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Welcome From the Program Director, Kurt R. Stahlfeld, MD

Kurt R. Stahlfeld, MD, Program Director - UPMC Mercy General SurgeryWe are excited that you are considering UPMC Mercy General Surgery.

We welcome your interest and inquiries. Please browse our website and check us out. UPMC Mercy is the oldest Mercy hospital in the US and has had a surgical residency for over sixty years. We are one of many excellent programs available to you.

Our program is a mix between an academic and community style experience, a “hybrid” in current lingo. Built into the program is a required three month research rotation during the PGY 2 year. Although almost 70 percent of our graduates enter fellowships, we take great pride that the other 30 percent are well-prepared to begin practicing general surgery on graduation.

We graduate four chief residents annually and have a five year accreditation cycle with commendation from the Surgical Residency Review Committee. Mercy’s campus sits on the bluff overlooking downtown Pittsburgh and is adjacent to Duquesne University and the PPG Paints Arena, home to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The patient population is drawn from a combination of referrals from the suburbs and the inner city. Off campus rotations include a one month transplant rotation at Presbyterian University Hospital and a two month pediatric surgery rotation at Children’s Hospital, both within three miles of Mercy.

In addition to rotations on high volume bread and butter general surgery services, Mercy is a Level 1 Trauma service and offers rotations on minimally invasive esophageal and foregut surgery, vascular surgery, Trauma, and gynecologic oncology. Two somewhat unique experiences include a six month apprentice style experience in colorectal surgery split between the PGY 3 and 4 years and a general surgery clinic run by the program director and the chief residents.  Several faculty are supportive of research and encourage you to pursue additional research well after your PGY2 rotation. Recent publications and presentations are on the web-site.

Fortunately administration has been very supportive of the institution and the surgery program and has invested in a new DEM, robot, skills lab, integrated vascular surgery operating room and endovascular suite, and, to the dismay of several established faculty, the hospital is now paperless.

Although a surgical residency is hard work, we foster a collegial atmosphere between faculty and residents and have had memorable team building activities such as whitewater rafting, paint ball, wine tastings, and attending local sporting events. Should this style program interest you, please send an application so we can set up an interview.

For the upcoming interview season, we host four, two-day interviews. On Tuesday afternoons, we host a brief Meet and Greet (by appointment) with the Chairman of the Department of Surgery and the Program Director. Formal Interview are hosted on Wednesday. The interview day begins with glimpse into our Applied Basic Science conference, followed by a Grand Rounds presentation. Each candidate will then be interviewed by two faculty members and a senior resident and have a tour of the hospital. The day concludes around 1:30 p.m. following a lunch with the residents.

To make sure each candidate has the opportunity to meet with both the Program Director and Chair, we request that you try to arrive in Pittsburgh by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, as both the Program Director and Chair meet individually with each candidate between 3 and 6 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

We are excited to meet you.


Kurt R. Stahlfeld, M.D.
Program Director
Department of Surgery

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