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.
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
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)
- Carlino Family Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center
- Center for Medical Innovation
- Clinical Trials Office
- Colorectal surgery
- Cosmetic services and surgery
- Critical care medicine
- General surgery
- 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