Special Programs & Research Opportunities Within the Department

Fellowship and Post Graduate Residency Positions

The Department of Surgery offers a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery through the Fellowship Council and research. There are no clinical fellowships or advanced residency training in vascular surgery or colorectal surgery as all of the clinical experience in these areas is reserved for the general surgery training program.

The Breast Center - Director, Christine Teal, M.D.

The goal of The Breast Center is to provide comprehensive services in a patient centered environment. The Center is staffed by a team of experts in benign and malignant breast diseases: surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, dedicated radiologists for breast imaging, reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, a nurse specialist, and a social worker. Numerous research opportunities are available for students and residents interested in breast diseases.

The Washington Institute of Surgical Education (WISE)

WISE is an innovative facility dedicated to education and research in minimally invasive surgery. Its mission is to train surgeons and other health care professionals and to perform research in this rapidly evolving field. The 2,000 sq. ft. laboratory, located in Ross Hall, houses five operating stations equipped with the latest video technology and operative equipment and instruments. Specialized equipment such as a full set of video endoscopes, video mixers and ultrasound probes are available. Multimedia teaching takes place in a dedicated conference room which may be linked to the main operating theaters at The George Washington University Hospital for live interactive teleconferencing.

Workshops for residents are held in the laboratory on Wednesdays each week for 8-12 residents depending on the level of training . During these workshops, techniques of open and laparoscopic surgery are taught using both inanimate and live models. Thoracoscopy, upper endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy are also taught.

Continuing medical education programs and research projects are conducted by a multi-specialty groups that includes specialists from General Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Urology, Gynecology, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Surgery, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery. Both research and clinical fellowships are available.

Surgical Critical Care - Bruce Abell, M.D.

The Department of Surgery provides a structured rotation in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) during the PGY-1 and PGY-3 years. The purpose of this rotation is to provide a broad educational experience for our residents in Critical Care Medicine. Over the past decade there have been many important developments in perioperative and monitoring of the surgical patient and in the management of patients suffering from trauma and shock. The American Board of Surgery has identified Critical Care as an important component of surgical residency training and awards a special Certificate in this area.

We are treating patients with increasingly complex illnesses with more aggressive and advanced technologies. It has become clear that no single specialty can manage the entirety of such patients' needs. A successful ICU in a tertiary care center such as The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences relies on an integrated team which includes intensivists from surgery, medicine and anesthesia. The goals of the multi specialty ICU team at GW are to

  1. Advance the care of critically ill surgical patients,
  2. Provide cost effective patient management, and
  3. Create the optimal environment for the education of surgical residents, fellows, nurses and medical students.

Each surgical resident's experience begins with an orientation designed to facilitate the transition into the multidisciplinary critical care practice. The resident works under the guidance of a critical care fellow and an ICU attending physician who closely supervises all activities and teaches pathophysiology, clinical management and judgment. The didactic program includes daily Case Discussion Conference, Basic Science Lecture, lecture in surgery, medicine and anesthesia, and Grand Rounds.

The integrated ICU now offers advanced fellowship training in critical care through two separate ACGME approved programs: first as a traditional two-year fellowship in the medical sub-specialty of Critical Care Medicine and a second through the Department of Anesthesiology resulting in certification in both areas.