Message from the Chair

J.E. "Betsy" Tuttle-Newhall

The Department of Surgery at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University offers a six-year, fully-accredited residency in general surgery. Recently, our program was re-accredited for a full five years by the Residency Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The major goal of our surgical program is to educate carefully selected residents in general surgery with greater intensity, personal involvement, and academic stimulation than is frequently possible in larger programs. The educational tone supports compassionate patient care and diverse educational opportunities for a truly comprehensive learning experience. Our program is nationally renowned for producing the Surgical Resident Curriculum, adopted by the Association of Program Directors in Surgery, and for publication of the indexed national journal Current Surgery.

Our residents learn from a wealth of clinical material, largely because our center is located near a sizable rural service area with a burgeoning primary care network. Patients with diverse backgrounds and surgical needs are referred here daily. The patient base allows a breadth of experience that is important for the modern surgical trainee, and it permits the development of specific skills in the diagnosis and treatment of common as well as unusual disorders. Our state-of-the-art facilities are part of the Vidant Medical Center, which provides an optimal setting for modern surgical care. Our center is nationally known for training surgeons and surgical residents in minimally invasive and robotic surgery. Two daVinci devices are available, allowing ample opportunities for robotic surgical training in both laboratory and clinical settings.

The residency training program in general surgery is designed to produce exceptional surgeons prepared either for private or academic practice and/or for fellowship training in a surgical specialty. We believe that it is important for residents to have a working knowledge of patient management using cost-effective methods while maintaining excellent patient care. Our total of 28 residents promotes close contact with faculty and rapid progression to more independent experience during surgical rotations. The residency is conducted in one institution without dispersion to multiple hospitals. This creates a continuum, permitting an integrated curriculum and closer mentoring by faculty and senior residents. Optimal advancement in responsibility for patient care is commensurate with continuous growth of the resident surgeon's knowledge base. We are proud of our graduates as they are intellectually curious, knowledgeable, well-published, and clinically capable surgeons. Many have become regional and national leaders.

Our highly motivated, capable faculty offer a unique, personalized educational experience. Most of our surgeons and basic scientists are recognized nationally for their research, educational excellence, and clinical accomplishments. Extramural grants to departmental faculty have been awarded in several areas, most recently in endovascular aortic grafting, minimally invasive cardiac valve and coronary surgery, robotic surgery, culturally based breast cancer interventions, surgical geriatrics education, tolerance induction in xenotransplantation, polymerase chain reaction detection of sentinel node metastases, and linkage of Type II diabetes and obesity. Our center is a leading FDA clinical trials site that provides our surgical residents the opportunity to become familiar with the latest innovations in robotic general and cardiac surgery.

Greenville is a fine community rated in the top ten as the healthiest place to live in the United States by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. The city is located in the Atlantic coastal region where water recreation from ocean and rivers is abundant. Forests and ski areas are just a few hours to the north and west. Historic sites are in close proximity. East Carolina University is the third largest in North Carolina with 18,000 students. The University is noted for excellence in education, music, and art. Cultural activities in the community make living in Greenville a delight for families.

As Chairman of the Department of Surgery my vision for surgical resident and medical student education at East Carolina University is very bright. We will continue to increase the number of quality educational experiences and develop improved methods for teaching residents innovative ways to manage the ever increasing complexity of patient care. With the information age, the Internet, and telemedicine we continue to expand educational opportunities through contact with other surgical centers worldwide. Indeed, these are exciting times for surgical residents and faculty alike. Please come meet our cohesive cadre and share in their infectious enthusiasm.

We hope that as you read this website you will become as excited as we are about our general surgery training program. Our pledge is to provide outstanding education for the general surgeon of tomorrow. We appreciate your interest in our program, and we encourage you to investigate our residency further.

J.E. "Betsy" Tuttle-Newhall, MD