American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga

Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga, TN

Number of Positions Offered: 1

Contact Information

Mastery in General Surgery Program Chief

R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS

Additional Information

979 East Third Street, Suite 401
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Fax: 423-778-2950

Administrative contact: Cindy Rudolph:; 423-778-7695


Program Highlights

The Junior Associate will begin with five to six months of monitored practice. The continuity with the Senior Associates during two to four week intervals will provide an opportunity for Senior Associates to become comfortable with the Junior Associate and make evaluation more accurate. The Mastery in General Surgery Program steering committee will meet at the end of the monitored practice period and discuss each evaluation and decide the most appropriate timing for transition to independent practice. The education committee will reserve the right to shorten or extend the monitored practice period based on each individual Junior Associate’s progress in the program.

Program Description

The primary rotations and hospital experience of the Junior Associate will occur outside the main UTCOMC teaching institution, such as Parkridge, Erlanger East, Memorial, and Athens Regional Medical Center. There are a large number of cases completed by the full- and part-time faculty in those sites, and abundant uncovered cases, both operative and non-operative, in which the Junior Associate may participate. It is expected that the Junior Associate will be especially interested in expanded experience in the outpatient setting and there will be no conflict with general surgery resident experience. Depending on the needs assessment of the Junior Associate, special rotations at the main Erlanger facility may be possible due to large patient volumes in areas such as breast, thoracic, or pediatric surgery. Call experience for the Junior Associate will initially be in sequence with other general surgery residents, and in the latter months of the Mastery in General Surgery Program rotations it is anticipated that the Junior Associate will become more autonomous and responsible for independent attending call. During this phase of experience, junior residents will work with the Junior Associate in his or her role as an instructor in the department.

During this time the Junior Associate will work closely with faculty mentors in all phases of general practice. Continuous intervals of two to four weeks will be spent with Senior Associates evaluating office patients, operating on elective cases, and taking general surgery call. No general surgery resident coverage will be provided to the Junior Associate while on-call during this period.

The rural surgery rotation will occur early to expose the Junior Associate to this scope of practice and allow more time for decision making on future employment. Upon transition to the independent practice portion of the program the Junior Associate will take call as the primary surgeon. This will include 24-hour faculty mentor backup and general surgery resident coverage. Junior Associate responsibilities include patient evaluation and management, operative intervention, postoperative follow-up, and billing. During this period the Junior Associate will be provided a menu of electives (listed above) to tailor training and improve on needed or weak areas.

Senior Associates

W. Heath Giles, MD, FACS – Junior Associate Chief
Richard A. Moore, PhD, MD, FACS – Junior Associate Chief
Coleman L. Arnold, MD, FACS – Memorial Hospital Mastery in General Surgery Program Director
William Todd Cockerham, MD, FACS – Parkridge Medical Center Mastery in General Surgery Program Director
Steven Clark Kennedy, MD, FACS – Parkridge East Hospital Mastery in General Surgery Program Director
*Thomas S. Layman, MD, FACS – Athens Regional Hospital Mastery in General Surgery Program Director
Stephen Michael Roe, MD, FACS – Erlanger East Mastery in General Surgery Program Director
Craig Steven Swafford, MD, FACS – Rhea Medical Center Mastery in General Surgery Program Director
Benjamin Wall Dart IV, MD, FACS – Mastery in General Surgery Program Steering Committee Member
Joseph B. Cofer, MD, FACS – Mastery in General Surgery Program Steering Committee Member
Craig D. Sarine, MHA – Education Coordinator for Mastery in General Surgery Program curriculum in business education and practice management

Other Key Faculty

*Preston W. Brown, MD, FACS
Michael G. Carr, MD
*James Robert Headrick, Jr., MD, FACS
Joseph E. Kelley, MD, FACS
Curtis S. Koontz, MD, FACS
Christopher J. LeSar, MD, FACS
Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero, MD, FACS
Lisa A. Smith, MD, FACS
J. Daniel Stanley, MD, FACS
*Michael P. Sumida, MD, FACS
Alvaro A. Valle, MD, FACS
Laura E. Witherspoon, MD, FACS

* Denotes clinical or part-time faculty