Education Highlights

Surgery Research Recognition Day

Education Mission and Message from the Chair

The mission of the Division of Education is to inspire, promote, and encourage current and future generations of surgeons with thoughtful professional development, tools for life-long learning,and skills for success as a surgical leader.

This past year's challenges that COVID-19 presented were met with innovation and commitment to continue our mission for surgical education. We celebrate our 2019 successes and look forward to this year’s new innovative programs.

Cynthia Talley, M.D., FACS, vice chair of Education


2019 - 2020 Successes

  • Virtual curriculum during COVID
  • Backyard graduations
  • Virtual intern orientation
  • Hybrid ATLS course taught to all interns
  • Vascular complement increase
  • Education research team established
  • Increased resident involvement in orientation and student teaching

New & Upcoming Initiatives

  • Simulation: Robotics Trainer arrived! Laparoscopic Trainers coming. New space at Ashely River Tower
  • Student Program: New lockers, 3+3 clerkship(general/specialty) created, honors scoring relaxed
  • Virtual Interviews and Grand Rounds
  • Virtual Vascular Surgery Visiting Student Rotation
  • Tidelands General Surgery Rotation
  • Student/Resident Lounge at Main Hospital

Enhancing Student Success

ACGME: All residency and fellowship programs received full accreditation by ACGME Education Research Group: Representatives are comprised of students, residents, and faculty. 7 ongoing projects; Program Expansion: I-6 Vascular Surgery: Resident increase to 2 per year.

Resident Wellness Adds Resiliency


Image of newly renovated lounge space. 
Kunal Patel, M.D., Ph.D. and Kristen Quinn, M.D. find a few minutes to relax and catch up in the newly renovated medical student and resident space.

The Department of Surgery is committed to improving the wellness of residents and faculty. Over the last year an initiative was started to evaluate the current level of burnout among residents and faculty and then determine what improvements can be made.

A survey of residents indicated improving personal time and food would contribute to making residency a little less stressful.In response, the residents received two personal days to use throughout the year, improvements to the medical student and resident work space, and a monthly lottery for a $100 food card.

Along with paying for a state medical license, purchasing loupes during the second PG year, and quarterly social gatherings, the department, with the support of philanthropic donors, is making strides to foster a culture of wellness.

The Next Era of Surgical Leaders

Our graduates from our residency and fellowship programs are well prepared to enter the next level of their surgical journey, with 100% of our general surgery graduates entering the fellowship program at the academic medical center of their choice.

100% of our general surgery graduates entered fellowships; Of our fellows: 80% entered Practice & 20% Additional Fellowships

Virtual Learning

The use of technology in surgical education is rapidly evolving and the education team is leading the way with virtual simulation training and learning opportunities that could prove to be a model for training programs.

Virtual Simulation: Vascular surgeon Mathew Wooster,M.D. developed a virtual simulator training for the vascular surgery integrated residents with the help of his colleague, Elizabeth Genovese, M.D., MS who joined the effort by formalizing the survey and investigating potential research publication opportunities. According to Wooster, this is a pilot trial of virtual endovascular simulation training utilizing a benchtop simulation model and one-on-one mentoring with a Zoom interface.“Using a telephone camera to display the benchtop model as “live virtual fluoroscopy” and the laptop camera to watch the trainee’s hands on the catheter, we can give real time feedback and instruction from an appropriate social distance,” said Wooster. The team will then compare metrics including subjective analysis of the usability of the model, the benefit of virtual mentoring, perceived improvement in skills and importance to training, number of catheter exchanges required and time to successful cannulation.

Virtual Rotation: Visiting Student Learning Opportunities(VSLO) programs were canceled this year due to travel restrictions. In an effort to preserve some of the benefits of the visiting rotations (exposure to different practice patterns and patient populations, introduction to varied patient care,networking with a wider audience of residents and faculty), Dr. Wooster and the Division of Vascular Surgery have developed a virtual visiting student elective.Leveraging videoconferencing technology already inplace, visiting students will be able to round daily with the resident team (including writing notes/orders on patients), livestream operations from the new state of the art hybrid operating room, evaluate patients in telehealth clinic, and present during the weekly education conference just as they would if they could visit MUSC in person. While several other programs around the country have created virtual visiting rotations, MUSC will be the first and only to have traversed the legal hurdles to allow integration into direct patient care.

Kredel-Springs Lecture



The department held a successful Virtual Kredel-Springs Lecture. Invited lecturer, Karl Y. Bilimoria, M.D., MS, John B. Murphy Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, gave an enlightening presentation entitled Fanning the Burnout Fire: How Our Misconceptions and Good Intentions Could Fail Tomorrow’s Surgeons.Dr. Bilimoria is a lead author of the first and second trial that evaluates work hours and wellness impacts on patient safety.


Resident Research Continues to Grow


Gerard Doherty, MD 

During Surgery Research Recognition Day, visiting professor Gerard Doherty, M.D., Crowley Family Distinguished Chair in the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, gave a well received Eric R. Frykberg, M.D. Lecture entitled Surgery and also served as guest judge. Steven Kahn, M.D., chief of Burn Surgery and Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D., Cecilia and Vincent Peng Endowed Chair in Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology, served as MUSC judges.

This year, Surgery Research Recognition Day had a record number of abstract submissions (26).

Congratulations to our winners (pictured from left to right with Jean Marie Ruddy, M.D. associate program director for Resident Research): Kunal Patel, M.D., Ph.D. achieved first place in Basic Science Podium and Poster Competitions. Ryan King M.D. won the Clinical Science Podium Competition and Shelby Allen M.D. won the Clinical Science Poster Competition.

Kunal Patel, M.D., Ph.D. achieved first place in Basic Science Podium and Poster Competitions. Ryan King M.D. won the Clinical Science Podium Competition and Shelby Allen M.D. won the Clinical Science Poster Competition.