Volume 44 | April 2021
Surgical Notes
A monthly newsletter from the Department of Surgery
Doris Farquhar Retirement
Announcing the retirement of Doris Farquhar, MBA, Director of Surgical Education since 1999. Doris has played an integral role in the educational mission of the department and her dedication to surgery education will be missed. "My entire life I have strived to ensure medical students, residents and fellows get the education they deserve in order to fulfill their career goals, as well as, keeping residency and fellowship programs accredited." 

Doris attributes this dedication and work ethic to her childhood. "I grew up on a working cattle ranch in Texas and got my strong work ethic from my parents. I was responsible for working cattle, cleaning horse stalls and feeding various animals morning and night, including our pet skunk. I worked after school and weekends at the county hospital typing medical records. I participated in many rodeos in barrel racing and cutting horse events and even placed 3rd in the National Cutting Horse Futurity in Fort Worth. I got my college degree in Textiles and Design I moved to Houston and worked at University of Texas Medical School for 22 years as Director of Academic Affairs. I then moved to Connecticut and worked as Director of Surgical Education for 10 years. In 1999, I moved to Richmond and have been Director of Surgical Education for 22 years. " 

In addition to supporting our training programs, Doris enjoyed working on a national level with the AAMC, specifically during the transition from accreditation by the LCGME to ACGME. When asked what was most rewarding, she said "I worked on the development on the AAMC FREDA annual survey (AAMC GME Survey) for residents and training programs. I served on the committee that wrote the Institutional Program Requirements (Common Program Requirements) and developed the process for internal reviews mid-way through the accreditation cycle." 
Doris is a founding member of the Association for Hospital Medical Education and has served on a task force that developed a Section on Residency Education for the AAMC that was included in their 20-year celebration. Traveling internationally, she has been a consultant to the WHO, working with Ministers of Health and other dignitaries in Egypt, Greece, Italy, Russia, United Arab Emirates, China, Germany, and South Africa. Through this experience Doris contributed to the development and redesign of the health care delivery systems and helped format their curriculum to mirror the US." 

"I have been very fortunate and grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given throughout my life. I am most proud of my two boys and four grandchildren. As well as what I have contributed to Medical Education Locally, Nationally and Internationally." We know Doris won't skip a beat to get busy on her hobbies of growing roses, doing needlepoint, dancing and flying!! 

Congratulations on your retirement Doris, we wish you the best of years to come.
VCU Health at The Park at Snowden Opens
Now seeing patients in Fredericksburg!
The surgery administration team has been working hard to offer more options for our patients and we're excited to announce this new location in the Fredericksburg area. Surgery Administrator Katie Golub confirms, "This is an exciting accomplishment for the department and the Health System!" Great work everyone!

Appointments are available now for pre- and post-surgery appointments with our specialists in colon and rectal surgery, urology, transplant, oncology, and heart and vascular surgery. In addition, minor procedures can also be performed on-site to provide even more convenience.

VCU Surgery Faculty Among Richmond Magazine's Top Docs
Congratulations to our surgeons and all the Top Docs at VCU Health who were recognized by Richmond Magazine as a "Top Doc" for 2021.

"This recognition is a testament to the compassionate, quality care our providers give to our patients, even as they battle a deadly pandemic." — visit VCU Health News
Urology Research Fellows Graduation
(left to right) Riccardo Autorino, MD, PhD, Umberto Carbonara, MD, Fabio Crocerossa, MD, Adam Klausner, MD
Congratulations to Dr. Umberto Carbonara (PGY3, University of Bari, Italy) and Dr. Fabio Crocerossa (University of Catanzaro, Italy) on completion of their research fellowship at the Division of Urology.

Under the direction of Riccardo Autorino, MD, PhD, FEBU, Associate Professor, the one-year training program focuses mainly on clinical outcomes related to urologic oncology and robotic urologic surgery. Dr. Autorino added, "Together Dr. Carbonara and Dr. Crocerossa successfully submitted and published over 15 PubMed indexed papers, based on VCU single center studies or multicenter studies within ongoing multicenter collaboration that VCU Urology has with major US and non-US Institutions."

The Fellows also had the opportunity to observe multiple robotic uro-oncology cases during their stay and participate in the division's educational events throughout the year. In addition, they were able to join the urology residents in some of our robotic weekend bootcamps.

Dr. Autorino notes "Overall they enjoyed very much their stay in RVA, and they are very grateful to the entire VCU Division of Urology staff and residents for a once in a lifetime experience. Thanks Drs. Carbonara and Croceros for completing a very (scientifically) significant year — your future is bright!" 
Lance Hampton, MD, chair, Division of Urology, with Fabio Crocerossa MD, Umberto Carbonara, MD, and Riccardo Autorino, MD, PhD (l to r)
Dr. Carbonara, and Dr. Crocerossa attending urology's robotic surgery bootcamp
Congratulations to Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Graduates
Lauren Kaplan, DDS
Mark Gardner, DDS
Christopher K. Ray, DDS
Welcome New Surgical Critical Care Fellows
Michael L. Iannamorelli MD
Michael L. Iannamorelli, MD
Berkshire Medical Center, MA 
VCU Surgical Critical Care Fellow 2021
Mike M. Mallah, MD
Carolinas Medical Center
Welcome to the New Interns
Urology Residency Program:
Brandon Wilson, MD
Medical College of Georgia
Ryan Fogg, MD
Medical College at Thomas Jefferson
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Residency Program:
Megan Newsome
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Joseph Lewcun
Pennsylvania State University
College of Medicine
General Surgery Residency Program:
Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery Annual Meeting
General Surgery Residents' academic output at national meeting

VCU vascular surgery research presentations had a strong showing at this year's SCVS annual meeting last month in Miami. Dr. Amendola added "All in all we [had] 3 podiums and 23 posters – more that any other medical school in the nation."

Led by teaching faculty and VA vascular surgeons Kedar S. Lavingia, MD and Michael Amendola, MD MEHP FSVS, general surgery residents and SOM students represented VCU at the national meeting. Dr. Amendola added "All in all we [had] 3 podiums and 23 posters – more that any other medical school in the nation." Rahul J. Anand, MD, Director, General Surgery Residency Program was equally congratulatory, "This is fantastic news. Clearly the medical students are getting an amazing experience—phenomenal work everyone!"
Dr. Amendola is also the Division Chief, Vascular Surgery at the Central Virginia VA Health Care System (formerly McGuire Medical Center), and with Dr. Levangia mentor and train residents and M4s in vascular surgery research and procedures.

Pictured is Dr. Wayne Tse, VCU General Surgery resident presenting "Using the Risk Analysis Index to Assess Frailty in Veteran Cohort Undergoing Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair” a recent study with Drs. Kevar Lavingia and Amendola, co-authors. Congratulations to Dr. Tse and everyone who presented.

General Surgery Resident abstracts accepted to the 2021 Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM) for the national Society of Vascular Surgery:

Diana Otoya PGY-2: "The Effect of Race on Arteriovenous Graft Outcomes in a Veteran Dialysis Patient Population" – International Young Surgeon Competition

Diana Otoya PGY-2: "Statins Usage at Arteriovenous Graft Placement Does Not Improve Outcomes in Diabetic Patients" – International Young Surgeon Competition

Diana Otoya PGY-2: "Central Line Access for Hemodialysis adversely Affects Ipsilateral Arteriovenous Graft Outcomes" – International Poster Competition

Wayne Tse PGY-3: "Comparison of Outcomes in Lower Limb Amputations Between General and Vascular Surgeons in the Veterans Population Using VASQIP Database" – International Forum

Sally Boyd PGY-2, James Dittman VCU-SOM ‘22, Wayne Tse PGY-3: "Does Anesthesia Type Matter? Twenty-Year Analysis of Veterans Undergoing Lower Extremity Bypass" – Interactive Poster Session

Sally Boyd PGY-2: "Risk Analysis Index: What can it Tell us about Veterans Undergoing Lower Extremity Bypass" – Interactive Poster Session

Adam Beyer PGY-3, James Dittman VCU-SOM ‘22: "Is Newer Better? Comparison of Two Generations of a Thoracic Endograft System utilizing the MAUDE Database" – Poster Session
ACGME Re-Certification: Thoracic Surgery Program
Last February, the CT training program was reviewed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education(ACGME). The accreditation process requires periodic site visits in order to assess compliance with Program and Institutional requirements. 

Due to COVID–19 the site was held virtually through online interviews with Dr. Rachit Shah, program director and Dr. Anthony Cassano, associate program director. Also interviewed were the cardiothoracic trainees and faculty, and Surgery Department Chair, Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan.

As a result of the visit we're proud to report the Cardiothoracic Surgery Program was given Continued Accreditation by the Cardiothoracic RRC.
Thoracic Surgery - Department of Surgery - VCU School of ...

"Our mission is graduating CT surgeons and our faculty are 100% dedicated to your training." Learn more ACGME-Accredited, 3-Year Program The Thoracic Surgery residency program is an ACGME-accredited, three-year program designed to enhance...

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Robotic Surgery Training
Nicole Elizabeth Kiefer Wieghard MD FACS
Last month Dr. Nicole Wieghard, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Associate Program Director, VCU General Surgery Residency Program mentored residents on robotic surgery skills, specifically, practicing skills required in [robotic] tissue anastomoses procedures.

Dr. Wieghard is a fellowship-trained colorectal surgeon in the Division of Colon & Rectal Surgery specializing in all aspects of CR surgery, and research interests in health disparities in colorectal surgery.
vcu general surgery residents training in robotic surgery
Preparing environment for robotic surgery training — tissue anastomosis
general surgery residents training robotic surgery workshop
Global Health Seminar Series for March
Global Health Seminar Series March
The Program for Global Surgery along with the Global Surgery Student Alliance presented their March lecture series 3/17 with guest speaker Robert Bowers, MD.

Dr. Bowers is a missionary surgeon who joined SIM (an interdenominational mission organization) in 1966, and with his wife, Marion, worked in Liberia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Albania, and Bangladesh.

Dr. Bowers's lecture was titled "Experiences in Missionary Medicine" and included stories from his publication "With Dr. Bob in Ethiopia" describing his experiences from when he arrived in 1974 until forced to leave the country in 1977.

If you would like to learn more about this series or global surgery, please visit VCU Program for Global Surgery.
Dr. Quader Guest Speaker at Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology Conference
Mohammed A. Quader, MD, Associate Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, was guest speaker at the Division of Cardiology's APP conference on March 16. Dr. Quader's lecture was on "TAVR Indications and Outcomes."
Special Thanks to our Plastics and Trauma APPs
Collaboration and teamwork to provide better care for patients
According to Tina Hamlet, Associate Administrator for the Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, “it was determined last summer that the burn service was causing a service over education burden to our Plastic Surgery residents, and as a result they were pulled from that rotation. We then pulled our outpatient APP over to burn to cover inpatient and assist with these changes.” 
Additionally, in December one of our APPs went out on maternity leave creating another scheduling challenge and requiring another quick response. As a solution, APPs from ACSS were pulled from doing extra shifts in the Emergency Department so they could cover extra shifts with burn service. Tina added, “Our future plans are to recruit more APP staff with the goal of cross training and cross coverage between Burn and Trauma.”
From Surgery Administrator Katie Golob, "We want to acknowledge and thank the APPs from plastics/burn and ACSS for their cooperation in quickly rearranging their schedules and collaborating across divisions to cover the burn team. Their quick action and cross-training was necessary, and definitely deserves a big shout-out." 
Special Delivery: Meet Lincoln Dean Procter
Congratulations to Dr. Levi Procter and his wife Noel on their new baby boy.

We are thrilled to introduce Lincoln Dean Parker, born on March 24 and weighing in at 7lbs 10 oz!
Monthly Wellness Note: April 2021
Wednesday, April 14th – 12 pm
Slow Flow Yoga with Hannah
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
In this Slow Flow class, you will practice about half the number of poses you might practice in a regular Flow class. The pace is meditative, emphasizing peace and calm in body and mind.
Register: Talent@VCU
Thursday, April 15th – 12 pm
Strategies for Eliminating Debt
(Presented by VCU HR, VCUHS HR, and Virginia Credit Union)
Learn helpful tips on how to reduce your debt through specific examples and strategies.
Register: Talent@VCU
Friday, April 16th – 12:15 pm
Financial Literacy Challenge with Kahoot
(Presented by VCU HR, VCUHS HR, and Virginia Credit Union)
Financial Literacy Challenge! Join us for a lively interactive test your knowledge game of KAHOOT! Participants can answer questions along the way at www.kahoot.it or using the Kahoot app on their mobile device. Kahoot is FREE and can be downloaded from the app store of your choice. You can learn more about Kahoot at www.kahoot.com
Register: Talent@VCU
Friday, April 16th – 12 pm
Healthcare Decisions Day
(Presented by VCU HR)
Join founder of Healthcare Decisions Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Nathan Kottkamp of Waller Law, on Healthcare Decisions Day! Healthcare Decisions Day is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions related to end of life care and medical decision-making. Learn about Advance Directives, the Virginia Health Care Directive Registry, DNR orders, and more! You can learn more at: https://www.vsb.org/site/public/healthcare-decisions-day
Register: Talent@VCU
Tuesday, April 20th – 12:15 pm
Bodyweight Strength with Jess
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
Strengthen all of the major muscle groups in your body by participating in this Bodyweight Strength fitness class! With a focus on utilizing your bodyweight with high repetitions, participants will be guided through a series of exercises targeting the chest, back, arms, legs, glutes, and core. No equipment requirements, though a yoga mat is recommended.
Register: Talent@VCU
Wednesday, April 21st – 12 pm
Learn the Basics of When and How to Claim Social Security
 (Presented by VCU HR and Fidelity)
Join Fidelity and learn tips to help you make the right claiming decision on when to start collecting social security.
Register: Talent@VCU
Friday, April 30th – 12 pm
Exercise with Heart
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
Join Jess Norman, Assistant Director for Fitness & Wellness, for an educational session about the basics and benefits of cardiovascular exercise. During our time together we'll review the current exercise guidelines and discuss tips on how to meet them.
Register: Talent@VCU
Upcoming Events
Call for Abstracts: XXXIV Panamerican Congress

The Panamerican Trauma Society (PTS) encourages all health care personnel interested in trauma care to present an abstract. The abstract should describe original research in trauma care, critical care, injury prevention, or burn care. Learn more
Research Open Forum
Monthly, 2nd Mondays
4:00 - 5:00 PM

All are encouraged to attend!
Have a story to tell? Contact Us:
Department of Surgery | Virginia Commonwealth University | (804)828-7874 | surgweb@vcu.edu