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Residency in General Surgery at Staten Island University Hospital

Staten Island University Hospital offers excellent clinical and academic opportunities to provide quality clinical care in a nurturing, educational environment. The members of the Department of Surgery have succeeded in producing Centers of Surgical Excellence and  have expertise in many areas, including laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery, surgical oncology, trauma, burn and surgical critical care, bariatric surgery, vascular and endovascular surgery, minimally invasive cardiac and general thoracic surgery, and surgical research. The surgical training program includes a fully-accredited vascular surgery fellowship program and a bariatric surgery fellowship program. 

The completion of the Heart Tower in 2000 created a major on-campus center for the management of cardiac and vascular disease, allowing for recent advances (including minimally invasive procedures) to be applied to our expanding patient base. The completion of the Elizabeth A. Connelly Emergency and Trauma Center, with the expansion of the number of emergency beds and trauma facilities, made yet another addition to the level of patient care within state of the art facilities. 

The stat-of-the-art Regina McGinn Educational and Conference Center at Staten Island University Hospital is a forefront venue for in-house training of residents and for holding local, regional, and national meetings in an environment conducive to learning. The Center houses a multipurpose simulation laboratory in addition to the usual conference rooms and classrooms. This provides excellent opportunity for surgical residents to practice and advance their surgical skills in a controlled simulated environment. 

Because of recent changes in health care, there continues to be the need for competent, compassionate surgical care with ever-increasing technical support. The population of Staten Island looks to the Staten Island University Hospital as the premier facility for the nearly one half million residents of the island. Evidence of this demand is the continued increase in surgical services provided at Staten Island University Hospital over the past few years. The increase in surgical cases has translated to over 18,000 cases done here annually. The Department of Surgery will continue its momentum in meeting the challenge to provide outstanding primary and tertiary surgical care in a cost efficient manner while maintaining advanced educational, academic and research programs.

The surgical department provides care in 24 operating room suites, including suites in the Heart Tower and the on-site Center for Ambulatory Surgery. 

Staten Island University Hospital provides an extensive array of surgical care services, including: 

  • Acute care and general surgery 
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Breast surgery
  • Burn and wound center
  • Cardiac and general thoracic surgery
  • Colorectal surgery 
  • Minimally invasive surgery, including a postgraduate fellowship, with a Da Vinci Robot on site
  • Pediatric surgery 
  • Plastic, reconstructive and hand surgery
  • Surgical oncology
  • Trauma and surgical critical care: Level 1 trauma center, 1500 major trauma cases and 90,000 emergency room visits annually
  • Vascular and endovascular surgery, including postgraduate fellowship 

Advanced technology is utilized in all areas, including laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery, advanced endovascular surgery, laser surgery, imaged-guided surgery and other minimally invasive surgical procedures.

We offer exceptional inpatient and outpatient surgical care for adults and children for both emergency and elective procedures.

Learn more about our department

Program information

Staten Island University Hospital is affiliated with the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hostra/Northwell and takes great pride in its medical and surgical residency training programs. There are 233 residents at Staten Island University Hospital training in primary care, medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, emergency medicine, rehabilitation medicine, podiatry, anesthesia, orthopedic surgery and urology. Staten Island University Hospital also supports a General Practice Residency program in dentistry and oral surgery. There are fellowship programs in vascular, minimally invasive surgery, nephrology, pulmonary and critical care, geriatrics, cardiology, oncology and gastroenterology.

The goal of the residency training program in surgery is the provision of diverse clinical experience in the field of surgery, which includes the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative management of the surgical patient which will result in the production of competent surgeons capable of independent practice upon graduation from the program. To achieve this goal, we have restructured the educational program and have enhanced the faculty with full-time surgical educators in addition to the usual clinical faculty.

The educational program has protected academic time each week, ensuring the residents the opportunity to build upon a strong foundation of surgical/medical knowledge. The weekly resident educational conference schedule includes:

Basic Science Conference
Tuesdays, 7:00am – 9:00am (protected time)

M&M and Clinical Conference
Thursdays, 7:00am – 9:00am (protected time)

Vascular Conference
Fridays, 7:00am – 8:00am

Trauma/ICU Conference
Mondays at 12pm  

Trauma/M&M Conference
Wednesday at 12pm  

Journal Club
Fridays at 12pm

The clinical responsibilities of the surgical house officers increase in depth and complexity as the level of the training progresses. The educational progress, scholarly activity, and clinical activity of each resident are carefully supervised by an experienced attending staff and guided by the program director. The surgical residency has had full accreditation by the Surgical Residency Review Committee and we strive to meet and exceed all of the standards set by the RRC.
The Surgical Program has trained graduates of medical schools from across the United States. Recent students who have applied and been accepted to the Staten Island University Hospital Surgery Program are graduates from leading medical schools, including:
  • SUNY—Downstate
  • NYU
  • Albany Medical School
  • Cornell University
  • Rutgers
  • Albert Einstein
  • Mount Sinai
  • SUNY—Stony Brook
  • SUNY—Syracuse
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Tulane
  • Tufts
  • Creighton
  • Chicago Medical School
  • University of Florida

Over two-thirds of the graduates of the surgical training program have sought and obtained postgraduate specialty fellowships at programs in diverse institutions such as the Yale New Haven Medical Center, the Beth Israel Hospital in New York City, the University of Florida in Gainesville and the University of Illinois in Chicago.

The Department of Surgery at Staten Island University Hospital evaluates the training program in the following areas:
  • Six core competencies
  • The variety and complexity of clinical material
  • Evidence of the acquisition of cognitive knowledge
  • Maintenance of an environment that stresses individual responsibility and the development of characteristics, which promote success during and after the surgical residency
  • Surgical skills acquisition

Resident duties

Each of our three chief residents heads the three major teams which cover the full-time and part-time faculty surgical services and the trauma service, with additional smaller teams lead by senior residents covering the intensive care unit and vascular surgical patients. The responsibility of each resident on the service is outlined prior to each rotation and varies according to the level of training and the nature of the surgical problems managed on the particular service. The surgical chief resident on each service monitors the daily activity of each resident. Experience in all the major components of general surgery are provided on site. For experience in transplantation, our residents rotate to the Transplantation Service at the New York University Medical Center in Manhattan.

The hallmark of the surgical training program is individual instruction by the attending surgeons, augmented by regular resident education sessions in the form of seminars and didactic sessions in the protected time. Other educational activities include departmental sessions, teaching rounds and self-education. Resident responsibilities include teaching teaching of medical students, physician assistants and physician assistant students. Our surgical skills laboratory, along with a skilled on-site evaluator, gives us the capability of having each surgical resident certified in the requirement of the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery developed by the ACS/SAGES.

The academic progress of the residents is assessed by the American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE). Additionally, evaluations throughout the year with feedback are performed to detect any areas of deficiency in surgical skill or knowledge so that timely remediation can be done. We have initiated the resident portfolio as the first step in the surgeons’ development of the documentation of “maintenance of competency,” as is now becoming a requirement for practicing surgeons by the American Board of Surgery.

On a social note, our residents attend the informal dinners with our grand rounds speakers, a journal club which meets at local restaurants in the evening, and sponsored parties for sports, seasonal holidays and graduation ceremonies. We are concerned about the well-being of our residents as demonstrated by scheduling the workweek at less than the “allowed” 80 hours and by responsiveness to residents’ concerns, both personal and professional, while assuring the ready availability of the hospital’s Employee’s Assistance Program. Informal mentoring is encouraged and we look upon our residents as part of a departmental and hospital family. We stay in touch with our graduates and aid in their achieving fellowships or jobs upon graduation.

Application process and selection

Residents are selected through the National Resident Matching Program with emphasis placed on both academic credentials, ability to work in a team, and personal interviews. All appointments are for a five-year period with advancement based on satisfactory completion of the prior year. Some select residents may elect for an additional year of research or fellowship, done either at Staten Island University Hospital or elsewhere, before completion of the five-year program. 95 percent of our graduates have achieved certification by the American Board of Surgery.

In addition to three categorical residency positions, we offer three positions for preliminary residents at the PGY1 level and two positions at the PGY2 level. These may be filled by either designated or non-designated preliminary residents and are also selected through the National Resident Matching Program using the same criteria as we use for the categorical positions. The clinical and operative experience is wide and extensive at all levels. Rotating team assignments at regular intervals assure an even surgical experience for all surgical residents. Residents cover the operating room, emergency department, outpatient clinics, surgical intensive care unit/recovery room, inpatient areas and trauma/burn services. During the five-year categorical general surgery program, each surgical resident will perform over 1,000 cases under the general and direct supervision of the faculty. Our record of meeting and exceeding the defined category case requirements of the ACGME/RRC is excellent.

In accordance with the ACGME guidelines, each resident maintains a case log and a duty hours log, which is tabulated and analyzed monthly and reported annually. Advanced technology is utilized in all areas including laparoscopic surgery, microsurgery, endovascular surgery, laser surgery, imaged-guided surgery and other minimally invasive surgical procedures.


Surgical research is not mandatory; however, it is strongly encouraged, and the majority of the surgical residents are involved in research projects and submit posters or podium presentations for regional and national meetings. Direct supervision and encouragement is provided to submit work for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Recent additions to the staff include a Director of Graduate Education and Research in the Department of Surgery whose mission is to facilitate simulation laboratory training and research for the residents and faculty.

The Department of Surgery and its divisions are involved in multiple clinical trials and clinical research projects with ample opportunities for the residents to get involved with clinical research. Department funds are available for residents to attend one regional or national conference as well as, in their chief year, the New York General Surgery Board Review Course. The second conference is covered by department funds if the resident is presenting his or her research at the conference.


Chairman of Surgery

  • Michael O. Bernstein, MD, FACS, 

Program Director

  • Karen E. Gibbs, MD

Director of Surgical Education

  • John D’Anna, MD

Associate Program Director

  • Antonio Picon, MD

Breast surgery

  • Cynara L. Coomer, MD
  • Sara Kim, MD

Burn & Wound Center

  • Michael Cooper, MD
  • Kimlyn Long, MD

Colon and rectal surgery

  • Nathaniel Holmes, MD

General surgery

  • Michael O. Bernstein, MD
  • John D’Anna, MD
  • Kishore Agrawal, MD
  • Michael R. Castellano, MD
  • Murlidhar Pahuja, MD
  • Richard Steinbruck, MD

Minimally invasive and bariatric surgery

  • Karen E. Gibbs, MD
  • Indraneil Mukherjee, MD

Pediatric surgery

  • Mitchell Price, MD

Plastic surgery

  • Alfred T. Culliford, MD
  • Marilyn Ng, MD

Surgical oncology

  • Antonio Picon, MD

Thoracic and cardiac surgery

  • Mohammed N. Imam, MD
  • Frank Rosell, MD
  • Iosif Gulkarov, MD

Trauma and acute care surgery

  • Stephen Cohn, MD
  • Asaf Gave, MD
  • Vasiliy Sim, MD
  • Samuel Hawkins, MD

Vascular and endovascular surgery

  • Jonathan S. Deitch, MD
  • Jonathan A. Schor, MD
  • Kuldeep Singh, MD
  • Saqib Zia, MD


PGY 5 (2018)

  • Tara DiNitto, MD
  • David Hill, MD
  • Dimitar Ranev, MD

PGY 4 (2019)                                                                         

  • Peter Andrawes, MD
  • Joseph Ferraro, MD
  • Shailraj Parikh, MD

PGY 3 (2020)

  • Anam Pal, MD
  • Amandeep Juneja, MD
  • Faez Ayoob, MD
  • Siarhei Malnikau, MD

PGY-2 (2021)   

  • Alexander Bulanov, DO
  • Joseph Costa, MD
  • Fady Elabbasy, MD
  • Mohammed Salem, MD
  • Quing Ruan, MD

PGY-1 (2022)

  • Aravinda Abeysekera, MD
  • Zachary Chadnick, MD
  • Nicholas Champion, MD
  • Andre Fallavollita, MD
  • Cynthia Czawlytko, MD
  • Tatyana Polyak, MD
  • Jitesh Dhingra, MD
  • Sara Shams, MD
  • Dylan Devlin, MD

Contact us

Beth Sefershayan
Program Manager
Department of Surgery
Staten Island University Hospital 
475 Seaview Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305
Tel:   (718) 226-8630
Fax:  (718) 226-7971
Email: [email protected]

Applicants invited for interview will be notified by email. For additional information on how to apply, contact Beth Sefershayan at (718) 226-8630.