Guthrie Surgical Residents Pass Boards On First Attempt

Sayre, Pa. –  According to the American Board of Surgery, only four other general surgery residency programs in the nation can say what Guthrie’s can say: that for the past five years, every resident passed their surgical board examination on the first attempt.

Guthrie Clinic President and CEO Joseph Scopelliti, MD, expressed great pride in this news. "This accomplishment is a tribute to the entire general surgical residency program. Our physicians and staff work very hard to provide the residents with a meaningful experience during their residency and I think their success shows in the consistency of the board certification rate of the program. We are very proud of the contributions these doctors will make to health care for years to come."

The exam is a rigorous test of a resident’s knowledge, both written and orally. The resident must pass both to become board certified.

Thomas VanderMeer, MD, is the Director of the General Surgery Residency Program and he attributes the program’s success to Guthrie’s approach to education. “Each resident learns a little differently and we take the time to know our residents and modify the program to best suit their needs. It results in a stronger educational experience for them.”

On Jan. 17, 2012, the General Surgery Residency at Robert Packer Hospital celebrated 53 years of continuous accreditation. The Robert Packer Hospital has had a surgical training program since 1911. Dr. Donald Guthrie was one of the 13 original founding members of the American Board of Surgery in 1937. 

The General Surgery Residency Program offers both preliminary and categorical positions.  Preliminary residents sign on for one year, following which they may go on to various training in surgery, anesthesia, radiology, etc., and may, at times, stay at Guthrie as a categorical resident.  Those applicants coming in as categorical residents stay on for the entire five years of training at Guthrie. 

While in residency training, residents rotate through General Surgery, Trauma, Vascular Surgery, Subspecialties (ENT, GYN, Plastic Surgery, and Urology), Cardiothoracic Surgery, Intensive Care, Endoscopy and do a night float rotation.  The second-year General Surgery Residents spend four months at the Department of Surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY for training in Trauma & Acute General Surgery, Transplant and Pediatric Surgery.

Graduates of the Guthrie General Surgery Residency Program have gone on to Fellowships in a wide range of surgical specialties including critical care surgery, vascular and thoracic surgery, and plastic and minimally invasive surgery.

Guthrie Health is a community-based, not-for-profit health care system jointly formed by Guthrie Healthcare System (GHS) and Guthrie Clinic, also not-for-profit health care organizations. GHS provides inpatient, outpatient and home-based services through Corning Hospital, Troy Community Hospital, Robert Packer Hospital, and Guthrie Home Care and Guthrie Hospice. Guthrie Clinic provides primary and specialty physician services at 25 regional clinics. Guthrie Health provides care for 200,000 patients annually within its eleven-county area service area across the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York.