South Dakotan MD Fall/Winter 2013 - page 9

fall/winter 2013 •
The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and
Sanford Health have announced the launch of a surgery residency program
focusing on general surgery, including surgery in rural areas, that will
commence in 2014.
“This is a tremendous program for our students, the state of South
Dakota and the medical community as it combines diverse surgical training
opportunities with the expertise of so many outstanding committed teachers
and physicians,” said Mary D. Nettleman, M.D., M.S., M.A.C.P., dean
of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. “The end
result will be highly-trained surgeons dedicated to enhancing health care in
rural communities.”
The five-year general surgery residency program will include 15 (three
students per year in the five-year training program) surgery residents who
will acquire a diverse skillset in 12 different surgical fields, including cardiac
and thoracic, head/neck and endocrine, neurocritical care, obstetrics and
gynecology, orthopedic, pediatric, plastic, transplant, trauma acute care,
vascular, urology and surgical critical care. Sanford Health will financially
support the program and develop an innovative surgical simulation
laboratory located in the Sanford Surgical Tower in Sioux Falls.
“This residency will be geared to train rural general surgeons hoping
to meet the increasing national shortage of surgical access for patients,”
explained Gary Timmerman, M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery,
Sanford School of Medicine.
The surgical residents will experience a wide range of hands-on
experience and training with rotations in general surgery, including rural
surgery at community-based and federal hospital systems in Sioux Falls,
Yankton and the VA. It will be the fifth rural focus program in the nation
for general residency and the only surgical residency in South Dakota. The
program’s plan recently obtained approval from the national Residency
Review Committee. The first residents are scheduled to begin next summer.
“This residency is going to be a major stepping stone for surgical care
opportunities, with an emphasis on producing experienced and well-trained
surgeons for rural communities,” said Thavam Thambi-Pillai, M.D., a
Sanford surgeon who will serve as the residency program director. “This is a
building block for the future of health care in South Dakota.”
Sanford Health and USD have collaborated often to advance residency
training in South Dakota. Sanford Health partnered with USD to develop
a pediatric residency that launched in 2010 and a cardiovascular fellowship
that launched in 2012. •
General Surgery
Residency Program
to Launch in 2014
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