About Us

About Us

The first year of residency is devoted to the principles of patient care as they apply to general surgery. Residents rotate on the major surgical subspecialties (general surgery, surgical critical care, Trauma) with emphasis on preoperative and postoperative management and the development of differential diagnosis.

The second year of residency include a subspecialty rotation in transplantation surgery at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Rotations in cardiac surgery, surgical critical care, Trauma and general surgery round out the academic year.

The third year of residency is divided among pediatric surgery and burns, surgical critical care and thoracic/vascular surgery. The two-month pediatric surgery/burn rotation is done at Akron Children’s Hospital.

The final two years of residency are devoted to general surgery where the resident functions at the chief resident level.

Throughout the entire five years we offer broad exposure in trauma, acute care surgery and surgical critical care. Our residents receive extensive laparoscopic experience during their residency.  We are one of the regions Level I Trauma Centers as verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Our conferences and teaching rounds stress the application of basic science as it applies clinically. Our curriculum integrates anatomy, physiology and clinical pathology.

CPC/Morbidity and Mortality Conference is held weekly. Our Monday morning conference schedule includes textbook review, Surgery Grand Rounds, Vascular CPC, and Breast CCC along with a monthly Journal Club, SESAP conference and Trauma Grand Rounds. Bi-monthly research meetings are held with the Residents along with the Surgical Research Director and Research Coordinator.

Cleveland Clinic Akron General residents, medical students and faculty have the opportunity to practice the fundamentals of minimally invasive surgery in our Surgery Skills Lab. Our program offers a robust curriculum that integrates the FLS and FES programs. All of our residents and faculty have 24/7 access to our Surgery Skills Lab. Our Surgery Skills Lab also houses a Sonosite ultrasound machine and a CentraLine Man system to practice placement of central lines.

In 2018, a GI Mentor was purchased for our Surgery Skills Lab. Hands-on learning and instruction provide an ideal opportunity for our surgical residents.

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Welcome

Welcome

A Letter from the Chair of the Department of Surgery

We have been accredited since 1942 as a surgical residency program. Our surgical faculty at Akron General Medical Center, now known as Cleveland Clinic Akron General, has been training highly competent, compassionate and talented surgeons for more than 75 years.

We serve as primary medical student teaching sites for Northeastern Ohio Medical University, University of Toledo College of Medicine and Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and our program combines the very best of a busy community hospital with strong academic affiliations. In addition to General Surgery, our hospital supports 10 other Graduate Medical Education residency and fellowship programs and we are fully committed to their ongoing support and growth.

Our five-year training program involves a busy and diverse operative experience. By the time that our chief residents graduate, they have become skillful surgeons who are knowledgeable, experienced and confident in the operating room. Our graduates find that they are competitive in either pursuing fellowship programs of their choosing or fulfilling careers as well-trained general surgeons. Throughout residency training, they develop the skill sets and confidence levels needed to outperform.

We prioritize education over service, and our resident staff is integral in the quality of the care that our patients receive. In addition to general surgery, our teaching faculty includes many surgical sub-specialties: Acute Care, Bariatrics, Breast, Cardiac, Endocrine, Endoscopic, Hepatobiliary, Laparoscopic, Pancreatic, SICU, Thoracic, Trauma and Vascular Surgery. We are a Level 1 designated Trauma Center and have a new Emergency Department. Our institution recently joined with Cleveland Clinic, and we anticipate new teaching opportunities moving forward as Cleveland Clinic Akron General.

As a graduate of our program 25 years ago, I am personally proud to be associated with the team of surgeons who make up our teaching faculty, as well as the quality of the residents that we have the privilege to train. You will find the General Surgery Residency Program at Akron General to be one of the best opportunities available for your training in surgery.

We look forward to you taking a closer look at our residency program!

Mark C. Horattas, MD, FACS

Mark C. Horattas, MD, FACS
Chairman, Department of Surgery
Professor of Surgery, NEOMED


Dear Candidate,

On behalf of the faculty of the Department of Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, thank you for your interest in our General Surgery Residency program. We offer a wide breadth of exposure to common and complex surgical disease processes. The emergency general surgery service gives our residents exposure to a wide variety of complex, high acuity patients. Patients get transferred in to this service from the surrounding area and smaller local hospitals. This is an ideal service for our senior residents to learn how to manage multiple complex sick patients both in and outside of the operating room.

Akron General is an American College of Surgeons verified Level 1 trauma center. The volumes on this service have been steadily increasing, further exposing our residents in the management of these patients.

The elective surgery service is also growing with our expanding oncologic services, hepatobiliary services and foregut services to name a few. We always work on bringing new technology into the care of our patients.

This accumulates to afford our residents an optimal experience in managing and operating on a multitude of patients and disease processes. Residents get into the operating room early and are able to graduate with around 1200 cases. This sets them up for their future success either in practice or in their fellowship.

Our residents are involved in clinical research projects. There are ample opportunities to participate in clinical research. We encourage our residents to get involved in research early on in their career.

We also have a mentorship program that starts your intern year. This helps guide our trainees towards their professional goals.

An important aspect of our program is the camaraderie and the collegiality amongst our residents and staff. We get to know our residents more than just as “surgical resident.”  We are deeply invested in the training and well-being of our residents and of their successes. We take great pride in our graduates and feel that they are well trained and capable surgeons upon graduation from our program.

Sincerely,

William C. Papouras, MD, FACS | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
William C. Papouras, MD, FACS
Program Director, General Surgery
Vice Chair, Department of Surgery

Kim Martter Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Education staff
Kim Martter, MA ED, RHIA
Residency & Fellowship Coordinator
330.344.6741
selfmak@ccf.org

Clinical Rotations

Clinical Rotations

PGY – 1

  • 6 months General Surgery at Akron General
  • 2 months Vascular/Thoracic Surgery at Akron General
  • 1 month Anesthesia at Akron General
  • 3 months SICU at Akron General

PGY – 2

  • 8 months General Surgery at Akron General
  • 1 month Cardiac Surgery at Akron General
  • 1 month Plastic Surgery at Akron General
  • 1 month SICU at Akron General
  • 1 month Transplant Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Foundation

PGY – 3

  • 6 months General Surgery at Akron General
  • 2 months Pediatric Surgery/Burn at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron
  • 2 months Vascular/Thoracic Surgery at Akron General
  • 2 months SICU at Akron General

PGY – 4

  • 8 months General Surgery at Akron General
  • 4 months Vascular/Thoracic Surgery at Akron General

PGY – 5

  • 12 months General Surgery at Akron General
Teaching Faculty Application

Application

We appreciate your interest in Akron General and hope that we've provided you with the information you need to choose the right residency program.

Cleveland Clinic Akron General is able to offer an exceptional medical education experience because of our knowledgeable and hard-working staff. Akron General is now ranked as the No. 1 hospital in the Akron Metropolitan Area, according to U.S. News & World Report. Akron General is also listed as the No. 7 hospital in Ohio for 2020-2021, according to the annual ranking of Best Hospitals by U.S. News.

Life in Akron has so much to offer! Learn more about Greater Akron.

Interested in rotating?
Akron General Medical Center uses VSAS, the Visiting Student Application Service to process visiting student applications. To apply for a general surgery rotation, please complete and send a VSAS application with your preferred dates.

For more information, please contact:
Kim Martter, Residency & Fellowship Coordinator at selfmak@ccf.org.

Current Residents

Current Residents

PGY – 1

Alexander Bertke, DO | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Alexander Bertke, DO

  • Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
  • Undergraduate: University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio
  • Medical School: Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Interests/Hobbies: Snowboarding, soccer and sand volleyball

Timothy Demshar, DO | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Timothy Demshar, DO

  • Hometown: Chardon, Ohio
  • Undergraduate: Roanoke College, Roanoke, Virginia
  • Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Auburn, Virginia
  • Interests/Hobbies: Running, hiking, traveling, baseball, Medwars races and martial arts

Louis Nelson, DO | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Louis Nelson, DO

  • Hometown: Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Undergraduate: University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Interests/Hobbies: Playing soccer, tennis, running, cycling, snowboarding and painting

PGY – 2

Alexander Chang, DO | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Alexander Chang, DO

  • Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Undergraduate: University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • Medical School: Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Interests/Hobbies: Reading, piano, video games, running, hiking and traveling

Jacob Lammers, DO | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Jacob Lammers, DO

  • Hometown: Jerome, Idaho
  • Undergraduate: Dixie State University, St. George, Utah
  • Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parker, Colorado
  • Interests/Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, golf, sports and spending time with family

Blake Westling, DO | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Blake Westling, DO

  • Hometown:  Eagan, Minnesota
  • Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, WI; Rockhurst University-MBA, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Interests/Hobbies: Walking his dog in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, golfing, biking and exercising

PGY – 3

Nicholas Gastaldo, DO

  • Hometown: Powell, Ohio
  • Undergraduate: The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  • Medical School: Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dublin,Ohio
  • Interests/Hobbies: Watching Cleveland sports, hiking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, craft beer, his dog and vegetable garden

Ileana Horattas, MD

  • Hometown: Akron, Ohio
  • Undergraduate: University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
  • Medical School: Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio
  • Interests/Hobbies: Hiking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, reading science fiction/fantasy, playing with my family’s dogs (and any others she can find) and cooking Greek food

Heather Jagoda, MD

  • Hometown: Detroit,Michigan
  • Undergraduate: Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
  • Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit,Michigan
  • Interests/Hobbies: Running, rock climbing, figure skating and music

Yasaman Kazerooni, MD

  • Hometown: Shiraz, Iran
  • Undergraduate: The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Medical School: The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio
  • Interests/Hobbies: Partner dancing, drawing cartoons, hiking and volunteering

PGY – 4

Abigail Christiansen, MD | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Abigail Christiansen, MD

  • Hometown: Maple City, Michigan
  • Undergraduate: Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
  • Medical School: Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
  • Interests/Hobbies: Practicing power yoga, baking sourdough bread, rock climbing and traveling

Benjamin Crisp, MD | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Benjamin Crisp, MD

  • Hometown: Burlington, North Carolina
  • Undergraduate:  Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • Medical School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Interests/Hobbies: Exercising, running, playing/watching sports and cooking

Teodora Fatchikova, MD | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Teodora Fatchikova, MD

  • Hometown: Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Undergraduate: Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan
  • Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Interests/Hobbies: Playing volleyball, working out, reading, anything outdoors and good food

PGY – 5

Ryan Fitzgerald, MD | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Ryan Fitzgerald, MD

  • Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Undergraduate: Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Medical School: Florida State University College of Medicine-Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Interests/Hobbies: Outdoor adventures, sports and grilling out on the weekend

Andrew Guzowski, MD | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Andrew Guzowski, MD

  • Hometown: Traverse City, Michigan
  • Undergraduate: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Medical School: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with his young family and golfing

Sophia Horattas, MD | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Sophia Horattas, MD

  • Hometown: Akron, Ohio
  • Undergraduate: University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
  • Medical School: Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio
  • Interests/Hobbies: Reading, cooking, baking, spending time with friends and family and outdoor adventures/hiking

Preliminary Residents

Emilie Fromm, DO | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Emilie Fromm, DO

  • Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
  • Undergraduate: University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Medical School: Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Interests/Hobbies: Volleyball, crocheting and comedies

Michelle Taylor, DO | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Cleveland Clinic
Michelle Taylor, DO

  • Hometown: Bridgeport, West Virginia
  • Undergraduate: West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Medical School: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewisburg, West Virginia
  • Interests/Hobbies: Learning languages, making/crafting things, dance and anything outdoors
Alumni

Alumni

2020 Graduates

  • Nathan Hieb, MD — Critical Care/Trauma Fellowship, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
  • Jimmy Ibrahim, MD — Private Practice, Mercy Medical Center, Canton, Ohio
  • David Yanoschik, MD — Private Practice, Mercy Medical Center, Canton, Ohio

2019 Graduates

  • Lauren Cardella, DO — 2019-21: Vascular Fellowship, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI
  • Madeline Heald, MD — 2019-21: Vascular Fellowship, The Toledo Hospital, Toledo, Ohio
  • Christopher Wolff, MD — 2019-20: Acute Care Surgery Fellowship, Stanford Health Care, Palo Alto, CA

2018 Graduates

  • James Brockett, MD — 2018-20 Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship, Weill Cornell Medicine/NY Presbyterian, New York, NY
  • Ryan Lucero, MD — 2018-19 Surgical Critical Care & Trauma Fellowship, Temple University Lewis Katz SOM, Philadelphia, PA
  • Abigail Mowry-Tremelling, MD — 2018-19 Breast Surgery Oncology Fellowship, Washington State University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

2017 Graduates

  • Katherine Billue, MD — 2017-20 Plastics & Reconstruction Fellowship at The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
  • Stephen Brandstetter, MD — 2017-18 Colorectal Fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio; 2018-present: Private Practice, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Akron, Ohio
  • Terry Carman, MD — 2017-18 Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, Wayne State/Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI; 2018-present: Private Practice, Mercy Health, Springfield, Ohio

2016 Graduates

  • Anthony Calabretta, MD — Private Practice, Wooster General Surgery, Wooster, OH
  • Eveline Rusdianto Klenotic, DO — Private Practice, Concord, OH
  • Andrea Zelisko Schwoerer, MD — 2016-17: Minimally Invasive Surgery/Bariatric Fellowship, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC; 2017-present: Private Practice, Blossom Medical Group, Las Vega, NV
Research & Innovations

Research & Innovations

Akron General offers surgical services for a wide range of needs, both inpatient and outpatient. Through research, advances in technology and improvement in techniques allow our surgeons to offer more types of treatments with increasing precision, less blood loss, less pain and a shorter recovery time.

For more information about resident research in the Department of Surgery, please contact:

William C. Papouras, MD
Program Director
330.344.7200

Noaman Ali, MD
Director, Surgical Research
330.344.5487

Joe Gabra, D. Eng.
Research Coordinator, Surgical Specialties  
Department of Research
330.344.6791
GabraJ2@ccf.org