The Division of General Surgery at Southern Illinois University provides a broad spectrum of surgical specialty services, including trauma, surgical critical care, oncologic surgery, breast surgery, renal and pancreas transplantation, hepatobiliary surgery, dialysis access, bariatric surgery, colorectal surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and surgical endoscopy. The division has had substantial growth in the past several years, and forms the backbone for student and resident training programs in the surgical disciplines.
Academically, educationally, and clinically, the division represents one of the core components of SIU’s academic programs. In trauma and critical care, the division staffs a Level I trauma program and oversees the care of critically ill surgical patients who have suffered traumatic and other forms of severe injury or operative stress. In oncologic surgery, division staff provide specialized care for malignant diseases of the breast, stomach and foregut, pancreas, liver, biliary tree, skin and soft tissues, colon, and rectum. The division includes surgeons with advanced fellowship training in minimally invasive surgery and endoscopy, including bariatric and metabolic surgery, as well as therapeutic endoscopy of the foregut, colon, and biliary tract. Faculty from the division lead interdisciplinary teams coordinating the management of lower gastrointestinal malignancies, and are playing key roles with teams overseeing the management of breast cancer, as well as neoplasia of the foregut and hepatobiliary systems. Transplant surgeons in the division provide kidney and pancreas transplantation for the region, are now offering minimally invasive donor nephrectomy in support of the renal transplant program, and also provide advanced level skills for the treatment of complex benign and malignant diseases of the pancreas and hepatobiliary system. Collectively, the division offers perhaps the broadest and most highly trained and specialized group of surgical providers in the region.
Educationally, the division supports the core surgical rotation for SIU medical students, and constitutes the faculty foundation for the SIU general surgery residency program. A nationally recognized surgical skills laboratory, and an internationally respected educational research program form key components of the educational environment the division provides. Current division members serve in board, executive, and other leadership roles with national and international surgical education organizations including the Association for Surgical Education, the Association of Program Directors in Surgery, the American Society of Colorectal Surgeons, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, the American Board of Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.
Based on their academic and educational contributions, members of the division have also been elected to some of the most prestigious surgical societies, and have served in leadership roles for the national accrediting bodies overseeing graduate medical education programs in areas such as colorectal surgery. In the area of research and scholarship, division members are also involved in collaboration with basic science researchers in the area of oncogenesis of colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer. Ongoing research has also included clinical and outcomes research on a wide range of benign and malignant disease processes. Members of the division in the past five years have coauthored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in medical journals and over 40 book chapters and review articles. Division surgeons have been also recognized nationally and internationally in their fields of endeavor, including having received national awards in surgical education and educational scholarship.
In summary, the division of general surgery constitutes one of the most diverse, expertly trained, nationally recognized, and dedicated groups of surgeons in our region. It is the division’s goal to provide compassionate and expert surgical care to our patients, outstanding education and mentoring to our trainees, and faithful and diligent service to our colleagues and community. Through these activities, it is our higher goal to serve the University and the region it serves for the common good.
John D. Mellinger, MD
J. Roland Folse, MD, Endowed Chair
Professor and Chair
Division of General Surgery
SIU School of Medicine Announces New Rural Surgery Residency Rotation
The Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine General Surgery Residency Program has partnered with Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) to send 3rd and 4th year general surgery residents to train alongside surgeons practicing in southern Illinois’ hospitals.
The initiative, which began July 1, allows trainees to be exposed to a more rural setting with a significant need for surgery services. Each participating resident will live in Carbondale, Ill., and work a one- to two-month rotation under the guidance of selected area surgeons working at hospitals in the SIH network: Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Herrin Hospital and St. Joseph Memorial Hospital.
“We are very excited to expand our residents’ experiences to include physician teachers from a more rural setting,” said Satyadeep Bhattacharya, MD, colorectal surgeon and newly appointed Southern Illinois Assistant Program Director for the residency program. “Our ultimate goal is to make sure our residents are exposed to all types of practices and as many surgical cases as possible before entering the work force. SIU has always been known for being on the leading edge of surgical education.” SIU already has its family medicine residents rotate in southern Illinois.
John Mellinger, MD, program director for the SIU General Surgery Residency Program agrees. “The opportunity to have our trainees spend this time in a rural setting, working with surgeons committed to the health needs of that population, is an important way of living out our mission to serve the health-care needs of the population of central and southern Illinois. Short of such experience, it will be difficult for surgeons in training to appreciate and be attracted to consider the merits of such a practice as they mature in their own career plans. We are very excited to partner with the SIH institutions and surgeons in this endeavor.” Dr. Mellinger is professor and chair of the SIU general surgery division.
Several area surgeons will be involved in the guidance and education of the residents, including
Satyadeep Bhattacharya, MD
David Clutts, MD
Marsha Ryan, MD, JD
Adrian Patriciu, MD