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​General Surgery Residency at UPMC Horizon

UPMC Horizon General Surgery Residency Program

UPMC Horizon's General Surgery residency program was approved by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) in 1973, making it one of the oldest Osteopathic residency training programs in the country. The program as of 2019 has transitioned to ACGME accreditation and is approved for 2 residents per year.

General Surgery residents are based out of UPMC Jameson, a rapidly expanding community hospital located in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Residents also cover UPMC Horizon Shenango Valley campus, located about 20 minutes north in Farrell, Pennsylvania.

Throughout their residency training, residents will be exposed to and work closely with subspeciality services at UPMC Presbyterian, Montefiore, and Hamot, tertiary care facilities all within an hour from UPMC Jameson.

General Surgery residents will interact with residents from UPMC Horizon’s Family Medicine residency program, who rotate on the surgical service as part of their education and also provide care to mutual patients at UPMC Horizon Shenango Valley campus.

Early and frequent operative exposure is an advantage provided by the training program at UPMC Horizon. Experience with open, laparoscopic, robotic assisted, and endovascular cases begins in intern year. The program implemented a technical competence evaluation of PGY3 to PGY5 residents. The program director and surgical faculty observe the resident operating during either laparoscopic or open general surgery cases. The evaluating faculty member would be an observer and not the attending surgeon for the surgical case. This random, real time evaluation has been created to assess ongoing development, technical competence, operative decision making, and overall progress of the general surgery resident.

Formal education is provided through:

  • Didactic lectures provided by residents, faculty, and guest lecturers
  • Online training modules created by UPMC
  • Bedside instruction during resident and attending rounds
  • The continuity of care training experience delivered during dedicated office time

General Surgery residents at UPMC Horizon enjoy and benefit from the small and close-knit environment among residents and faculty. This in combination with access to world-class tertiary care facilities has consistently proven to deliver a high-quality training program with excellent fellowship matches and work opportunities. Our graduates seeking general surgery positions are often recruited to practices across the country. Those residents whom do not go on to community based general surgery have been successful in acquiring the fellowship of their choice including Trauma/Acute Care Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Breast Surgery, Minimally Invasive/Bariatric Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Annual Residency Program Photo 2021-2022

Resident group photo

General Surgery Residency Curriculum

First Year (PGY-1)

The intern year provides incoming residents with a solid introduction to the breadth and diversity of surgery. The requirement, as outlined below, can be fulfilled at the base hospitals, UPMC Jameson and UPMC Horizon, with the following exceptions: three months of out-of-house rotations in the ICU/CCU at UPMC Presbyterian, Burn/General Surgery at UPMC Mercy, as well as pediatric surgery at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Rotations typically involve possibly one or two other senior residents, along with an attending physician and possibly a medical student. This allows our residents to receive one-on-one ratio training.

UPMC Horizon provides PGY 1 resident Central Venous Catheter Placement Training and Certification by attending the Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education & Research (“WISER” Institute) located in Pittsburgh which is the comprehensive, technologically advanced simulation lab for all University of Pittsburgh Medical Center trainees. All residents are required to complete and maintain ATLS, BLS and ACLS certifications throughout residency. BLS and ACLS are provided at UPMC Horizon and UPMC Jameson’s Education Departments. ATLS courses are provided through UPMC according to the standards established by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and this course is usually held at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Hospital. Residents have access to a patient simulator (“Sim Man”) located in the Education Department at UPMC Horizon’s Greenville Campus.

By the end of first year, residents must demonstrate procedural competences in central venous access placement, arterial catheterization, insertion of pleural and other pigtail catheters, insertion of chest tubes, endotracheal intubations cystoscopy, EGD, colonoscopy, bronchoscopy.

A resident’s call schedule typically includes one weekend day and/or night and one month of night float.

First Year Rotations

  • General/Vascular/Bariatric Surgery & Endoscopy (5 months)
  • ICU (2 months at UPMC Jameson)
  • CCU (UPMC Presbyterian)
  • Burn/General Surgery (UPMC Mercy)
  • Urology
  • Pediatric Surgery (UPMC Children’s Hospital)
  • Night Float (1 month)

Second Year (PGY-2)

PGY-2 residents who demonstrate good performance may be given responsibility for independent judgment and surgical decision-making with continued attending supervision. The PGY2 resident is responsible for day-to-day care of surgical patients on their assigned service and patients they follow as consultants. They will be supervised at all times by senior residents and faculty. The major goal of the second year of residency is to allow graded responsibility for patient care, including instruction in pre- and postoperative care, and the evaluation and management of patients seen in consultation. The PGY-2 will gain additional valuable experience in the operating room both as an assistant and as the primary surgeon on uncomplicated surgeries.

PGY-2 residents rotate for four weeks within the transplant intensive care unit (TICU) at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Montefiore hospital which is part of UPMC General Surgery Presbyterian Shadyside. The residents will have a robust exposure to transplantation of abdominal organ patients.

A resident's call schedule continues to be 1-2 weekend days per month (call from home). This schedule may vary month-to-month, depending on the out-of-house rotation schedule and vacations.

Second Year Rotations

  • General/Vascular/Bariatric Surgery & Endoscopy (6 months)
  • Trauma & Acute Care Surgery (UPMC Hamot)
  • TICU (UPMC Presbyterian)
  • Breast Surgery
  • Night Float (2 months)

Third Year (PGY-3)

By the third year, residents may be given more responsibility for evaluating surgical patients in the emergency room, initiating preoperative treatment and arranging for further surgical care. In addition, PGY 3 residents are more involved with the technical aspects of the surgery in the operating room. The goal for the PGY-3 residents is to expose them to some of the more complex aspects of clinical surgery and to develop the clinical judgment necessary to decide who needs an operation, what operation, and the appropriate timing. PGY-3 residents are expected to master basic surgical techniques as well as more advanced techniques including laparoscopic skills, burn management and completion of FES and FLS examinations no later than the end of the PGY-3 year. Leadership and supervisory skills are further developed.

Third Year Rotations

  • General/Vascular/Bariatric Surgery & Endoscopy (6 months)
  • Trauma & Acute Care Surgery (UPMC Hamot)
  • Colorectal Surgery (UPMC Hamot)
  • Hepatobiliary Surgery (UPMC Presbyterian Montefiore)
  • Pediatric Surgery (UPMC Children’s Hospital)
  • Night Float (2 months)

Other Third Year Experiences

  • BLS and ACLS renewal
  • Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) certification
  • Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) certification

Fourth Year (PGY-4)

The last two years of clinical training are designed to provide residents with an extensive operative experience. The PG-4 and PG-5 residents are the team leaders (chief residents) and under the supervision of the faculty they supervise junior residents and make decisions about patient care. They perform complex operations under the supervision of the faculty. These senior residents are expected to exercise increasing degrees of independent responsibility for surgical decision-making and perform more advanced surgical procedures, while attending surgeons monitor their progress and continue to supervise the service. Senior residents are allowed and encouraged to exercise independent surgical judgment to the degree that is consistent with good patient care. The goal of these two years is to transition the individual from a resident to an independently practicing surgeon.

Fourth Year Rotations

  • General/Vascular/Bariatric Surgery & Endoscopy (6 months)
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery (2 months)
  • Trauma & Acute Care Surgery/Trauma (UPMC Hamot)
  • Breast Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery (UPMC Hamot)
  • Endocrine Surgery (UPMC Presbyterian Montefiore)
  • Night Float (1 month)

Other Fourth Year Experiences

  • Mock Oral Board at UPMC Presbyterian

    Mock oral boards are held yearly in order for residents to assess their progress and enable them to set learning and improvement goals. The simulation is consistent with oral board’s case scenarios, and residents are graded on their responses. Immediately following the testing process each resident receives a detailed critique of his/her responses to help identify areas of strengths and weaknesses as well as to assess critical thinking expected for their training year. Residents then develop action plans to improve their identified weaknesses and this method of life-long learning is reinforced throughout their training. In addition, all PGY 4 & PGY 5 residents participate in the Western Pennsylvania Area general surgery mock oral boards. These mock board participants consist of teaching faculty and residents from the region’s general surgical residency programs. Both the local and regional mock boards are designed to simulate the actual oral board process to help acclimate residents to this testing environment and expectations as well as to learn successful, test-taking strategies. Examiner evaluations are discussed with each resident at the completion of testing to maximize learning potential from case management errors.

Fifth Year (Chief Residents)

  • General/Vascular/Bariatric Surgery & Endoscopy
  • Trauma & Acute Care Surgery/Trauma (UPMC Hamot)

Other Fifth Year Experiences

  • Mock Oral Board at UPMC Presbyterian

Comprehensive Longitudinal Experiences

The second- through fifth-year curriculum offers more surgery rotations, along with the required rotations by the ACGME, in order to achieve a greater educational experience in general surgery.

  • Monthly Journal Club
    Monthly general surgery journal club requires the residents to locate, appraise, and assimilate evidence from scientific studies as it applies to patient medical and surgical problems. Residents are assigned articles to review, dissect, and present to the residency program. This resident driven education with faculty leadership oversight is an integral part the evidence-based care process. Chief residents are required to review updated literature with the aid of the online UPMC Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) to select the most appropriate articles for resident review. There is a required faculty presence during resident discussion of these topics to provide further experience-based insight into surgical topics and to guide discussion.
  • Weekly General Surgery protected education/conference
    The program structures the curriculum to provide constant dedicated and protected time weekly to learn and master the curriculum. This four hour dedicated educational block allows the resident to heighten their knowledge base in general surgery with constant oversight through the curriculum. The faculty provides the education and oversight weekly to ensure successful completion of the published curriculum. The grand rounds are offered monthly via an online webinar.
  • Weekly Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference
    Cancer Conference is an excellent opportunity for residents to actively participate in interdisciplinary care. Residents present the patient case for discussion describing all pertinent surgical information. Then, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology and hematology/oncology all participate discussing their assessments and proposed treatment opinions. This allows to observe, in real time, how the multidisciplinary care plan will function for their patient.
  • Laparoscopic training modules
    Two Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) trainers are available to all residents at the primary clinical sites (UPMC Jameson and UPMC Horizon) and residents log approximately six hours per month in training/practice skills. The residents follow the FLS trainer curriculum from PGY 1 – PGY 5 established by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) which includes both didactic curriculum and hands-on training. The hands-on skills lab aims to develop basic and advanced laparoscopic and special skills which are then transferrable to the operating room during laparoscopic cases
  • Quarterly Surgical Morbidity and Mortality Conference
    General surgery residents present cases during our department of surgery morbidity and mortality (M & M) conferences. The residents are intimately involved with the care of patients from multiple surgical disciplines other than general surgery. They are responsible for detailed presentations and the application of current scientific data obtained from literature research to patient care as it pertains to the M & M conference. They are accepting and giving constructive criticism regarding their patient care and applications of evidence-based/best practice medicine. The committee includes professionals involved in patient safety, quality improvement, and risk management.

Continuity Training Experience for General Surgery

The continuity training experience, within the continuity of care surgical clinic, provides the resident with a training environment equivalent to that of a private practice. The continuity of care clinic is conducted by several surgical physicians who have a lifetime of experience to share with each resident.

Residents spend one half-day per week in the surgical clinic during their PGY-1 and two half-days per month PGY-2 through PGY-5 training years. In the outpatient clinical setting the residents are directly exposed to socioeconomic and cultural diversity among the patient population. The resident becomes familiar with the differing cultural and family dynamics that affect surgical healthcare delivery and how to deal with each scenario. During their pre-operative evaluation, the surgical resident will gain experiential learning in developing both non-operative and operative plans. During the post-operative care of the patient, the resident will be responsible for medication adjustments, pain management, wound/incision care, drain management, scheduling follow up appointments/care, and order any pertinent lab/radiographic studies.

Meet Our Current Residents in General Surgery 2021-2022 

PGY-5

UPMC Horizon Resident PhotoPatrick Downs, DO

Medical School: Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Clinical interests: Vascular surgery

 

UPMC Horizon Resident PhotoKarisa Beebe, DO

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hometown: Erie, PA
Clinical interests: Breast surgery

 

PGY-4

UPMC Horizon Resident PhotoMatthew Sturdivant, DO

Medical School: LECOM-Bradenton
Internship: Millcreek Community Hospital
Hometown: Erie, PA
Clinical interests: Surgical critical care

UPMC Horizon Resident PhotoTijani Osumah, MD

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Clinical interests: Colorectal surgery, critical care, MIS

 

PGY-3

UPMC Horizon Resident PhotoAlexander Bracken, DO, MHSA

Medical School: LECOM-Bradenton
Hometown: Sarasota, FL
Clinical interests: Cardiothoracic surgery

 

UPMC Horizon Resident PhotoJorge Lara-Gutierrez, MD

Medical School: Universidad Veracruzana
Fellowship: Advance Clinical Simulation Fellow, Pittsburgh VA Medical Center
Hometown: Veracruz, Mexico
Clinical interests: Surgical critical care, breast surgery, transplantation, clinical simulation

PGY-2

UPMC Horizon Resident PhotoAndrei Gritsiuta, MD, PhD

Medical School: Lomonosov Moscow State University
Fellowship: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Clinical interests: Cardiothoracic surgery

UPMC Horizon Resident PhotoAdnan Hassoune, MD

Medical School: American University of Beirut
Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon
Clinical interests: Vascular and colorectal surgery

 

PGY-1

A UPMC Horizon residency photo of Leslie ElmoreLeslie Elmore, DO

Medical School: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
Hometown: Hot Springs, SD
Clinical interests: Plastics and reconstructive surgery

 

A UPMC Residency photo of Khaled Abdul JawadKhaled Abdul Jawad, MD

Medical School: American University of Beirut
Hometown: Saida, Lebanon
Clinical interests: Trauma & critical care

 

UPMC Horizon Faculty Leadership

UPMC Horizon FacultyJon Henwood, D.O.
Program Director
Vascular and General Surgery
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery UPMC 

 

 

UPMC Horizon FacultyChristopher Esper, D.O.
Associate Program Director
Vascular and General Surgery
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery UPMC 
Clinical Adjunct Professor of Surgery LECOM

 

UPMC Horizon FacultyChristopher Myers, M.D.
General, Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery UPMC

 

 

UPMC Horizon FacultyWilliam Gilleland, M.D.
General and Minimally Invasive Surgery
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery UPMC

Graduates of the UPMC Horizon General Surgery Residency

2021

Ryan Enders, D.O. 
Private Practice
North Oaks Medical Center; Hammond, LA

Kristin Kennedy, D.O.
Surgical Critical Care/Trauma
Massachusetts General Hospital; Boston, MA

John Muhonen II, D.O.
Vascular Surgery
University of Iowa; Iowa City, IA


2020

Sarah Brown, D.O.
Vascular Surgery
West Virginia University; Morgantown, WV

Nicki Downes, D.O.
Breast Oncology
Cleveland Clinic Akron General; Akron, OH


2019

Michael Morrison, D.O.
General Surgery
The US Army

Emily Zayshlyy, D.O.
Surgical Critical Care
Christiana Hospital; Wilmington, DE


2018

Benjamin Raymond, D.O.
Private Practice
United Hospital Center; Bridgeport, WV


2017

Derek Polecritti, D.O.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Mercy Hospital; Des Moines, IA


2016

Marc Campbell, D.O.
Surgical Critical Care/Trauma
University of Tennessee; Knoxville TN

Melissa Loveranes, D.O.
Surgical Critical Care/Trauma
University of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA


2015

Tracy McCoy, D.O.
Private Practice
Phelps Health Medical Group; Waynesville, MO


2013

Nicole Geissen, D.O.
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Rush University; Chicago, IL

Gregory Clabeaux, D.O.
Vascular Surgery
University of Buffalo; Buffalo, NY


2011

Lee Farber, D.O.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University; Springfield, MA

Stephen Bayuk, D.O.
Private Practice
Newberry County Memorial Hospital; Spartanburg, SC


2009

Ralph Kelley, D.O.
Trauma & Surgical Critical Care
University of Nevada; Reno, NV


2008

Marc Polecritti, D.O.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Cleveland Clinic Health System; Warrensville Heights, OH


2007

Christopher Esper, D.O.
Vascular Surgery
Cleveland Clinic Health Systems; Warrensville Heights, OH


2005

Danielle Duchini, D.O.
Breast Surgery
The Washington Cancer Institute; Washington D.C.

Jennifer Beatty, D.O.
Private Practice
The Breast Place; North Charleston, SC


2003

Brock Generalovich, D.O.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Cleveland Clinic Health Systems; Warrensville Heights, OH


2002

Armando Sciullo, D.O.
Private Practice
Grove City Medical Center; Grove City, PA

Erik Branstetter, D.O.
Private Practice
Mitchell County Regional Health Center; Osage, IA

General Surgery Residency Audition Rotations

A variety of options are available for audition rotations:

  • Four-week audition rotations from May 1 through Sept. 30
  • Two-week audition rotations from Oct. 1 through Jan. 10 (due to interview season)
  • Shadowing experience during the interview season

Applications to set up an audition or shadowing experience will be accepted starting February 1st. Please contact the UPMC Horizon Graduate Medical Education office via email at shermanpj@upmc.edu with your completed form.

In the meantime, please complete the paperwork on the Medical Student Orientation page.

If you wish to shadow, please complete the paperwork on the Job Shadow page and email to shermanpj@upmc.edu.

How to Apply to General Surgery Residency

The UPMC Horizon residency programs participate in ERAS® (the Electronic Residency Application Service.  

General Surgery Residency Program Interview Agenda

The Interview day will begin on Fridays around 8 a.m. with applicants participating in a portion of the core didactic lectures followed by a tour of the hospital. The applicants will have lunch with the Program Director, faculty, and residents, followed by individual interviews (20 minutes per panel interview) with a faculty panel. The interview day will end with an optional dinner at a local restaurant around 6pm with members of the faculty and General Surgery residents.