A Regional Void in Subspecialty Training
A fellowship in colon and rectal surgery is offered to general surgeons who have finished an approved five-year residency and are board eligible in general surgery. This sixth year of training is in the subspecialty of diseases of the colon and rectum. This intense year includes anorectal, endoscopic (colonoscopy) and major abdominal surgery on the small bowel (jejunum and ileum) and large bowel (colon).
Until recently, very few training opportunities existed in the southeastern United States for American surgical graduates. In 1999, The Georgia Colon & Rectal Surgical Clinic established a training fellowship program to teach advanced techniques in colorectal surgery including minimally invasive techniques (Laparoscopic Bowel Surgery) and most recently advanced telesurgery (Robotic Bowel Surgery), for interested physicians to learn and improve upon. For the training surgeons involved, this was an opportunity to give back something that they had been privileged to learn in such institutes as the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH), Oschner Clinic (New Orleans, LA) and The University of Texas (Houston, TX).
This program was the first of its kind in the Southeast. The Georgia Colon & Rectal Surgical Clinic in Atlanta, GA, has filled a void, to provide new opportunities for surgical graduates/fellows to develop advanced skills, and to propagate their knowledge and know-how throughout the United States.
Northside Hospital has partnered with the practice to facilitate continued growth in the fellowship program. This initiative supports Northside Hospital’s vision to build partnerships with physicians to improve patient outcomes, as well as to build loyalty and invest in future successes.
Teaching Fellowship Continues to Grow
Since its inception in 1999, the fellowship program has attracted the best and brightest surgical minds throughout the United States. As the only accredited colon and rectal training program in Georgia and one of only 57 accredited colorectal training programs in the United States, potential candidates apply from within the general surgical programs at established universities and hospitals across the nation. Over 80 applicants apply, and typically twenty-five, on average, are selected to interview each year for a maximum of two accredited fellowship positions. Successful graduates continue to serve in communities across America.
Innovations in Research
As the only accredited colon and rectal surgical fellowship program in Georgia, The Georgia Colon & Rectal Surgical Clinic program has been at the forefront of research and new methods in treating colorectal disease. In the four years since its inception, the faculty and fellows have presented at the annual meetings of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons. Research projects and innovations developed by Georgia colon & Rectal Surgical Clinic have received the accolades of nationally-recognized organizations, such as “Best Research Project” from The New Jersey Colorectal Society, and have developed new technologies from international corporations such as Ethicon Endosurgery and Wilson Cook Medical.
Current Research Projects
- Laparosopic colectomy for pediatric inflammatory bowel disease
- Remote colectomy using Telesurgery robotic technology
- Fistuloscopy for fistula-in-ano: A new technique.
- Topical metronidazole for intractable anorectal Crohn’s disease
- Multiple synchronous hemorrhoidal ligation: In-office “mini-hemorrhoidectomy.”