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.
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 in the Department of Surgery
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 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.
- Looks can be deceiving: Gaze pattern differences between novices and experts during placement of central lines.Chen HE, Sonntag CC, Pepley DF, Prabhu RS, Han DC, Moore JZ, Miller SR. Am J Surg 2019 Feb;217(2):362-367
- Nationwide Procedural Trends for Renal Trauma Management.Colaco M, Navarrete RA, MacDonald SM, Stitzel JD, Terlecki RP. Ann Surg 2019 Feb;269(2):367-369
- More Isn't Always Better: Time to Derive a Different Strategy for Renal Cell Carcinoma Surveillance.Merrill SB. Eur Urol 2019 Feb;75(2):265-267 No abstract available.
- Lytic Therapy for Retained Traumatic Hemothorax: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.Hendriksen BS, Kuroki MT, Armen SB, Reed MF, Taylor MD, Hollenbeak CS. Chest 2019 Jan 18. pii: S0012-3692(19)30021-2 [Epub ahead of print]
Clinical Care in the Department of Surgery
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.
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, Temporal Bone Course, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program for Health Professionals, 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 and Bariatric Surgery
- Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
- Outcomes, Research and Quality
- Pediatric Surgery
- Plastic Surgery
- Thoracic Surgery
- Transplant Surgery
- Trauma, Acute Care and Critical Care Surgery
- Vascular Surgery
Services and Affiliations
- Advanced Robotic Surgery
- Breast Center
- Clinical Trials Office
- Heart and Vascular Institute
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center
- Liver Center
- Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center
- Penn State Cancer Institute
- Penn State Children’s Hospital
- Research Resources (Core Facilities)
- Shock Trauma Center
- Surgical Weight Loss
- Technology Development