Thank you for your interest in Cleveland Clinic’s General Surgery residency program. The training offered here provides an unmatched exposure to the entire spectrum of surgical diseases and procedures with abundant opportunities for research and professional development in a supportive environment. Trainees in our program are in the operating room from the beginning of intern year and finish with around 1000 cases. As a high volume international referral center, our residents operate on and care for some of the most challenging and complex patients. However, they also perform a substantial number of operations commonly seen by General Surgeons in community practice. The result is a robust toolbox of skills that prepares our graduates to take on any surgical problem.

Residents have the option to pursue 1-3 years of supplemental professional development time after the 2nd year of clinical training. This is an optional, flexible experience designed to meet the individual goals of the trainee. The Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute has nearly 200 basic science laboratories with whom our residents can train. An accelerated program is available for physicians who wish to obtain a PhD in Molecular Medicine making it possible to complete during these years. A large number of ongoing clinical trials are also available for those interested in clinical research. Mentoring in outcomes, quality and education research is also offered. The available experience outside the clinical training years augments the multitude of opportunities for scholarship that can be pursued during clinical training. Department funding is available.

One of the most important elements of our program is the collegiality and camaraderie between the residents and faculty. Our structured advising program is supplemented by access to mentors who guide trainees towards their chosen fields. While most of our graduates pursue fellowship training after residency, around 15% go directly into academic or community practice.

On this website you will find more details of our program. If you believe our program fits your personal and professional goals, we invite you to apply for one of our 10 categorical positions through ERAS. If you have further questions, though, please feel free to contact us. We believe it will become clear why Cleveland Clinic’s General Surgery residency program is one of the best.


Ajita Prabhu, MD, FACS

Ajita Prabhu, MD, FACS
Program Director, General Surgery Residency

Residency program leadership

R. Matthew Walsh, MD
R. Matthew Walsh, MD, FACS
Chair, Department of General Surgery

Sofya Asfaw, MD
Sofya Asfaw, MD, FACS
Associate Program Director for Wellness and Mentorship

Daniel Joyce
Daniel Joyce, MBBCh
Associate Program Director for Preliminary Residents

Chelsea (Xiaoxi) Feng, MD
Chelsea (Xiaoxi) Feng, MD
Associate Program Director for Simulation

Judith French, PhD
Judith French, PhD
Surgical Educator

Joseph Trunzo, MD
Joseph Trunzo, MD, FACS
Associate Program Director for Didactic Curricula
Site Director, Fairview Hospital, General Surgery Residency

Kalman Bencsath, MD
Kalman Bencsath, MD, FACS
Site Director, Hillcrest Hospital, General Surgery Residency

Diversity & Inclusion

Discover the role diversity and inclusion plays at Cleveland Clinic and at its Graduate Medical Education program, as well as our diversity and inclusion efforts.

Learn more

Clinical Training & Conferences

Clinical Training & Conferences

Our residency program is unique because of its diversity, case volume and variety of teaching settings. We are proud to have faculty and residents from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Resident education and research are at the forefront of our department. Our residents rotate in a variety of clinical settings, including a leading quaternary teaching hospital, two regional Level II trauma centers, a Level I trauma and burn center county hospital as well as ambulatory surgery centers. Trainees care for a large volume of patients with extremely complicated and straightforward surgical diseases. All residents are guaranteed to be exposed to a large number of cases across all aspects of general surgery.


Our training philosophy is to involve the entire team, especially residents, in patient care at all times – pre-operative decision making in the clinic or in consultation, in the operating room, and during post-operative care. Experience is gained by operating on skill-appropriate cases at our high volume quaternary care hospital, regional hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers. Leadership is developed by conferring a high level of responsibility early in the training program with progressive autonomy and responsibility. The most senior resident on a service is charged with assigning operative cases to residents and fellows, ensuring an optimal experience that is tailored to each resident.

Surgery simulation

The Cleveland Clinic Simulation and Advanced Skills Center is an American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institute equipped with laparoscopy, flexible endoscopy, robotic surgery, and endovascular surgery simulators. The center is a Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) and Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) training and testing site. Residents have 24-hour access to the sim-lab where they can practice skills. A robust skills curriculum using simulation is integrated into the teaching program with sessions occurring around once per month.

A DaVinci XI training robot is available for practice with 24/7 access to augment our robust simulation and on-console robotics training program.

Night float/call format

The main campus has a night float system, consisting of a team of PGY-1, PGY-2, and PGY-4 residents. This format allows all team members to operate in level-appropriate cases, provide longitudinal care of patients, and dedicate time to research projects, leadership positions, and knowledge development. When not on the night float rotation, junior residents typically take call two weekends per month and senior residents take call about once a month. We adhere to all ACGME work hour regulations, including the 80-hour work week and an average of one day off per week averaged over the month. Regional hospitals have a rotating call schedule with residents taking in house call around 1-2 times per week.

Morbidity and mortality conference

M&M conference is held weekly. Our PhD Education Scientist helps select cases for presentation to assure a diverse curriculum of reviewed patients throughout the year. The conference is designed to foster inter-disciplinary learning and collegial discussions between trainees and faculty.

Grand rounds

Quarterly Grand Rounds by both local experts and internationally recognized Visiting Professors promote surgical learning for faculty and residents. In addition to lecture style seminars, residents have the unique opportunity to interact with these leaders over case presentations and informal lunch discussions. Residents also benefit by meeting with these surgeons in an informal setting to ask questions about research, career trajectory, and general life advice. Topics cover a broad range including modern advances, historical perspectives, world health, and the environmental impact of healthcare to name a few.

Cleveland Clinic conferences

Our residents may attend high-level, multidisciplinary conferences taught by our world-renowned faculty aimed at practicing digestive, vascular, oncologic and endocrine disease specialists. These combine clinical management updates by thought leaders, hands-on skills development, and quality and patient safety developments.

Who makes up the PGY-1 surgery class?

Our PGY-1 class is made up of 10 categorical and 9 non-designated preliminary General Surgery residents. Additionally, designated interns from multiple specialties rotate on our general surgery services facilitating exposure to relevant general surgery cases for our subspecialty colleagues, and creating rapport between residents across departments. Interns from our Integrated Vascular, Cardiovascular, Thoracic, Plastics, Urology, Orthopedic, and Otolaryngology work closely with our general surgery residents.

PGY-1 Fundamentals of Surgery Seminar Series

Residents arrive as PGY-1’s with a range of knowledge and clinical experience. Orientation to the program includes a two week skills training course designed to help all new residents get accustomed to common technical skills, clinical scenarios and our electronic health record. During the first month of training, all new residents participate in a didactic and simulation curriculum to ease the transition to residency. Chair rounds with Dr. Walsh and the PGY1s occur once a month throughout the first year providing an opportunity to discuss cases with the Chair of Surgery.

Weekly learning sessions

Protected educational conferences occur every Wednesday morning from 7-11 am. All residents are excused from their clinical responsibilities during this time. The format varies week-to-week, ranging from lecture based content from leading Cleveland Clinic faculty, research work-shops, simulation activities, and game-based ABSITE review. The curriculum for this conference follows a two-year revolving schedule based on the SCORE curriculum, and is supplemented by access to Scientific American’s Decker online question bank and content.

Service specific conferences

Each service holds its own conference (weekly) and journal clubs (monthly). Journal clubs are usually held at restaurants.

Advising and mentorship programs

Each trainee, upon entrance to our program, is assigned a faculty and resident advisor. The staff-member helps facilitate the trainee’s integration into Cleveland Clinic and assist them throughout their time here. Trainees meet with their faculty advisors at least twice a year to go over their milestones, evaluations, progress and accomplishments.

New trainees are also aligned with a senior resident to help them navigate issues with which residents would be more familiar than staff.

Our program believes that mentorship is an organic relationship that cannot be assigned. All of our faculty participate as mentors to our trainees. Throughout their time here, most residents identify several mentors in a variety of areas such as career, family, work-life integration, research and leadership.

Administrative experience

Residents have the opportunity to participate in administrative roles very early on their path through the program. Two administrative Chiefs Residents are selected by the residents and program administration to assist in the day-to-day oversight, including rotation schedules, call schedules, education improvements and new initiatives. In addition, residents have the opportunity to hold membership in the department’s education committee, residency recruitment committee, research committee, intern orientation and quality improvement committees, serve as the medical student liaison and help organize social events. Faculty also serve as champions to assist trainees in attaining membership and leadership roles in national organizations.

Opportunities for electives both inside and outside Cleveland Clinic

All PGY-3s, 4s and 5s have a designated block of elective time each year. This time may be used for additional exposure to one of the core rotations at the main campus or regional hospitals. Alternatively, this time may be used to pursue other interests including rotation at other institutions if desired.

Global health

Opportunities for international rotations are available to those who are interested with funding available. In the past, residents have rotated at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland where they learned how surgical training is provided in a nationally centralized system in addition to working on a busy trauma and oncology service. Residents have also rotated at the Rwanda Military Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda, learning about surgical care and training in an under-resourced setting.

Rotations & Teams

Rotations & Teams

PGY-1 (4 weeks per rotation)

Acute Care
Acute Care Surgery Night Float
Liver Transplant
MIS/hernia/General Surgery
Fairview Orange (Peds/Breast/MIS/HPB)
Fairview Colorectal
Fairview General Surgery/Trauma
Fairview Vascular Surgery
Hillcrest General Surgery

PGY-2 (4 weeks per rotation)

Acute Care Night Float
Intestinal Transplant
MIS/Hernia/General Surgery
Fairview Peds/Breast/MIS/HP
Fairview ICU
Fairview General Surgery/Trauma
Fairview Vascular
Hillcrest General Surgery
Hillcrest HPB/Colorectal
MetroHealth Trauma / ICU 
MetroHealth Burns / ICU

PGY-3 (5 weeks per rotation)

Acute Care
Liver Transplant*
Minimally Invasive/Bariatric Surgery/Surgical Endoscopy*
Fairview General Surgery/Trauma
Fairview Colorectal
Fairview Vascular
Hillcrest General Surgery

PGY-4 (5 weeks per rotation)

Acute Care Night Float*
HPB/Surgical Oncology
MIS/Hernia/General Surgery*
Minimally Invasive/Bariatric Surgery/Surgical Endoscopy
Fairview Colorectal*
Fairview General Surgery/Trauma
Metro Health Trauma*

PGY-5 (5-12 weeks per rotation)

Acute Care*
Colorectal - Acting Fellow*
Fairview Peds/Breast/MIS/HPB*
Fairview Vascular*
Hillcrest General Surgery*
Hillcrest HPB/Colorectal*
HPB/Surgical Oncology*
MIS/Hernia/General Surgery*


Surgical teams

Main Campus

Rotation Team

HPB/Surgical Oncology




MIS/Hernia (Steiger)


MIS/Hernia (Grundfest)


MIS/Bariatrics/Surgical Endoscopy




Acute Care Surgery-Days

PGY5, PGY3, PGY12x

Acute Care Surgery Nights

PGY4, PGY2, PGY12x

Pediatric Surgery

PGY3, 2x-PGY1



Liver Transplant


Multivisceral Transplant


Regional hospital teams

Rotation Team

Hillcrest General Surgery


Hillcrest HPB and Colorectal


Fairview Vascular


Fairview Colorectal


Fairview General Surgery/Trauma

PGY4, PGY3, PGY2, PGY1 (2x)

Fairview Peds/Breasts/MIS/HPB PGY5, PGY2, PGY1

Fairview SICU


 MetroHealth Level 1 Trauma / ICU PGY4, PGY2
 MetroHealth Burn / ICU PGY2 


Resident research

A successful career in surgery, both in an academic and a community setting, requires an understanding of research and the ability to critically appraise medical literature. All residents in our program participate in a comprehensive academic curriculum with year-round lectures, individualized mentorship and extensive resources to encourage resident participation in research.

Those who are interested may arrange for additional years of professional development time during residency, typically after the second clinical year. Departmental and other funding sources are available. This time can be used to obtain an advanced degree, participate in basic science research, or become involved in one of many prospective clinical studies conducted at Cleveland Clinic.

Alternative professional development activities such as Master’s in Public Health, Master’s in Education, Master’s in Business Administration and others are also available. Additionally, we offer a 2 year Surgical Education Research Fellowship that is accredited by the American College of Surgeons.

Residents routinely present their work at local, regional, national and international meetings. Release from clinical duties and travel support is provided.

Resident Research Day

Our annual resident research day showcases the impressive academic endeavors completed by General Surgery residents in both the clinical and basic sciences.

Research opportunities

Research is one of the main pillars of Cleveland Clinic, as is reflected by the vast resources offered by the institution to continuously innovate and improve patient care. Fueled by the unique case volume and complexity, the surgical divisions and departments are pioneers in clinical and basic science research with multiple ongoing prospective trials and large historical databases readily available. Unique opportunities exist across all surgical specialties for residents interested in academics to work within established groups and excel. In addition, those interested in laboratory research benefit from access to the more than 200 principal investigators at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.

Clinical research opportunities for general surgery residents

All clinical research groups continuously conducting research projects, and reaching out to any can be a great way for current residents to get involved in research during their clinical surgery time. Some also offer fully-funded research positions for 2 years that allow research fellows to take time off between clinical years 2 and 3 for an immersive experience in clinical research.

Additionally, some general surgery residents choose to pursue a PhD and engage in more translational/bench research in a lab with separate funding. Those opportunities are not included in this list. 

If any current general surgery residents are interested in participating in research with the groups below, they should reach out directly to the Principal Investigator via email.

  • Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery.
  • Breast Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Endocrine Surgery
  • Healthcare Disparities in General Surgery
  • Hepatobiliary Surgery
  • Hernia Surgery
  • Liver Cancer
  • Liver Transplant Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Quality Improvement
  • Surgical Education
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

PhD in molecular medicine

Residents have the option to attain a PhD in Molecular Medicine through the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Residents receive academic credit for their medical degree making it possible to complete the program during these years.

Current Residents in Professional Development

John Barron, MD

John is completing his second of three years of clinical research within the Section of General Thoracic Surgery. Two of his current interests pertain to development of an outcomes-based model to inform optimal surgical management of achalasia, as well as use of radiomics to predict chronic rejection following lung transplant. He is completing his Master of Science through the Clinical Research Scholars Program at Case Western Reserve University.

Mentors: Siva Raja, MD, PhD & Eugene Blackstone, MD

Nicole Brooks, MD

Nicole is completing the Surgical Education Research Fellowship within the department of general surgery. Through this position, she is involved in research projects related to surgical education, curriculum development for the general surgery residency, and education of medical students at CWRU and Lerner SOM. She is also pursuing a Master of Education in the Health Professions degree through Johns Hopkins University during her professional development time.

Mentor(s): Jeremy Lipman, MD, MHPE & Judith French, PhD

Jenny Chang, MD

Jenny is conducting clinical research with the Department of Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) Surgery at CCF. Examples of ongoing projects include prospective trials on prehabiliation and drain utilization in pancreatic surgery, as well as retrospective studies on pancreatic cystic lesions such as serous cystic neoplasms and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Jenny has additional interests in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and surgical sustainability. She is the Ken Lee Fellow for Sustainability and is completing her MPH at Yale University.

Mentor(s): R Matthew Walsh, MD (HPB), Robert Simon, MD (HPB), Daniel Joyce, MBBCh (Surgical Oncology), Samer Naffouje, MD (Surgical Oncology), & Benjamin Miller, MD (Surgical Sustainability)

Oscar Hernandez Dominguez, MD

Oscar is completing two years of clinical research with the CCF Colorectal Surgery Department. His current efforts involve managing two clinical research trials for the rescue of postoperative ileus, as well as multiple retrospective studies on colon and rectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

Mentor: Stefan D. Holubar, MD

Ryan Ellis, MD

Ryan is investigating surgical outcomes by means of clinical trials. A few of the studies he is currently working on are looking at the use of opioids after minimally invasive surgery, fixation of mesh in ventral hernia repairs, and outcomes in robotic vs. open abdominal wall reconstruction.

Mentor(s): Ajita Prabhu, MD, Michael Rosen, MD, David Krpata, MD, Clayton Petro, MD, Lucas Beffa, MD, and Benjamin Miller, MD

Abby Gross, MD

Abby is working as the Quality & Safety Research Fellow for the Digestive Disease Institute (DDI). Current research and quality projects include reducing serious aspiration events among surgical patients, triaging inter-hospital transfers, care path implementation, and integrating quality initiatives into resident education. As the quality fellow, she participates in DDI quality operations, such as reviewing serious safety events and root case analyses. She also works closely with the Surgical Disparities Research Group which aims to identify and mitigate disparities in surgical care among minority and disadvantaged groups.

Mentor: Toms Augustin, MD, MPH

Janell Holloway, MD

Janell is conducting basic science research under the Physicians Researchers Innovating in Science and Medicine (PRISM) program under Feng Lin, PhD. At the conclusion of this program, she will have a PhD in molecular medicine. She is currently studying the potential role of CDCP1 (a surface protein highly expressed in colon cancer) in regulating gut homeostasis.

Benjamin Kramer, DO

Ben currently works with Dr. Eric Roselli and the aortic surgery research group investigating the biomechanics of the ascending aorta to help improve and inform the management and treatment of acute ascending aortopathy. His investigation centers around correlating in-vivo aortic structural behavior with ex-vivo strain analysis and determining the association of aortic failure with proteoglycan concentration. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Clinical Translational Research through Case Western Reserve University.

Mentors: Dr. Eric Roselli and Dr. Eugene Blackstone

Sara Maskal, MD

Sara is studying abdominal wall reconstruction and general surgery. Her primary focus is randomized controlled trials and outcomes-focused research. Current projects include studying the effect of music on postoperative pain control, quantitative tension changes over time in open abdomen management, a contemporary trial of suture vs mesh repair for small incisional hernias, and comparing Sugarbaker vs keyhole techniques for parastomal hernia repair. Sara also has additional interests in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) such as female representation in surgery.

Mentors: Ajita Prabhu, MD, Michael Rosen, MD, David Krpata, MD, Clayton Petro, MD, Lucas Beffa, MD, and Benjamin Miller, MD

Megan Obi, MD

Megan is performing clinical research with the Colorectal Surgery department. Her areas of focus include inflammatory bowel disease and benign anorectal and colorectal disease. Current projects include studying new techniques for reducing perianal fistula recurrence in Crohn's disease patients as well as outcomes- based reviews on surgical techniques and disparities in colorectal surgery.

Mentors: Dr. Scott R. Steele, Dr. Stefan Holubar

Sadia Tasnim, MD

Sadia is currently pursuing a two-year clinical research fellowship in the Thoracic Surgery department at CCF. Her research interests involve surgical outcomes, surgical education, and social disparities in medicine. She is studying the outcomes of both benign and malignant non-cardiac thoracic diseases and developing a patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) for esophageal diseases. She is also studying social determinants of healthcare disparities in thoracic diseases with the ultimate goal of developing proper screening guidelines. Sadia is also pursuing a Master's in Statistics degree from Texas A&M University, serving as the Resident/Fellow Chair of the Association of Women Surgeons, and co-founded the Middle School Healthcare Outreach and Enrichment Program during her professional development years.

Mentor(s): Monisha Sudarshan, MD, MPH

Chase Wehrle, MD

Chase is conducting research with the departments of Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) Surgery and Liver Transplantation. His primary interest is in clinical trials for which he has received both grant and industry funding. Topics of randomized trials include surgical versus endoscopic management of idiopathic pancreatitis, use of amniotic tissue grafting in biliary anastomoses in living- and deceased-donor liver transplantation, the impact of machine perfusion on oncologic risk after transplant, and the impact of routine post-operative ward monitoring on surgical outcomes. He has additional interest in translational research, including genomic predictors of response to adjuvant chemotherapy in pancreas cancer, utility of circulating tumor DNA in liver and pancreas cancer, multi-omics prediction models for hepatocellular carcinoma, and the utility of KRAS-based liquid biopsy for early detection of pancreas cancer in high-risk cohorts.

Mentor(s): R Matthew Walsh, MD (HPB), Robert Simon, MD (HPB), Daniel Joyce, MBBCh (Surgical Oncology), Samer Naffouje, MD (Surgical Oncology), Koji Hashimoto, MD, PhD (Liver Transplant), Andrea Schlegel, MD (Liver Transplant), Federico Aucejo, MD (Liver Transplant), Choon H David Kwon, MD, PhD (Liver Transplant), Masato Fujiki, MD (Liver Transplant), Alejandro Pita, MD (Liver Transplant), & Dan Sessler, MD (Anesthesia, Outcomes)

Kimberly Woo, MD

Kim is investigating surgical outcomes in abdominal wall reconstruction and general surgery. She is particularly interested in postoperative opioid utilization, inguinal hernia repair outcomes and mesh related outcomes, and runs multiple randomized controlled trials in these topics. She has additional interests in disparities in surgical care and surgical sustainability, such as the use of reusable versus single use operative instruments and life cycle analysis of inguinal hernia repairs.

Mentors: Ajita Prabhu, MD, Michael Rosen, MD, David Krpata, MD, Clayton Petro, MD, Lucas Beffa, MD, and Benjamin Miller, MD

Clinical Research Groups

Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Research Group

Principal Investigator: Ali Aminian, MD

Co-Investigators: Rickesha Wilson, MD, Chelsea Feng, MD, Ricard Corcelles, MD, Matthew Kroh, MD, Kalman Bencsath, MD, Walter Cha, MD, Jesse Gutnick, MD, Toms Augustin, MD, MPH, Salvador Navarrete, MD, Andrew Strong, MD

Funded Opportunities: Potential opportunities may be available upon request

Research Focus:

  • Effects of bariatric surgery on health consequences of obesity such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, cancer, COVID-19, etc.
  • Individualized approach in bariatric procedure selection.
  • Role of changes in microbiome in health benefits of bariatric surgery.
  • Bariatric surgery in patients with specific underlying medical conditions such as heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, cirrhosis, organ transplant candidates, etc.
  • Disparities in outcomes after bariatric surgery based on social determinants of health.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Aminian A, Al-Kurd A, Wilson R, Bena J, Fayazzadeh H, Singh T, Albaugh VL, Shariff FU, Rodriguez NA, Jin J, Brethauer SA, Dasarathy S, Alkhouri N, Schauer PR, McCullough AJ, Nissen SE. Association of Bariatric Surgery With Major Adverse Liver and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients With Biopsy-Proven Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis. JAMA. 2021 Nov 23;326(20):2031-2042. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.19569. PMID: 34762106; PMCID: PMC8587225.
  • Aminian A, Wilson R, Al-Kurd A, Tu C, Milinovich A, Kroh M, Rosenthal RJ, Brethauer SA, Schauer PR, Kattan MW, Brown JC, Berger NA, Abraham J, Nissen SE. Association of Bariatric Surgery With Cancer Risk and Mortality in Adults With Obesity. JAMA. 2022 Jun 28;327(24):2423-2433. doi: 10.1001/jama.2022.9009. PMID: 35657620; PMCID: PMC9166218.
  • Landreneau JP, Strong AT, Rodriguez JH, Aleassa EM, Aminian A, Brethauer S, Schauer PR, Kroh MD. Conversion of Sleeve Gastrectomy to Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. Obes Surg. 2018 Dec;28(12):3843-3850. doi: 10.1007/s11695-018-3435-1. PMID: 30094577.

Breast Surgery Research Group

Principal Investigator: Zahraa AlHilli, MD

Co-Investigators: Debra Pratt, MD, Stephanie Valente, DO, Erica Peters, MD, Julie Lang, MD

Funded Opportunities: Potential opportunities may be arranged upon request

Research Focus:

  • Exploring healthcare delivery of breast cancer from initial entry point into system to flow between specialties (surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, etc) and ultimate treatment.
  • Pain control after breast surgery and opioid-reducing options.
  • Cost and value of breast oncological care from different perspectives (patient, healthcare system).
  • Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathway for post-breast surgery.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • ElSherif A, Armanyous S, Gentle CK, Al-Hilli Z, Valente SA. Trends of Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy at the time of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence. Am J Surg. 2022 Mar;223(3):533-537. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2021.12.009. Epub 2021 Dec 11. PMID: 34924172.
  • Al-Hilli Z, Wilkerson A. Breast Surgery: Management of Postoperative Complications Following Operations for Breast Cancer. Surg Clin North Am. 2021 Oct;101(5):845-863. doi: 10.1016/j.suc.2021.06.014. Epub 2021 Aug 7. PMID: 34537147.
  • ElSherif A, Shah C, Downs-Kelly E, Alhareb A, Valente SA, Tu C, Al-Hilli Z. Outcomes of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence after breast conserving surgery: Repeat lumpectomy as an alternative to salvage mastectomy. Surgery. 2022 Mar;171(3):673-681. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2021.10.069. Epub 2021 Dec 12. PMID: 34911644.
  • ElSherif A, Armanyous S, Al-Hilli Z, Valente SA. Mastectomy options for the treatment of ipsilateral breast cancer recurrence after lumpectomy. Am J Surg. 2022 Mar;223(3):447-451. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2021.11.028. Epub 2021 Dec 15. PMID: 34955166.

Colorectal Surgery – Note Several Groups

Principal Investigator: The staff in the colorectal surgery department at main campus are actively engaged in research, and often collaborate with each other. Some of the staff and their specific interests are listed below. The department offers a wind range of research options to include outcomes, prospective trials and quality. Residents are supported to go to regional and national meetings to present their work. In addition, support for statistical analysis and educational conferences is standard with the group.

Co-Investigators: Scott Steele, MD, MBA, Tracy Hull, MD, Stefan Holubar, MD, David Liska, MD, Emre Gorgun, MD, Hermann Kessler, MD, Michael Valente, DO, Anuradha Bhama, MD, Jeremy Lipman, MD, Joshua Sommovilla, MD, Arielle Kanters, MD

Funded Opportunities: Funding for research positions is available for 1-2 years. The source of funding will vary based on the fellow and what projects they will undertake. In general, funding is available from DDSI, the Colorectal Surgery Department, or a specific PI related to a specific project.

Research Focus: The colorectal surgery department has several staff who are actively engaged in research in all aspects of colorectal surgery, including colorectal cancer, IBD, hereditary cancers, and endoscopic colorectal surgery techniques. There are a large number of internal or national/international database studies, clinical research trials, and basic science research in various areas of colorectal surgery. Specific interests of different PIs are listed below.

Principal Investigator: Scott Steele, MD, MBA

Specific Research Interests:

  • Rectal cancer.
  • Retrospective studies in all areas of colorectal surgery.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Short- and Long-term Outcomes of Ileal Pouch Anal Anastomosis Construction in Obese Patients With Ulcerative Colitis. Leeds IL, Holubar SD, Hull TL, Lipman JM, Lightner AL, Sklow B, Steele SR. Dis Colon Rectum. 2022 Aug 1;65(8):e782-e789.
  • Advanced age alone should not preclude surveillance colonoscopy in the octogenarian and older population. Sapci I, Guyton K, Church J, Liska D, Gorgun E, Steele SR, Valente MA. Am J Surg. 2022 Mar;223(3):510-512. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2021.11.033. Epub 2021 Dec 2. PMID: 34916038

Principal Investigator: Tracy Hull, MD

Specific Research Interests:

  • Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis (IPAA) related research.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Pouch volvulus-why adhesions are not always the enemy. Dionigi B, Prien C, Lavryk O, Lightner AL, Holubar SD, Hull T. Colorectal Dis. 2022 May 18. doi: 10.1111/codi.16195. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35585780
  • urnbull-Cutait abdominoperineal pull-through operation: The Cleveland Clinic experience in the 21st century. Lavryk OA, Bandi B, Shawki SF, Floruta C, Xue J, Valente MA, Steele SR, Hull TL. Colorectal Dis. 2022 May 1. doi: 10.1111/codi.16163. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35490348 

Principal Investigator: Stefan Holubar, MD

Specific Research Interests:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • NSQIP and other database-related research.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • What About Patient Cost? Defining Copay and Out-of-Pocket Costs of Extended Venous Thromboembolism Chemoprophylaxis After Colorectal Surgery. Prien C, Ribakow D, Steele SR, Liska D, Kessler H, Hull TL, Holubar SD. J Gastrointest Surg. 2022 Jul 26. doi: 10.1007/s11605-022-05416-8. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35882761
  • Use of Intraoperative Calibration Spheres for Endoluminal Stricture Assessment to Facilitate Heineke-Mikulicz Strictureplasty in Diffuse Stricturing Crohn's Jejunoileitis. Duraes LC, Lee CHA, Holubar SD. Dis Colon Rectum. 2022 Jul 1;65(7):e741-e742. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000002360. Epub 2022 Mar 23. PMID: 35333805

Principal Investigator: David Liska, MD

Specific Research Interests:

  • Hereditary cancer and polyposis syndromes.
  • Early onset colorectal cancer.
  • Healthcare disparities.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Effect of Incisional Negative Pressure Wound Therapy on Surgical Site Infections in High-Risk Reoperative Colorectal Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Sapci I, Camargo M, Duraes L, Jia X, Hull TL, Ashburn J, Valente MA, Holubar SD, Delaney CP, Gorgun E, Steele SR, Liska D. Dis Colon Rectum. 2022 Apr 1. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000002415. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35358097
  • Enhanced Recovery Pathway Benefits Patients Undergoing Nonelective Colorectal Surgery. Liska D, Novello M, Cengiz BT, Holubar SD, Aiello A, Gorgun E, Steele SR, Delaney CP.

Ann Surg. 2021 Apr 1;273(4):772-777. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003438. PMID: 32697898

Principal Investigator: Emre Gorgun, MD

Specific Research Interests:

  • Advanced endoscopic techniques in colorectal surgery, including endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD).
  • Colonoscopy and colorectal cancer screening.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Outcomes and Cost Analysis of Robotic Versus Laparoscopic Abdominoperineal Resection for Rectal Cancer: A Case-Matched Study. Gorgun IE, Cengiz TB, Ozgur I, Dionigi B, Kalady MF, Steele SR. Dis Colon Rectum. 2022 Feb 21. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000002394. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35195554 
  • A technical note on the treatment of large perianal condylomata acuminata. Ozgur I, Kanters A, Isakov R, Gorgun E. Colorectal Dis. 2022 Aug 8. doi: 10.1111/codi.16295. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35938233
  • Restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis in elderly patients - is advanced age a contraindication? Duraes LC, Liang J, Steele SR, Cengiz B, Delaney CP, Holubar SD, Gorgun E.
  • ANZ J Surg. 2022 Apr 18. doi: 10.1111/ans.17728. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35434821

Endocrine Surgery Research Group

Principal Investigator: Eren Berber, MD (Can also reach out to other Co-investigators individually)

Co-Investigators:Allan Siperstein, MD, Joyce Shin, MD, Vikram Krishnamurthy, MD, Judy Jin, MD, Katherine Heiden, MD

Funded Opportunities: Potential opportunities may be arranged upon request

Research Focus:

  • Fluorescence in endocrine surgical procedures.
  • Adrenalectomy procedures comparing different techniques such as laparoscopic and robotic.
  • Liver tumor ablation, laparoscopic liver resection.
  • Clinical studies based on existing databases.
  • Patient-reported outcomes in thyroid and parathyroid surgery.
  • Creating video abstracts of specific surgical techniques.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Broome DT, Naples R, Bailey R, Tekin Z, Hamidi M, Bena JF, Morrison SL, Berber E, Siperstein AE, Scharpf J, Skugor M. Use of Preoperative Imaging in Primary Hyperparathyroidism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jan 1;106(1):e328-e337. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa779. PMID: 33119066.
  • Zolin SJ, Crawford K, Rudin AV, Harsono H, Krishnamurthy VD, Jin J, Berber E, Siperstein A, Shin JJ. Selective parathyroid venous sampling in reoperative parathyroid surgery: A key localization tool when noninvasive tests are unrevealing. Surgery. 2021 Jan;169(1):126-132. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2020.05.014. Epub 2020 Jul 8. PMID: 32651054.
  • Zolin SJ, Crawford K, Rudin AV, Harsono H, Krishnamurthy VD, Jin J, Berber E, Siperstein A, Shin JJ. Selective parathyroid venous sampling in reoperative parathyroid surgery: A key localization tool when noninvasive tests are unrevealing. Surgery. 2021 Jan;169(1):126-132. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2020.05.014. Epub 2020 Jul 8. PMID: 32651054.
  • Isiktas G, Nazli Avci S, Ergun O, Krishnamurthy V, Jin J, Siperstein A, Berber E. Laparoscopic versus robotic adrenalectomy in pheochromocytoma patients. J Surg Oncol. 2022 Sep;126(3):460-464. doi: 10.1002/jso.26918. Epub 2022 May 14. PMID: 35567781.

Healthcare Disparities in General Surgery Research Group

Principal Investigator: Sofya Asfaw, MD

Co-Investigators: Rickesha Wilson, MD, David Liska, MD, Claire Konys, PA-C

Funded Opportunities: None currently, however, funded Quality Improvement Research Fellow works closely with this group

Research Focus:

  • Identifying disparities in healthcare outcomes based on patient demographics and other social determinants of health (SDOH).
  • Evidence-based interventions to mitigate surgical disparities.
  • Topics span across general surgery – from trauma to breast surgery to colorectal surgery.
  • Educating the healthcare community on causes of disparate care in general surgery.
  • Advocacy for collection of SDOH factors for use in research.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

Multiple projects in various stages of development, including under review for publication.

Hepatobiliary Surgery Research Group

Principal Investigator: Matthew Walsh, MD

Co-Investigators: Robert Simon, MD, Toms Augustin, MD MPH, Daniel Joyce, MBBCh

Funded Opportunities: 1-2 fully-funded positions annually for a 2-year research fellowship

Research Focus:

  • Clinical research.
  • Pancreatic cancer, liquid biopsy.
  • Pancreatic cystic lesions such as IPMN and serous cystadenoma.
  • Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Pancreatic surgery prehabilitation and outcomes.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Perlmutter BC, Ali J, Cengiz TB, Said SA, Tang A, Augustin T, Joyce D, Simon R, Walsh RM. Correlation between physical status measures and frailty score in patients undergoing pancreatic resection. Surgery. 2022 Mar 1;171(3):711-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2021.10.030
  • Naples R, Walsh RM, Thomas JD, Perlmutter B, McMichael J, Augustin T, Simon R. Short-and long-term surgical outcomes of total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation: A comparative analysis of surgical technique and intraoperative heparin dosing to optimize outcomes. Pancreatology. 2021 Jan 1;21(1):291-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pan.2020.11.013
  • Perlmutter BC, Naples R, Hitawala A, McMichael J, Chadalavada P, Padbidri V, Haddad A, Simon R, Walsh RM, Augustin T. Factors that Minimize Curative Resection for Gallbladder Adenocarcinoma: an Analysis of Clinical Decision-Making and Survival. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 2021 Sep;25(9):2344-52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11605-021-04942-1

Hernia Surgery Research Group

Principal Investigator: Michael Rosen, MD

Co-Investigators: Ajita Prabhu, MD, Clayton Petro, MD, Benjamin Miller, MD, David Krpata, MD, Lucas Beffa, MD, Adele Costanzo, RN

Funded Opportunities: 2-5 fully-funded positions annually for a 2-year research fellowship

Research Focus:

  • Clinical research, trial design, multiple ongoing randomized control trials.
  • Abdominal core health.
  • Minimally invasive hernia repair.
  • Abdominal wall biomechanics.
  • Mesh and biomaterials.
  • Benign foregut and anti-reflux surgery.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Rosen MJ, Krpata DM, Petro CC, Carbonell A, Warren J, Poulose BK, Costanzo A, Tu C, Blatnik J, Prabhu AS. Biologic vs synthetic mesh for single-stage repair of contaminated ventral hernias: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA surgery. 2022 Apr 1;157(4):293-301. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.6902
  • Petro CC, Zolin S, Krpata D, Alkhatib H, Tu C, Rosen MJ, Prabhu AS. Patient-reported outcomes of robotic vs laparoscopic ventral hernia repair with intraperitoneal mesh: the PROVE-IT randomized clinical trial. JAMA surgery. 2021 Jan 1;156(1):22-9. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.4569
  • Prabhu AS, Carbonell A, Hope W, Warren J, Higgins R, Jacob B, Blatnik J, Haskins I, Alkhatib H, Tastaldi L, Fafaj A. Robotic inguinal vs transabdominal laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair: the RIVAL randomized clinical trial. JAMA surgery. 2020 May 1;155(5):380-7. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.0034

Liver Cancer Research Group

Principal Investigator: Federico Aucejo, MD

Co-Investigators: Koji Hashimoto, MD PhD, Bijan Eghtesad, MD, Masato Fujiki, MD, Choon Hyuck Kwon, MD, PhD, Charles Miller, MD, Rotating research fellows

Funded Opportunities: None present

Research Focus:

  • Translational and clinical research.
  • Liver malignancy digital histopathology: Predictive signatures via artificial intelligence.
  • Role of liquid biopsy in liver malignancy.
  • Salivary metabolomics as biomarkers of liver malignancy.
  • Perioperative adjunct therapies for primary and secondary liver cancer.
  • Role of liver transplantation in the management of primary and secondary liver malignancy.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Sasaki K, Nair A, Moro A, Augustin T, Quintini C, Berber E, Aucejo FN, Kwon CH. A chronological review of 500 minimally invasive liver resections in a North American institution: overcoming stagnation and toward consolidation. Surgical Endoscopy. 2022 Mar 11:1-9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-022-09182-1
  • Barron JO, Orabi D, Moro A, Quintini C, Berber E, Aucejo FN, Sasaki K, Kwon CH. Validation of the IWATE criteria as a laparoscopic liver resection difficulty score in a single North American cohort. Surgical Endoscopy. 2022 May;36(5):3601-9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-021-08561-4
  • Hershberger CE, Rodarte AI, Siddiqi S, Moro A, Acevedo‐Moreno LA, Brown JM, Allende DS, Aucejo F, Rotroff DM. Salivary metabolites are promising non‐invasive biomarkers of hepatocellular carcinoma and chronic liver disease. Liver Cancer International. 2021 Aug;2(2):33-44. https://doi.org/10.1002/lci2.25

Liver Transplant Surgery Research Group

Principal Investigator: Koji Hashimoto, MD PhD

Co-Investigators: Federico Aucejo, MD, Bijan Eghtesad, MD, Masato Fujiki, MD, Choon Hyuck Kwon, MD, PhD, Charles Miller, MD, Rotating research fellows

Funded Opportunities: Potential opportunities can be arranged

Research Focus:

  • Bariatric Surgery, with specific focus on revisional bariatric surgery.
  • GERD.
  • Motility disorders.
  • MALS.
  • Surgical innovation and technology.
  • Research fellow is a part of the DDSI Innovations and Technology program, including device development, tech-based endoscopy and surgery labs associated with the program, and the DDSI Innovation Council.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Aminian A, Wilson R, Al-Kurd A, Tu C, Milinovich A, Kroh M, Rosenthal RJ, Brethauer SA, Schauer PR, Kattan MW, Brown JC, Berger NA, Abraham J, Nissen SE. Association of Bariatric Surgery With Cancer Risk and Mortality in Adults With Obesity. JAMA. 2022 Jun 28;327(24):2423-2433. doi: 10.1001/jama.2022.9009. PMID: 35657620
  • Schwalbe K, Finelli C, Moon S, Niehaus H, Kondajji A, Tu C, Fathalizadeh A, Kroh M, Allemang M. Endoscopic findings do not predict per-oral pyloromyotomy (POP) response. Surg Endosc. 2022 May 24. doi: 10.1007/s00464-022-09321-8. PMID: 35608698.
  • Qudah Y, Abdallah M, Barajas-Gamboa JS, Del Gobbo GD, Pablo Pantoja J, Corcelles R, Rodriguez J, Balci N, Kroh M. Personalized Health Care Technology in Managing Postoperative Gastrointestinal Surgery Complications: Proof of Concept Study. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2022 Apr 28. doi: 10.1089/lap.2022.0114. PMID: 35483077.
  • Majid SF, Husain FA, Choi Y, Gill S, Schirmer B, Kroh M, Kurian M. The SAGES MASTERS program presents the 10 seminal articles for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Surg Endosc. 2022 Jan;36(1):6-15. doi: 10.1007/s00464-021-08861-9. PMID: 34855007

Pediatric Surgery Research Group

Principal Investigator: Jason Robertson, MD

Co-Investigators: Darrell Cass, MD, Anthony DeRoss, MD, John DiFiore, MD, David Magnuson, MD

Funded Opportunities: Potential opportunities can be arranged upon request

Research Focus:

  • Endothelial progenitor cell dysfunction relative to development of pulmonary hypoplasia and hypertension in congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
  • Pectus excavatum.
  • Bracing for pectus carinatum.
  • Pediatric VV ECMO cannula choice.
  • Appendectomy for RLQ pain.
  • Non-standard indications for cholecystitis.
  • Pediatric Surgery workforce issues.
  • Role for pediatric and adult combined colorectal surgery clinic.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • DiFiore JW, Robertson JO, Chhabada S, DeRoss AL, Hossain MS, Rincon-Cruz L, Sung W. Next day discharge after the Nuss procedure using intercostal nerve cryoablation, intercostal nerve blocks, and a perioperative ERAS pain protocol. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2022 Feb 1;57(2):213-8. PMID: 34823843. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2021.10.034
  • Robertson JO, Criss CN, Hsieh LB, Matsuko N, Gish JS, Mon RA, Johnson KN, Hirschl RB, Mychaliska GB, Gadepalli SK. Comparison of early versus delayed strategies for repair of congenital diaphragmatic hernia on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. J Pediatr Surg. 2018 Apr;53(4):629-634. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2017.10.056. Epub 2017 Nov 22. PMID: 29173775
  • Sajankila N, DeRoss A, Lipman JM. Approach to the Adult Colorectal Patient with a History of Pediatric Abdominal Surgery. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2022 Aug 12;35(3):177-186. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-1742412. PMID: 35966376; PMCID: PMC9374533.

Quality Improvement Research Group

Principal Investigator: Toms Augustin, MD MPH

Co-Investigators: Kelly Nimylowycz, Kelly Walker

Funded Opportunities: One fully-funded position for a 2-year research fellow (cycles every 2 years with only 1 fellow at any given time)

Research Focus:

  • Sepsis care and prevention of sepsis-related mortality.
  • Optimal transfers of acute surgical patients between hospitals with different surgical capabilities.
  • Prevention of serious safety events.
  • Predicting and preventing hospital re-admission in general surgical patients.
  • Management and monitoring of data to assess the quality and safety of healthcare.
  • Harnessing the electronic health record to prevent specific patient-harm events.
  • Monitoring quality and patient safety using American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) data.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Nimeri AA, Gamaleldin MM, McKenna KL, Turrin NP, Mustafa BO. Reduction of Venous Thromboembolism in Surgical Patients Using a Mandatory Risk-Scoring System: 5-Year Follow-Up of an American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2017 May;23(4):392-396. doi: 10.1177/1076029615614396. Epub 2015 Nov 25. PMID: 26607437.
  • Gentle CK, Alkhatib H, Valente SA, Tu C, Pratt DA. Stage IV Non-breast Cancer Patients and Screening Mammography: It is Time to Stop. Ann Surg Oncol. 2022 Jul 18. doi: 10.1245/s10434-022-12132-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35849289.

Surgical Education Research Group

Principal Investigator: Jeremy Lipman, MD, MHPE

Co-Investigators: Judith French, PhD, Ajita Prabhu, MD

Funded Opportunities: One fully-funded position for a 2-year research fellowship (cycles every 2 years with only 1 fellow at any given time), as well as full funding for the pursuit of Masters of Education degree (typically MHPE or MEHP degree).

Research Focus:

  • Operative teaching and assessment.
  • Operative autonomy.
  • Simulation teaching and assessment.
  • Curriculum design.
  • Residency recruitment.
  • Medical student education in surgery.
  • Professionalism in surgery.
  • Any aspect of surgical education.
  • Translational and clinical research.
  • Improving transplant outcomes.
  • Machine perfusion pump to improve ex-vivo viability of borderline donor livers.
  • Novel therapeutics for improvement of allograft function.
  • Immunotherapies in the prevention of transplantation rejection.
  • Impact of metabolomics on peri-transplant patient outcomes.
  • Model development with realistic-perfusate for laparoscopic and robotic ex vivo hepatectomy and transplant training.
  • Minimally invasive liver surgery.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Quintini C, Del Prete L, Simioni A, Del Angel L, Uso TD, D’Amico G, Hashimoto K, Aucejo F, Fujiki M, Eghtesad B, Sasaki K. Transplantation of declined livers after normothermic perfusion. Surgery. 2022 Mar 1;171(3):747-56. PMID: 35065791 DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2021.10.05
  • Matsushima H, Fujiki M, Sasaki K, Cywinski JB, D’Amico G, Uso TD, Aucejo F, Kwon CH, Eghtesad B, Miller C, Quintini C. Can pretransplant TIPS be harmful in liver transplantation? A propensity score matching analysis. Surgery. 2020 Jul 1;168(1):33-9. PMID: 32268937 DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2020.02.01

Minimally Invasive Surgery Research Group

Principal Investigator: Matthew Kroh, MD

Co-Investigators:Salvador Navarrete, MD, Jeffrey Ponsky, MD, Matthew Allemang, MD, Andrew Strong, MD, John Rodriguez, MD (Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi)

Funded Opportunities: Funding is available and provided either by the Department of General Surgery or the DDSI Innovations Program, depending on areas of interest of the research fellow

Research Focus:

  • Foregut surgery.
  • Surgical endoscopy, including POEM, POP, and enteral access.
    • Currently in enrollment phase of randomized placebo-intervention trial for POP under a NIH RO1 Grant.

Recent/Noteworthy Publications:

  • Han AY, Naples R, French JC, Dragomirescu C, Tu C, Lipman JM. Operative teaching takes "GUTS": Impact of Educational Time Out on trainee's cognitive load. Am J Surg. 2022 Apr 4:S0002-9610(22)00215-X. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.03.037. PMID: 35414429. 
  • Naples R, French JC, Han AY, Lipman JM, Awad MM. The Impact of Simulation Training on Operative Performance in General Surgery: Lessons Learned from a Prospective Randomized Trial. J Surg Res. 2022 Feb;270:513-521. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2021.10.003. PMID: 34801802.
  • Han AY, Obiri-Yeboah D, French JC, Lipman JM. The Virtual Recruitment Onion: Peeling Back the Layers of the Interview Season During the COVID-era. J Surg Educ. 2022 Jan-Feb;79(1):77-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2021.08.003. PMID: 34446384.
  • Naples R, French JC, Thomas JD, Lipman JM. A New Era in Graduate Medical Education: A Novel Role for Surgical Subinternships in the Interview Selection Process. Ann Surg. 2021 Jan 1;273(1):e16-e18. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000004042. PMID: 32773620.
Current Residents

Current Residents


Juan Aulestia, MD

Juan Aulestia, MD

  • Medical School: Universidad Central del Ecuador
  • Hometown: Quito, Ecuador
  • Career Interest: Minimally Invasive and Robotic General Surgery, Minimally invasive HPB surgery
  • Bio: Born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. Juan completed a General Surgery residency in 2016 and worked as Staff being part of the team that performed the first successful liver transplant in the public health network in Ecuador. He is also a professional piano performer which specializes in Rachmaninoff’s work. He enjoys Cleveland.  His favorite activity is spending time with his wife and his dog, cooking, hiking, and discovering new music.

Elissa Dabaghi, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Elissa Dabaghi, MD

  • Medical School: University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Hometown: Dallas, TX
  • Career Interest: Undecided
  • Bio: I was born in Lebanon and moved to Dallas, TX when I was young. One of my main passions is music, both classical and contemporary- I play piano, violin, and guitar. I enjoy volleyball, tennis, and skiing, and I am always up for a hike! My favorite passion is loving and caring for my dog, Penny, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Divya Deverakonda, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Divya Deverakonda, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Hometown: Broadview Heights, OH
  • Career Interest: General Surgery, Critical Care, HP
  • Bio: Grew up in the Greater Cleveland area, went to college at New York University, spent a year as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the NIH, and came back to Cleveland for medical school at Case Western Reserve. I enjoy cooking, baking (especially cookies!), podcasts, TV, and exploring the metro parks!

Amanda Graveson, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Amanda Graveson, MD

  • Medical School: Oregon Health and Science University
  • Hometown: Windsor, CA
  • Career Interest: General Surgery, Critical Care
  • Bio: I grew up in Northern CA then moved to Portland OR for college and medical school. I moved to Cleveland for this next chapter with my husband and our two dogs. In my free time we've been enjoying exploring the city, taking our dogs on hikes, and spending time with my co-residents.

Diana Jimenez, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Diana Jimenez, MD

  • Medical School: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
  • Hometown: Wellington, FL
  • Career Interest: General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • Bio: Born in Peru, grew up in a small town in South Florida, moved up to the buzzling east coast for medical school and now enjoying the Midwest. I enjoy running, gardening, water sports, and walking my golden retriever Mango through the Metro parks!

Michaels Littau, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Michaels Littau, MD

  • Medical School: Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • Career Interest: Trauma, Critical Care
  • Bio: Born and raised in Chicago, IL (yes, the actual city of Chicago, not the suburbs), Mike is quickly getting used to his new home here in Cleveland. As a lover of all things outdoors, He has thoroughly enjoyed biking, canoeing, and hiking around his new home. He is also looking forward to adopting some of Cleveland's sports teams as his own, although as a passionate ice hockey fan he will not be giving up his Chicago Blackhawks.

April Martinez, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

April Martinez, MD

  • Medical School: University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston TX
  • Hometown: San Antonio, TX.
  • Career Interest: Colorectal surgery
  • Bio: I was born and raised in Texas. I was a surgery technician at Texas A&M's Veterinary Hospital throughout undergrad and this kickstarted my surgical career. In my free time, I love spending time with my dogs and fostering animals. I've even fostered a squirrel for 4 months!

Anibal La Riva Rincon, MD

Anibal La Riva Rincon, MD

  • Medical School: Universidad Central de Venezuela Escuela de Medicina José María Vargas.
  • Hometown: Mérida, Venezuela.
  • Career Interest: Cardiothoracic Surgery, Trauma & Critical Care, Surgical Education.
  • Bio: I was born and raised in Mérida (Venezuelan Andes) and moved to Caracas for medical school. After graduation, I moved to the US, and I lived in Chicago and LA before settling in Cleveland for residency. I previously worked as a research volunteer at Harbor-UCLA and Keck Hospital of USC. Outside of the hospital, I enjoy comedy shows, food, coffee, listening to music, and traveling.

Erika Schmidt, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Erika Schmidt, MD

  • Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Hometown: Gillespie, IL
  • Career Interests: Colorectal Surgery, Surgical Education
  • Bio: Born and raised in small town Illinois, Erika went to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for undergrad where she studied nursing prior to switching paths and pursuing medical school in St. Louis. Outside the hospital, she enjoys cooking, Peloton workouts, trying new restaurants and breweries, and spending time with her family and friends.

Noah Tocci, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Noah Tocci, MD

  • Medical School: Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
  • Hometown: Weston Massachusetts
  • Career Interest: Undecided
  • Bio: Was born and raised in the North East which grew my love for outdoor activities. I previously worked at the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science at Beth Israel, focusing on team dynamics and rounding structures in the ICU. Outside of the hospital I enjoy spending time exploring the Metro Parks with my dog and partner, playing sports, and cooking.


Justin Bauzon, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Justin Bauzon, MD

  • Medical School: Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV.
  • Hometown: Las Vegas, NV.
  • Career Interest: Colorectal, MIS, or Pediatric Surgery.
  • Bio: Justin was born in California, raised in Nevada, and studied Neurobiology at UC Berkeley. He enjoys road trips, hiking, true crime podcasts, and all things music. He also loves playing with and taking photos of his puppy, Cajal.

Fadlullah Ba’th, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Fadlullah Ba’th, MD

  • Medical School: University of Minnesota Medical School.
  • Hometown: Washington, DC.
  • Career Interests: Pediatric Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, MIS.
  • Bio: Actually born in Washington, D.C. and the eldest son in a musical family, I started playing violin when I was 2 and that was basically my life until I decided to make a career change while sitting on a tour bus staring out of the window for 14 hours straight. Now that it is no longer my job, my personal interests once again include playing violin, listening to different types of music, watching movies with good music, cooking with music in the background, art museums (with/without music), and pretty much any of the major professional sports.

William Bennett, MD | Cleveland Clinic

William Bennett, MD

  • Medical School: University of North Carolina.
  • Hometown: Raleigh, NC.
  • Career Interests: Critical Care, MIS, Surgical Education.
  • Bio: Born and raised in North Carolina, I attended UNC for Political Science where I was introduced to medicine through a big brother/sister program at UNC's pediatric oncology clinic. Many years later, I’m thrilled to be part of the CCF General Surgery family. I spend as much of my free time as possible with my wonderful co-residents and the rest is divided amongst a variety of things like taking care of my houseplants, home/car projects, video games, and virtual Netflix nights with distant friends/family.

Andrew Conner, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Andrew Conner, MD

  • Medical School: Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University.
  • Hometown: Staten Island, NY.
  • Career Interest: Thoracic surgery, HPB surgery.
  • Bio: Andrew grew up in New York City, before moving to Boston to compete his undergraduate studies and then to New Haven, Connecticut to earn his medical degree. He is excited to now call Cleveland home with his fiancé, who is a pediatric resident. Outside the hospital, you’ll find Andrew working in his home-brewery, browsing record shops, and hiking with his dog, Luna.

Yasser Fouda, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Yasser Fouda, MD

  • Medical School: Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Egypt.
  • Hometown: Mansoura, Egypt.
  • Career Interest: Liver, Pancreas, Kidney and Multivisceral Transplant, Gut Rehabilitation and HPB surgery.
  • Bio: Born and raised in Egypt, did my first residency at Oncology Center Mansoura University, moved to the USA and after finishing my STEPS, started as Fellow for the CGRT then Liver, Pancreas, Kidney transplant and Hepatobiliary surgery fellow, then restarted residency to get board certified, all at Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Jared Hendren, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Jared Hendren, MD

  • Medical School: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Le Roy, IL.
  • Career Interest: Colorectal surgery.
  • Bio: Huge St. Louis Cardinals and Green Bay Packers fan. I like working out, riding bikes, and going hiking in my spare time. I also enjoy spending time with my friends and family.

Sangeeta Satish, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Sangeeta Satish, MD

  • Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Delhi, India.
  • Career Interest: Abdominal transplant surgery.
  • Bio: I was born in India and have lived in 5 different countries. I moved to the US for college and graduated from Boston University where I studied Biomedical Engineering. In my free time, I enjoy exploring Cleveland, traveling, and watching reality TV.

Ece Unal, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Ece Unal, MD

  • Medical School: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Hometown: Ankara, Turkey.
  • Career Interest: Surgical Education, undecided.
  • Bio: Ece is originally from Ankara, Turkey, but grew up in the Caribbean on the island of Sint Maarten for most of her life. She did her undergraduate in Biology & Nutrition Science in Philly and ended up loving it there so much she stayed for medical school. Now in Cleveland, she enjoys exploring new restaurants, festivals and nature with her new co-interns. In her free time, you can catch her cooking, painting, cycling to some Latin/Caribbean beats, or going out of her way to pet a dog nearby.

Pooja Varman, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Pooja Varman, MD

  • Medical School: Creighton University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Career Interest: Pediatric Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Surgical Palliative Care, Surgical Education.
  • Bio: I’m from Nebraska and studied human biology and ethics at Stanford University and then narrative medicine at Columbia University before returning to Nebraska for medical school. I love poetry, modern and contemporary art, fashion, and gabbing over charcuterie.

Melissa Wills, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Melissa Wills, MD

  • Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Toronto, Canada.
  • Career Interest: Surgical Education, Critical Care, and undecided!
  • Bio: I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and completed my undergraduate degree in neuroscience at the University of Notre Dame before moving to Detroit for medical school. I love to spend my time at the gym, skiing, baking, playing tennis, and enjoying patio drinks with friends on a hot summer day.


Jordan Apfeld

Jordan Apfeld, MD

  • Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Signal Mountain, TN.
  • Career interest: Pediatric Surgery.
  • Research interest and institution: Health Outcomes Fellow, Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
  • Bio: Jordan has roots in the midwest, was raised in the South, brainwashed in the Northeast, is newly engaged out West, and Cleveland proud. His hobbies include starting new hobbies, running, disc golf, and all things music.

Doua Elamin, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Doua Elamin, MD

  • Medical School: University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum (Sudan).
  • Hometown: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • Career Interest: MIS, Colorectal.
  • Bio: Born and raised in Abu Dhabi, Doua completed her surgical training in the UAE after attending medical school in Sudan. Outside of work, she loves horseback riding, hiking, traveling and embarking on new adventures.

Corey Timmerman, MD

Corey Gentle, MD

  • Medical School: UT Southwest Medical School.
  • Hometown: Westlake, TX.
  • Career Interest: Endocrine Surgery, Breast Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Global Health.
  • Bio: Grew up in Texas and love being in the great outdoors. I am currently a frustrated apartment gardener and long for a real vegetable and flower garden - watching seeds grow is one of my favorite things! I enjoy running and cycling, and ran a marathon in med school. My next goal now that I've come to a place with real winters is learning how to cross country ski.

Mir Shanaz Hossain, MD

Mir Shanaz Hossain, MD

  • Medical School: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Baltimore, MD.
  • Bio: Shanaz grew up in Baltimore, MD and stayed for undergrad at the Johns Hopkins University where she double majored in Neuroscience and Molecular & Cellular Biology. She moved to Pittsburgh for medical school and during her time there, established her food Instagram as she explored new restaurants and tried different cuisines. In her free time, Shanaz enjoys playing piano, cooking & baking, and visiting new places.

Pavel Lenkov

Pavel Lenkov, MD

  • Medical School: University of Oklahoma.
  • Hometown: Canadian, OK.
  • Career interest: General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery.
  • Bio: Trained as a Russian gymnast before moving to the US.

Gilman Plitt, MD

Gilman Plitt, MD

  • Medical School: Creighton University School of Medicine
  • Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
  • Career Interests: Endocrine Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Cancer Genetics
  • Bio: Gil was born and raised in St. Louis until moving to Fort Collins, Colorado for undergraduate education. Outside of work, he enjoys playing tennis and volleyball, playing the piano, and spending time with friends.

Lorena Rincon-Cruz, MD

Lorena Rincon-Cruz, MD

  • Medical school: University of Colorado School of Medicine 
  • Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
  • Career interest: Pediatric Surgery 
  • Bio: Lorena was originally born in Mexico and has since lived in California, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, and now Ohio. She attended Stanford University where she studied Biology and Studio Art. Outside of the hospital she enjoys trivia nights, cooking, and a good cocktail. She loves spending time watching movies or being outdoors with her fiancé, Andrew, and their two dogs, Luigi and Pancake. 

Nitin Sajankila, MD

Nitin Sajankila, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Hometown: Dayton, New Jersey
  • Career Interest: Pediatric Surgery and Surgeon Scientist
  • Bio: Proud Clevelander. Finished three years of research at Nationwide Children's Hospital in a NIH-T32 position studying the use of a novel probiotic to prevent Necrotizing Enterocolitis, now spending the next three years becoming an excellent surgeon. Can talk for hours about Politics/History and IPAs/Sours. 

Brian Tang

Brian Tang, MD

  • Medical School: McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
  • Hometown: Plano, TX.
  • Bio: After growing up in Plano, attending undergrad in Austin and medical school in Houston, I've spent more years of my life chasing brisket and tacos than medicine. Moving to Cleveland is the first time living outside of Texas, but so far, I enjoy spending time with my co-residents, sister-in-law, and brother (who is also in the program). Outside of the hospital I enjoy cooking and baking!

Noah Weingarten, MD, MA

Noah Weingarten, MD, MA

  • Medical School: Northwestern University.
  • Hometown: Milburn, NJ.
  • Career interest: Pediatric and Cardiothoracic Surgery; Device Innovation and Global Surgery
  • Bio: Born and raised in New Jersey. Have since lived in Southern California, Annapolis, Chicago, and now Cleveland. Enjoy hiking, biking, cooking, comedy, reading, snowboarding, learning new skills, and hanging with friends.

Avia Wilkerson, MD

Avia Wilkerson, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Dallas, TX
  • Career Interest: Surgical oncology, immunotherapies for solid cancers
  • Bio: I enjoy spending time with my favorite humans, pretending to be a chef, all things dance-related, traveling, and listening to live music.


Raha Almarzooqi, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Raha Almarzooqi, MD

  • Medical School: United Arab Emirates University - College of Medicine and Health Sciences.
  • Hometown: Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
  • Career Interest: Colorectal Surgery.
  • Bio: Originally from Iran, born in Oregon, raised in United Arab Emirates, I am now lucky to consider Cleveland as my new home. Outside of the OR, I enjoy watching hockey, reading, cooking, and traveling.


Amy Han, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Cleveland, OH.
  • Career interest: General Surgery, Endocrine Surgery.
  • Research interest and institution: Surgical Education, Cleveland Clinic.
  • Bio: Amy has been in Cleveland for most of her life and loves the lush summer months in the 'land. She enjoys running, exploring new restaurants, baking, drinking coffee, and catching up with friends.

Matthew Johnson, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Matthew Johnson, MD

  • Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Monroe, Michigan.
  • Career Interest: Congenital Heart Surgery.
  • Bio: Born and raised in Michigan before moving to Ohio for medical school and residency. Spent my research years during residency in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan focused on ECMO, ex vivo organ perfusion, and neonatal artificial lung development.  When not at work, I enjoy training and competing in Ironman triathlons, playing the guitar and piano, and hanging with my dog.

George Kereselidze

George Kereselidze, MD

  • Medical School: David Tvildiani Medical University (Georgia).
  • Hometown: Tbilisi, Georgia.
  • Career Interest: Colorectal Surgery, MIS and Surgical Education.
  • Bio: I was born and mostly raised in Georgia. It was always my dream to become a surgeon and be involved in education both of which have come true in Cleveland. In my free time I enjoy spending quality time with family and friends like playing board games, video games, watching sports and snowboarding.

Katherine Montelione, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Katherine Montelione, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Highland Park, NJ.
  • Career interest: Abdominal wall reconstruction.
  • Research interest and institution: Abdominal wall hernias and reconstruction - Comprehensive Hernia Center, Cleveland Clinic
  • Bio: Katie grew up in a small town in New Jersey and graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Biochemistry and from Weill Cornell Medicine with a Masters in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis. She moved to Cleveland for medical school and is now the proud owner of a 100+ year old townhouse in Ohio City where she lives with her fiancé, dog, and kitten. She loves cooking at home, eating out, and gardening.

Moustafa Moussally, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Moustafa Moussally, MD

  • Medical School: American University of Beirut.
  • Hometown: Tripoli, Lebanon.
  • Career Interest: Breast Oncology, Colorectal Surgery.
  • Bio: Lebanese born and bred with a passion for improving surgical outcomes and sustainability. When not in the operating room, I am either exploring the food scene, hanging out with friends or working out.

Andres Narvaez, MD | Cleveland Clinic 

Andres Narvaez, MD

  • Medical School: Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
  • Hometown: Quito, Ecuador.
  • Career Interest: Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery.
  • Bio: Born and raised in Ecuador. Moved to Durham, NC in 2019 for a research fellowship in MIS and Bariatric Surgery at Duke University. Now happy to be in Cleveland. When not working, I enjoy local breweries, restaurants, and catching up on soccer games.

Caleb Seavey

Caleb Seavey, MD

  • Medical School: George Washington University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Washington, DC.
  • Career interest: Surgical Oncology.
  • Research interest and institution: Basic science sarcoma research - Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.
  • Bio: Caleb is the youngest child of an English Professor and a Documentary Filmmaker. He is originally from Washington, DC and went to George Washington University for both undergrad and medical school. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in Brian Rubin’s lab. In his spare time, his hobbies include woodworking and he is an avid jazz enthusiast.

Shahed Tish, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Shahed Tish, MD

  • Medical School: University of Damascus Faculty of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Damascus.
  • Career/research Interest: Minimally invasive surgery/ Outcomes research.
  • Bio: I was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. I moved to the States in 2016 and joined Cleveland Clinic as a research fellow. My research focus was epidemiology and patient reported outcomes. Outside the OR I enjoy cycling classes, swimming, and watching forensic movies.

Emily Verbus, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Emily Verbus, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: North Ridgeville, OH.
  • Career Interest: Liver transplant, HPB.
  • Bio:  I was born and raised in and around Cleveland but have spent some time in Chicago for college and Washington DC doing surgical oncology research at the NIH. I am still deciding what I want to do with my life but am particularly interested in liver transplant and resection. Outside of work I enjoy cooking, going on hikes, and hanging out with my furry children (1 dog and 3 cats).


Reece DeHaan

Reece DeHaan, MD

  • Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin.
  • Hometown: Kenosha, WI.
  • Career interest: Colorectal or Minimally Invasive surgery.
  • Research interest and institution: Inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, organoid models of colonic pathology and next generation sequencing.
  • Bio: Reece has spent the majority of his life living in Wisconsin and Illinois but is excited for the opportunity to explore northeast Ohio. In his free time, he enjoys trying new restaurants as well as playing and watching sports (especially the Packers and Brewers).


Maysoon Gamaleldin, MD

  • Medical School: Dubai Medical College.
  • Hometown: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Career interest: Colorectal Surgery.
  • Research interest and institution: Quality and Operations - Cleveland Clinic.
  • Bio: Born in Egypt, raised in Dubai, I finished my general surgery training in AbuDhabi and came here to pursue a career in colorectal surgery. I am also a proud makeup-aholic and love to spend time spoiling my kitty, Boloz!

Alexis Harvey, MD, MSPH

Alexis Harvey, MD, MSPH

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Aransas Pass, TX.
  • Career Interest: General Surgery, Critical Care.
  • Bio: Born and raised in the South but quickly adopting Cleveland as my new home. Previously worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, focusing on blood transfusion safety. Enjoy spending time with my family and my dogs, Honey Bear and Blue.

Vyacheslav Lenkov, MD

Vyacheslav Lenkov, MD

  • Medical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Canadian, OK.
  • Career Interest: General Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery.
  • Bio: Vyacheslav was born in Russia and moved to a small town in Oklahoma at the age of 13. He enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and 3 pets. His interests also include traveling, cooking, gardening, projects around the house, and watching sports.

Mujtaba Mubashir, MD

Mujtaba Mubashir, MD

  • Medical School: Aga Khan University (Pakistan).
  • Hometown: Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Career Interest: Cardiothoracic Surgery.
  • Bio: Born in Pakistan and raised in Abu Dhabi, I studied medicine at the Aga Khan University, where I was incredibly fortunate to receive the Medical College’s Best Graduate Award as well as the 9th Gold Medal. Am truly delighted to be pursuing general surgery residency at the Cleveland Clinic amongst fantastic staff and peers. Enjoy all racquet sports especially tennis and squash, and love cycling, skating, playing the piano and traveling.

Camila Ortega, MD

Camila Ortega, MD

  • Medical School: Escuela de Medicina - Universidad del Azuay (Ecuador).
  • Hometown: Cuenca, Ecuador.
  • Career Interest: MIS, Global surgery, Endocrine surgery.
  • Bio: Camila was born and raised in The Andes. She likes to spend her free time riding her bicycle, doing Origami and reading novels. She also loves visiting mountains for hiking, skiing or just to enjoy the view.

Danny Orabi

Danny Orabi, MD

  • Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Detroit, MI.
  • Career interest: Hepatobiliary, Transplant.
  • Research interest and institution:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Cancer stem cells; Immunomodulation in HCC; Metabolomics; Microsurgery – Lerner Research Institute.
  • Bio: Like to have fun and relax with family and friends. Interests include soccer, international law, and politics.

Breanna Perlmutter

Breanna Perlmutter, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA.
  • Career interest: Trauma Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, advancing surgical care in developing countries.
  • Research interest and institution: Hepatobiliary surgery and abdominal wall reconstruction - Cleveland Clinic.
  • Bio: Born and raised in Los Angeles, Breanna loves spending her free time outdoors, whether at the beach or hiking in the mountains. She is also an avid cook and loves searching for great food. When time allows, she also greatly enjoys traveling abroad.

Jesse M. P. Rappaport

Jesse M. P. Rappaport, MD

  • Medical School: Emory University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Chester, NJ.
  • Career interest: General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Global Surgery.
  • Research interest and institution: Thoracic Surgery – Cleveland Clinic.
  • Bio: I grew up in small town NJ with two older siblings. I received my undergraduate education in Fine Arts (drawing, painting, sculpting) and try to indulge my artistic side whenever possible.


John Barron, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

John Barron, MD

  • Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: St. Louis, MO.
  • Career Interest: Transplant/HPB surgery, Colorectal surgery.
  • Bio: Born in North Carolina but raised in St. Louis, John is the oldest of five. He’s an avid soccer fan and has played most of his life. Recently, he’s picked up tennis and is looking forward to eventually beating someone in a match.

Nicole Brooks, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Nicole Brooks, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Albany, OH.
  • Career Interest: Colorectal Surgery, Surgical Education, Global Surgery.
  • Bio: I was born and raised in Ohio and have lived here my whole life! Outside of the hospital, I enjoy playing and cuddling with my French bulldog Nike, traveling, watching the Cavs and Browns, or trying out a new restaurant or brewery with friends.

Jenny H. Chang, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Jenny Chang, MD

  • Medical school: Loma Linda University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA.
  • Career Interest: Surgical oncology, Breast surgery, Surgical outcomes and public health.
  • Bio: Worked in community health and engagement in South LA and Uganda prior to medical school. Enjoys 20th century American literature and modern art, nature TV shows about fish and the Office, traveling and hiking.

Oscar Hernandez Dominguez, MD 

Oscar Hernandez Dominguez, MD

  • Medical School: University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: San Diego, CA.
  • Career/Research Interest: Colorectal Surgery.
  • Bio: Oscar is a first-generation immigrant from Mexico and the first in my family to graduate from high school and college. He is the first undocumented student to graduate from UCI SOM with an MD/MBA and the first resident in our program with DACA status. His favorite place to be is on the soccer field and he is a huge fan of Arsenal, movies, and his dog, Tajin.

Ryan Ellis, MD | General Surgery | Cleveland Clinic

Ryan Ellis, MD

  • Medical School: McGovern Medical School.
  • Hometown: Fort Worth, TX.
  • Bio: Ryan was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved all over the U.S. with his family before settling in Texas. He is an alumni of the University of Texas where he studied neuroscience. When not in the hospital, Ryan enjoys many hobbies including fly fishing, rock climbing, cycling, and playing music. He also maintains his private pilot's license and enjoys all aspects of aviation.

Abby Gross

Abby Gross, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Rosemount, Minnesota.
  • Career interest: Critical Care, Pediatric Surgery, Colorectal Surgery.
  • Bio: Born and raised in Minnesota. Attended the University of Minnesota where she studied Ecology, Evolution and Animal Behavior. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys hiking with her dogs, traveling and board game nights.

Janell Holloway

Jannell Holloway, MD

  • Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Hometown: Washington, DC.
  • Career interest: Trauma, Colorectal, MIS.
  • Bio: She is an alum of Harvard College where she studied chemistry. When not in the hospital, she enjoys traveling, participating in dance classes, and going to concerts.

Benjamin Kramer, DO, MS

Benjamin Kramer, DO, MS

  • Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Northport, NY.
  • Career Interest: Cardiothoracic Surgery, Surgical Education.
  • Bio: Born on the North Shore of Long Island, NY, Ben knows the worlds best pizza and bagels. He attended Villanova University and majored in physics and chemistry. Ben earned a masters degree focusing on academic medicine and education from New York Institute of Technology where he completed his medical school education. In his free time, Ben enjoys hiking and backpacking and is an avid singer.

Sara Maskal, MD 

Sara Maskal, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Puyallup, WA.
  • Career/research Interest: Minimally Invasive Surgery, Abdominal Wall Reconstruction.
  • Bio: Outside of the hospital I love dancing, playing tennis, baking, and traveling.

Megan Obi, MD 

Megan Obi, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: Marietta, GA.
  • Career interest: Colorectal Surgery, Surgical Education, Global Surgery.
    Research interest and institution: Colorectal Cancer, Benign Abdominal Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Cleveland Clinic.
  • Bio: Megan grew up outside Chicago and eventually relocated to Atlanta with her family. She completed her undergraduate degree at Columbia University before coming to and staying in Cleveland for both medical school and residency. She enjoys baking, Broadway shows, game nights, and exploring new bars and restaurants, but is most excited to share her Aerial Arts performances with friends and family.

Daphne Remulla

Daphne Remulla, MD

  • Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of USC.
  • Hometown: San Jose, CA.
  • Career interest: Surgical Education, Undecided.
  • Bio: Daphne was born in California, but also spent some time growing up on the East Coast in Massachusetts and New Jersey. She completed both her undergraduate education and medical school in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two rescue dogs, cooking, and watching anime.

Sadia Tasnim, MD

Sadia Tasnim, MD

  • Medical School: University of Texas Medical Branch.
  • Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Career/Research interests: Thoracic, Genetics, Healthcare disparities, Surgical education. Sadia is currently in clinical research studying both benign and malignant non-cardiac thoracic diseases.
  • Bio: Sadia was born and raised in Dhaka, then moved to Texas for undergraduate and medical education. In her free time, she enjoys painting, watching movies, exploring coffee shops, cooking, and building puzzles.

Sarah Wang

Sarah Wang, MD, MPH

  • Medical School: Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Hometown: Toronto, Canada.
  • Career interest: Surgical Oncology, Endocrine, MIS.
  • Bio: Sarah was born and raised in China before relocating to Canada with her family. She studied at McGill University and University of Toronto prior to moving to Virginia for medical school. Her interests include international travel, cooking as much as eating, house plants, hiking, yoga, and art.

Chase Wehrle

Chase Wehrle, MD

  • Medical School: Medical College of Georgia.
  • Hometown: Savannah, GA.
  • Career interest: HPB Surgery, Surgical Oncology.
  • Bio: Chase grew up in Savannah, GA before completing an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis. He then returned close to home for medical school at the Medical College of Georgia. Chase loves watching and playing sports, especially football, basketball, baseball, and golf. He also loves snow skiing and playing pickleball. These days, he spends his time hanging out with his new dog, Cricket.

Kimberly Woo

Kimberly Woo, MD

  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Hometown: San Francisco, CA.
  • Career interest: Surgical Oncology.
  • Bio: Kim was born in Houston and moved to San Francisco in high school. She studied molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley. Her hobbies include true crime, baking, indoor climbing, and long distance running.

Preliminary Residents

We are approved for 9 PGY-1 non-designated preliminary residents and 4 PGY-2 non-designated preliminary residents. We have a diverse group of preliminary residents including both US graduates and International Medical Graduates. Most of our non-designated preliminary residents continue onwards to complete an ACGME-accredited program in a variety of specialties, including: General Surgery, Anesthesiology, Radiology, PM&R, etc.


  • Khaled Alnahhal, MD – Al-Quds University (Palestine).
  • Jad Badreddine, MD – LAU Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School (Lebanon).
  • Mohanad Baroudi, MD – Alfaisal University College of Medicine (Saudi Arabia).
  • Hannah Braunstein, MD – Case Western Reserve University.
  • Elisabeth Kroneberger, MD – Case Western Reserve University.
  • Fathi Moustafa, MD – Royal College of Surgeon/Medical University of Bahrain.
  • Hadika Mubashir, MD – Aga Khan University Medical College (Pakistan).
  • Ion Profirii, MD – University of Karlovy (Czech Republic).
  • Hafsa Omer Sulaiman, MD – St. George’s University of London.


  • Praise Chovwen, MD – All Saints University School of Medicine (Dominica).
  • Barra Mohamed, MD – The United Arab Emirates University
  • Zaid Muslim, MD – The Aga Khan University
  • Fanru Shen, MD – Shanghai Jio Tong University



Alicia Adams, MD Colorectal Surgery Fellowship, University Hospitals
Tim Beck, MD Endocrine Surgery Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic
Aldo Fafaj, MD Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic
Alexandra Ferre, MD Surgical Critical Care/Trauma/ACS Fellowship, Denver Health
Alexander Gibbons, MD Fetal Surgery, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Paul Karam, MD Bariatrics Fellowship, St. Luke’s Hospital, Allentown
Michael Klingler, MD Colorectal Surgery Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic
Robert Naples, DO Hepatopanreatobiliary Surgery Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic
Thomas Shin, MD MIS/Bariatrics Fellowship, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Sam Zolin, MD Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Fellowship, Penn State Hershey


Kevin Brown, MD Bariatric & Minimally Invasive Surgery – Yale
Sarah Choi, MD, MS Colorectal Surgery – University of Southern California
Bess Connors, MD Breast Surgical Oncology – University of Michigan
Amanjit Gill, MD Surgical Oncology – Allegheny General Hospital
Nadeem Haddad, MD Burn & Reconstructive – Johns Hopkins University
Joshua Landreneau, MD Minimally Invasive Surgery – Massachusetts General
Shashank Sharma, MD Vascular Surgery – Houston Methodist
Kathryn Stackhouse, MD Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Andrew Tang, MD Cardiothoracic Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Yaning Zhang, MD Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery – Ascension Providence Hospital


Dominykas Burneikis Colorectal Surgery Fellowship The Ohio State University
Talia Burneikis Endocrine Surgery Fellowship Cleveland Clinic
Mohammed Elshamy Endocrine Surgery Fellowship Cleveland Clinic
Monica Isabella Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Michigan State University 
Sami Judeeba Colorectal Surgery Fellowship Cleveland Clinic
Olga Lavryk Colorectal Surgery Cleveland Clinic
Salvador Navarrete MIS/Bariatric Surgery Staff Cleveland Clinic
Justin Philip MIS/Bariatric Surgery Fellowship Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Andrew Strong MIS/Bariatric Surgery Fellowship Duke University
Valery Vilchez Colorectal Surgery Fellowship UC-Irvine Medical Center


Paul Adenuga Plastic Surgery Fellowship NYU Langone
Matthew Burstein Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship SUNY Buffalo
Maryna Chumakova-Orin Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Duke University
Jennifer Colvin Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Ohio State University
Jennifer Colvin Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Ohio State University
Xiaoxi (Chelsea) Feng Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Ian Glenn Thoracic Surgery Fellowship Cleveland Clinic
Julia Muntean Critical Care Fellowship Cleveland Clinic
Lisa Park Colorectal Surgery Fellowship Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Kaitlin Ritter Trauma and Critical Care Fellowship University of Colorado


Nicholas Bruns Pediatric Surgery Fellowship - Children’s Mercy Hospital
Jessica Ardila Gatas Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery Fellowship - Stony Brook University
Colin Gause Pediatric Surgery Fellowship - Oregon Health and Science University
Charlotte Horne Abdominal Wall Reconstruction and MIS Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic
George Karagkounis Surgical Oncology Fellowship - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Marijan Koprivanac Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship - University of Pennsylvania
Maitham Moslim Surgical Oncology Fellowship - Fox Chase Cancer Center
Ahmed Nassar Abdominal Transplant Fellowship - Emory University
Antonios Sideris Thoracic Surgery Fellowship - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Vorranadha Vacharathit Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery Fellowship - Geisinger Medical Center


Mohammad Abbass Colorectal Surgery Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Amelia Dorsey Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery Fellowship - Stanford University
Emil Fernando Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship- Northwestern University
Ramona Ilie Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship - Emory University
Daniel Joyce Surgical Oncology Fellowship - Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Hari Keshava Thoracic Surgery Fellowship - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Yitian Liu Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship - Vanderbilt University Medical Center
S. Julie-Ann Lloyd Minimally Invasive and Metabolic Surgery Fellowship - University of Pittsburgh
Hideo Takahashi Surgical Oncology Fellowship - Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
JingLiang Yan Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship - Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Anas Abdelazim Vascular Surgery Fellowship - University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Djurabek Babadjanov Vascular Surgery Fellowship - Eastern Virginia Medical Center
Julietta Chang Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship - Massachusetts General Hospital
Matthew Davis Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship - Duke University
Kathryn Fong Vascular Surgery Fellowship - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Adam Mace Thoracic Surgery Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic
Trang Nguyen Surgical Oncology Fellowship - John Wayne Cancer Institute
June Peng Surgical Oncology Fellowship - Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Jacob Petrosky Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship - Geisinger Health System
David Reznick Endocrine Surgery Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic


Avery Capone Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Harvard Plastic Surgery 
Matthew Dong Minimally Invasive Surgery – Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York 
Priya Jadeja Breast Surgery – Columbia University Medical Center
Kelsey Larson Breast Surgical Oncology - Cleveland Clinic 
Michael Liu Colorectal Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Jay Mittal Surgical Critical Care – Cleveland Clinic 
Jeffrey Mino Colorectal Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Rosebel Monteiro Endocrine Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Naftali Presser Abdominal Organ Transplant – University of California, Los Angeles 
Jeh Yung Private Practice – Redlands, CA


Naveen Balasundaram Vascular Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Osama Essa General Surgery Staff – Private Practice
Alfredo Daniel Guerron Minimally Invasive Surgery – Duke University
Jesse Gutnik Endocrine Surgery – Cleveland Clinic (2015-2016)
Minimally Invasive Surgery - Duke University (2016-2017)
Billy Lan Colorectal Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Jose Lozada Trauma and Critical Care – Jackson Health System University of Miami
Neal Moores Plastic Surgery – University of Utah
Mihir Shah Minimally Invasive Surgery – Emory University
Sherief Shawki Colorectal Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Subash Reddy Minimally Invasive Surgery – University of California, San Francisco Fresno


Gavin Falk Pediatric Surgery – Miami Children's Health System
Ronald Charles Colorectal Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Shohrat Annaberdyev Colorectal Surgery – Florida Hospital
Samir Shah Vascular Surgery – Brigham and Women's Hospital
Sofya Asfaw Trauma and Critical Care – University of Pennsylvania
Robert Cornateanu Trauma and Critical Care – Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Joshua Nash Trauma and Critical Care – Cook County Health and Hospital System
Amy Hiuser Plastic Surgery – SUMMA Health System
Samilia Obeng-Gyasi Master in Public Health – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2014-2015) | Breast Surgery – Duke University (2015-2016)
Nishant Raj General Surgery Staff – Private Practice


John Rodriguez Flexible Surgical Endoscopy – Cleveland Clinic
Neil Kundu Plastic Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Omer Nasir Colorectal Surgery – University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey
Hue Thai Vascular Surgery – University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey
Jean Pierre Martucci Melo Minimally Invasive Surgery – University of Illinois Chicago
Isaac Motamarry Minimally Invasive Surgery – University of Florida
Viet Phuong Minimally Invasive Surgery – Carolinas Healthcare Sysem
Christian Cruz General Surgery Staff – Private Practice
Samuel Ibrahim General Surgery Staff – Cleveland Clinic


Vikram Attaluri Colorectal Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Jessica Titus Vascular Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Louisa Chiu Surgical Oncology – City of Hope Cancer Center
Sam Bae Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgery – University of Southern California
Kevin Shah Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery – Duke University
Nicole Sydow Cardiothoracic Surgery – University of Arizona
Amit Sharma Colorectal Surgery – University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey
Jose Roberto Ramirez Plastic Surgery – Vanderbilt Center of Plastic Surgery
Angel Farinas General Surgery Staff – Private Practice


Kalman Bencsath Bariatric & Laparoscopic Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Nakul Vakil Cardiothoracic Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Michael Tsinberg Endocrine Surgery – University of California, San Francisco
George Cristescu General Surgery Staff – Private Practice
Richy Lee Pediatric Surgery – University of Calgary
Aaron Moore Surgical Critical Care – University of Pittsburgh
John Bach Surgical Critical Care – Ohio State University
Kevin El-Hayek Surgical Endoscopy & Laparoscopy – Cleveland Clinic
Alexander Chang Vascular Surgery – University Hospitals Case Medical Center


Suzanne Brooks Breast Surgery – Massachusetts General Hospital
William Abouhassan Craniofacial Surgery & Plastic Surgery – Cleveland Clinic & University of Cincinnati
Christian Massier General Surgery Staff – Cleveland Clinic
Justin Burdick General Surgery Staff – United States Navy
Sheetal Nijhawan Laparoscopy & Bariatric Surgery – University of California, San Diego
David Lee Laparoscopy & Bariatric Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
George Rofaiel Multi-Organ Transplant Surgery – University of Washington
Angelina Postoev Surgical Critical Care – Ohio State University
Max Liebl Vascular Surgery – Southern Illinois University


Amara Malik Breast Surgery – University of California, San Francisco
Werner Andrade Ortiz Bariatric & Laparoscopic Surgery – University of South Florida
Travis Mason General Surgery Staff – United States Army
Kara Schultz General Surgery Staff – United States Air Force
Mohammed Alghoul Plastic Surgery – Cleveland Clinic


Michael Johnson Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Jason Klovning Multi-Organ Transplant Surgery – Emory University
Poornima Rao Surgical Oncology – Fox Chase Cancer Center
Sherif Abdel Misih Surgical Oncology – Ohio State University


Kevin Rothchild Bariatric & Laparoscopic Surgery – University of Colorado
Lewis Diulus General Surgery Staff – United States Navy
Matthew Kroh Surgical Endoscopy & Laparoscopy – Cleveland Clinic
Ravi Rajani Vascular Surgery & Surgical Critical Care – Cleveland Clinic & Emory University


Ikemma Okereke Cardiothoracic Surgery – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Carolyn Garner Endocrine Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Rich Mackey Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Peter Kreymerman Plastic Surgery – Cleveland Clinic
Staff Surgeons

Staff Surgeons

General Surgery Residency Program Leadership

Abdominal Wall Reconstruction and General Surgery

Breast Surgery

Main Campus

Hillcrest Hospital

Fairview Hospital

Colorectal Surgery

Main Campus

Fairview Hospital

Hillcrest Hospital

Endocrine Surgery

Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery and Surgical Oncology

Main Campus

Fairview Hospital

Hillcrest Hospital

Liver and Multivisceral Transplant Surgery

Metabolic and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Main Campus

Fairview Hospital

Hillcrest Hospital

Minimally Invasive and General Surgery

Main Campus

Fairview Hospital

Hillcrest Hospital

Surgical Critical Care

Surgical Endoscopy

Main Campus

Fairview Hospital

Pediatric Surgery

Thoracic Surgery

Main Campus

Vascular Surgery

Main Campus

Fairview Hospital



Physicians at all locations are part of the Cleveland Clinic General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, or Colorectal Surgery Departments except for the MetroHealth Medical Center where the Level I trauma rotations are done.

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

  • Founded in 1921 by George Crile Sr., a general and endocrine surgeon; Frank Bunts, a neurosurgeon; William Lower, an urologist; and John Phillips, an internist.
  • 44 buildings, over 85 operating rooms, more than 1,400 beds.
  • Quaternary care center with an international referral base.
  • Over 200,000 surgery cases each year.

Fairview Hospital

  • Fairview Hospital is a busy community hospital and Level 2 Trauma Center on Cleveland’s west side. General Surgery Residents operate on all General, Colorectal, Breast, Endovascular, and Vascular Surgery cases and run the SICU and Trauma team.
  • 488 beds.
  • $83 million dollar expansion of emergency department and ICU in 2013.

Hillcrest Hospital

  • Hillcrest Hospital is a busy community hospital and Level 2 Trauma Center on Cleveland’s east side.
  • 496 beds.
  • $163 million dollar expansion and renovation in 2010.

Metro Health Medical Center

  • MetroHealth Medical Center is an academic health system, the regional Level 1 Trauma and Burn Center, and the regional safety net hospital on Cleveland’s south side.
  • MetroHealth Medical Center’s staff surgeons are all professors at Case Western Reserve University Medical School.
  • The Trauma Service has two teams, one run by a Cleveland Clinic General Surgery PGY-4 resident and the other run by a University Hospitals Case Medical Center General Surgery PGY-4 resident. The Trauma ICU is run by one PGY-2 resident from the Cleveland Clinic and one PGY-2 from University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Beachwood, Strongsville, Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Centers

  • Beachwood, Strongsville, Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Centers are ambulatory surgery centers staffed by Cleveland Clinic main campus, Hillcrest and Fairview surgeons. Residents perform endoscopy and operate on General and Breast Surgery cases in a fast track surgery environment.
Applications & FAQs

Applications & FAQs

Categorial Program

The General Surgery residency program at Cleveland Clinic is approved for 10 categorical residents per year for five clinical years. A varying number of our categorical residents take advantage of optional research and professional development years, typically after PGY-2.

We seek trainees interested in a program with high clinical volume, scientifically-advanced care and robust opportunities for innovation. Our graduates become leaders as clinicians, researchers and educators. We recruit those whose diverse backgrounds will further enhance the incredible culture of collaboration and camaraderie that exists in our program.

How to apply

Application deadline is October 6, 2023.

NRMP program code Categorical General Surgery 1968440C0

Applications are only accepted through ERAS. Our application requirements are the same as the standard ERAS application.

  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Must not have failed any portion of the USMLE exam.
  • Institutionally, Cleveland Clinic has minimum requirements for all residents.
  • Our program sponsors J1 and H1B visas for international medical graduates.

Preliminary program

The General Surgery residency at Cleveland Clinic is approved for 9 undesignated preliminary PGY 1 residents per year.

We seek trainees from around the world looking to gain additional experience prior to transitioning to a categorical residency. We also welcome those who have matched into an advanced training program and are looking for a robust General Surgery experience before beginning their specialty training.

Residents in the Preliminary program are fully integrated with residents in the Categorical program. They complete the same rotations, participate in all learning and social activities and function in the same role as Categorical residents.

A designated Associate Program Director for Preliminary Residents works to assure the best possible chance of attaining a Categorical position. However, all Categorical positions in our program are filled through the Match with no reserved spots for our Preliminary residents.

How to apply

Application deadline is October 6, 2023.

NRMP program code: Non-Designated Preliminary Surgery 1968440P0

Applications are only accepted through ERAS. Our application requirements are the same as the standard ERAS application.

  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Must not have failed any portion of the USMLE exam.
  • U.S. clinical experience is preferred.
  • Institutionally, Cleveland Clinic has minimum requirements for all residents.
  • Our program sponsors J1 and H1B visas for international medical graduates.


Invitations for interviews will be sent on or before Friday, November 10, 2023. Those not selected for interviews will be notified if they qualify for our waitlist or not. We do not invite more candidates than we have interview spots available. The program will hold virtual interviews using the Thalamus platform.

Categorical program interviews will be held on the following dates:

  • November 29, 2023
  • December 6, 2023
  • December 8, 2023
  • December 13, 2023
  • December 15, 2023
  • January 10, 2024

Preliminary program interviews will be held on the following dates:

  • January 12, 2024
  • January 17, 2024

The program will certify the rank list by February 9, 2024

Cleveland Clinic site visit dates for categorical applicants will be listed at a later time.


Where do the residents live?
Fortunately, Cleveland is very affordable on a resident’s salary. About half of the residents own a house or condo. Most live on the East side, in nearby neighborhoods such as Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Shaker Heights, or Beachwood. The downtown area is also popular for apartment living. There are also beautiful and affordable neighborhoods on the West side, such as Westlake, Ohio City and Tremont. Please visit the GME website for more information about living in Cleveland.

How is life outside of work in Cleveland?
Cleveland has wonderful food, sports, arts and culture. Learn more about the city. If you’re looking for something to do during a visit, check out ThisIsCleveland for some ideas. The program and institution also sponsor a number of social activities throughout the year. These include our welcome picnic, holiday party and graduation. The House Staff Association and House Staff Spouse Association organize several events throughout the year to promote well-being and camaraderie among residents of different specialties.

What is the operative volume for residents?
By the end of their first year, most residents have logged around 100 operations. Our Chiefs graduate with an average of 1,000-1,200 cases and around 120 upper and lower endoscopies. There are no areas of clinical deficiency.

Are residents able to do elective rotations?
Yes. All residents have 1 elective block in the PGY 3, 4 and 5 years to do a rotation that interests them. Additionally, PGY 1 residents have a 1 week elective that can either be used for a supplementary operative experience, or to work in another discipline such as radiology, pathology or with the emergency response team.

Visiting Residents & Students

Visiting Residents & Students

Visiting resident application

For residents interested in rotating with the Department of General Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, all applications must be submitted by April 15 to be considered for the upcoming academic year.

The GME office requires applications to be submitted no less than 10 weeks prior to the start date of the requested rotation for NEW visiting residents and 4 weeks prior for RETURNING residents.

Please direct any questions to Lisa Kempton (kemptol@ccf.org).

For additional GME information, please visit our Graduate Medical Information website.

Visiting students

We welcome students from other institutions to do an elective on one of our clinical teams.



General surgery residency

Lisa Paciorek Donkin
Residency Coordinator

Lisa Kempton, MEd
Education Administrator

Graduate medical education

Main Office
Fax: 216.444.6112

Cleveland Clinic operator


Scholarship for Underrepresented Students

Scholarship for Underrepresented Students

The Cleveland Clinic Scholarship for Medical Students Underrepresented in Surgery

The Cleveland Clinic General Surgery Residency program seeks to expose students from backgrounds under-represented in surgery to the training program available here. In line with the program’s mission to develop the future clinical, academic and educational leaders in surgery, the goal of this scholarship is to further enhance the diversity of our trainees and graduates.

A $2,500 stipend and free on-campus housing will be provided to successful applicants.

Details of the scholarship

Scholars will rotate through a surgical service at Cleveland Clinic as an Acting Intern on either the Abdominal Wall Reconstruction, Breast, Colorectal or Hepatobiliary surgical teams.

They will be paired with a resident to guide them through their time here and provide more information about the training program.

Meetings will be arranged with the Chair of the Department of Surgery, Chair of the Department of Colorectal Surgery, Program Director of the General Surgery residency, Vice Chair of Surgery for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Enterprise Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and the Director of Graduate Medical Education.

Characteristics of successful applicants:

  • Full-time medical students in good academic standing at LCME or COCA accredited US medical schools with an excellent academic record.
  • At the time of the rotation, participants must be in their final year of medical school and planning to apply for surgical residency in the upcoming cycle.
  • Strong preference is given to those who identify as African-American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, and/or Native American.

How to apply

Please include a 300 word (or less) statement of interest, a letter of support from a surgeon with whom you have worked and your CV.

For more information, please contact Lisa Kempton by email at kemptol@ccf.org with any additional questions.