pennstatehealth.org (for clinical positions). All applications must be made through those sites.