Residency Program

Learn about the Clinical Expertise our Colorectal Surgeons can provide as a Fellow at Penn State Health

The Colon and Rectal Surgery Residency program at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a fully ACGME accredited program. There is one resident per year. Clinical exposure to the full range of disease of the colon, rectum and anus is provided. The division has a strong interest in inflammatory bowel disease and the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center serves as a regional referral center for all patients with IBD. Furthermore, we offer state of the art sphincter preserving surgery for rectal cancer, and treatment for complex anorectal disease. The majority of the abdominal cases are performed with minimally invasive access (standard laparoscopy, single site laparoscopy, robotic surgery for pelvic cases) and for selective rectal cases Transanal Endoscopic Micro Surgery (TEMS) or Transanal Minimally Invasive Surgery (TAMIS) are used.

The expected annual volume for each resident is approximately 200-300 abdominal (60% or more are laparoscopic, 10% of which are robotic) and 150-250 anorectal cases. The fellow will be exposed to >35 robotic cases per year. Transanal endoscopic microsurgery and transanal minimally invasive surgery are routinely performed for rectal polyps or early cancers. The service performs both fiber optic and rigid proctosigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. The resident will have the opportunity to perform 150-200 colonoscopies and 100 sigmoidoscopies. Furthermore, the resident is expected to see approximately 500 new patients in clinic; 35% of the cases are IBD, 35% colorectal cancer, and 30% benign diseases (diverticulitis, polyps, anorectal etc.).

Our goal is to train individuals to become safe, well rounded specialists in Colon and Rectal Surgery and active members of the American Society of Colorectal Surgery (ASCRS).

The Colon and Rectal Surgery service currently consists of:

There are four General Surgery residents assigned to the service on a rotating basis: a chief resident, a second year resident, and two interns. In addition to the clinical staff, there is a full time basic science research staff consisting of one PhD, two postdocs, one resident, one clinical research fellow and three research technicians.

The Colon and Rectal Surgery service is divided into two teams. The Blue team consists of Drs. Koltun, Puleo and  McKenna, and the White team consists of Drs. Stewart and Messaris.

The Colon and Rectal resident will rotate services every six weeks alternating with the Chief General Surgery resident, giving him/her six months on each service in total. While on each service the Colon and Rectal fellow will be responsible for the daily care of their assigned attendings inpatients, participate in clinic with the assigned attending and assist in the operating room. The Colorectal resident will spend a total of six months on each rotation. The time on each rotation will be broken up into six-week blocks to easily alternate with the Chief General Surgery resident so that there is no overlap. The General Surgery residents rotate on the Colon and Rectal Surgery service for three months at a time, and will spend six weeks on each rotation. At no time will both the Chief General Surgery resident and the Colon and Rectal resident be assigned to the same team. The junior residents on the service (R2 and interns) will work with both teams.