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2nd Annual SSAT Surgical Fellowship Presentations and Overview

Following its successful inauguration 1 year ago in Chicago, the 2nd annual SSAT Surgical Fellowship Fair took place in Washington D.C. during the 2015 Digestive Disease Week. This event was established under the leadership of the SSAT and the SSAT Resident Education Committee in order to provide a forum to help residents decide whether to pursue fellowship training.

The symposium was divided into 7 presentations – one for each subspecialty and each given by a leader from the national surgical society representing each fellowship. Each talk provided a wealth of information on each subspecialty and focused on various aspects, from the pre-fellowship application process and the many factors required to make you a competitive candidate, to the expectations during training, and to the post-fellowship career landscape, including salary, job availability, types of practices, etc. The Fair was well attended by both trainees and staff, and was subsequently followed by an informative and high-yield group Q&A discussion that provided trainees additional information.

Fellowship presentations included:

  • Surgical Oncology (Society of Surgical Oncology) – Dr. James Pingpank Jr.
  • HPB (Americas Hepatico-Pancreato-Biliary Association) – Dr. Rohan Jeyarajah
  • Colorectal (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons) – Dr. David Margolin
  • MIS (Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons) – Dr. Aurora Pryor
  • Bariatric (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) – Dr. John Morton
  • Trauma (American Association for the Surgery of Trauma) – Dr. Thomas Scalea
  • American College of Surgeons’ Transition to Practice Program – Dr. John Hunter

As a general surgery resident it can often be daunting given the various career options available, especially since we do not always get early exposure to every subspecialty. Our decision-making is often subjective and biased by mentors that we strive to emulate. Barely having started as a senior, residents have to ask themselves who to network with, who to do research with, which society meetings to attend. For instance, if you are interested in upper GI surgery, should you attend SAGES, SSAT, or other GI or thoracic surgery conferences? Further exacerbating this dilemma is the considerable overlap between fellowships and the significant heterogeneity amongst various nation-wide programs within each track. For instance, if you are interested in treating cancer patients, should you attend SSO or AHPBA, given the recent interest you developed in liver surgery during your hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery rotation? These are all very important and career-altering decisions that this symposium was designed to address.

If you were unable to attend this year’s Fellowship Fair, consider joining us next year or take the time to watch the video presentations below from this year’s Fair. We hope they will help you become better informed to follow the path that is best suited for your interests, objectives and personality. Remember to share this link with your colleagues so that they may benefit as well!

On behalf of the committee, we sincerely thank the invited speakers for their time, as this important event would otherwise not be possible.

We hope to see you in future years.

Amin Madani (Symposium Co-Moderator)


Amin Madani, MD and Ezra Teitelbaum, MD, surgical residents and SSAT Resident Education Committee members provide an introduction to the SSAT 2nd Annual Surgical Fellowship Fair, match overview, and important statistics on training and fellowships.
 
James F. Pingpank, Jr., MD, FACS, Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Surgical Oncology Services, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA presents Surgical Oncology Fellowships and the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO)
 

D. Rohan Jeyarajah, MD, Chair-PD Committee, Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (AHPBA), and Vice President of the Fellowship Council presents HPB fellowships and the AHPBA.
 
David A. Margolin, MD, FACS, FASCRS, Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, LA, Professor of Surgery, Ochsner Clinical School, University of Queensland presents Rectal Surgery Fellowships and the American Socity of COlon and Rectal Surgery (ASCRS).
 

Aurora Pryor, MD, Fellowship Council Secretary/Treasurer and Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) Treasurer presents Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowships and SAGES.
 
Stacy A. Brethauer, MD, the Secretary/Treasurer of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) presents Bariatric Surgery and the ASMBS.
 

Thomas M. Scalea, MD , Professor of Surgery, University of Maryland Medical Center, and American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) representative presented Acute Care Surgery Fellowships and the AAST.
 
John G. Hunter, MD, FACS, the Oregon Health and Science University Professor and Chair of Surgery, and Steering Committee Member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS): Transitions to Practice Program presented the ACS Transition to Programs and represented the American Board of Surgery (ABS).

 
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