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.

Welcome to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Department of Surgery. Since its establishment by Dr. John Waldhausen in 1969, the Department of Surgery has been dedicated to providing high-quality surgical care, the education of future surgeons and translational research. We offer a wide range of services using state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures and surgical techniques.

Penn State Health is experiencing unprecedented growth. In 2017, the system partnered with Highmark Health to facilitate creation of a value-based, community care network in the region. Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Berks County joined Penn State Health in 2015. Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill and its outpatient practices became part of the Penn State Health system in October 2020. Penn State Health broke ground on Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center, an adult acute care hospital in Cumberland County that opened in 2021, followed by Penn State Health Pediatric Center in June 2022 and Penn State Health Lancaster Medical Center in East Hempfield Township that will open in fall 2022.

Colette Pameijer, MD, is Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery at Penn State College of Medicine. She is pictured in a medical coat against a professional photo background.
Colette Pameijer, MD, Interim Chair, Surgery

As the Penn State system expands we remain focused on providing patient centered care and multidisciplinary collaboration. Our teams of physicians and specialists, nurses and other health care professionals assure the best care possible in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

As part of Penn State’s commitment to research, the department is involved in innovative clinical research and technology transfer with an active bioengineering research and device development group. Faculty in the department contribute to clinical trials in the Penn State Cancer Institute and collaborate with industry sponsors to bring cutting edge treatment to central Pennsylvania.

Colette Pameijer, MD
Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Surgery
Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology

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.

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.

Learn more about adult surgery at Penn State Health here and learn more about pediatric surgery at Penn State Health Children's Hospital here.

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

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.