Fellowship Programs

Fellows in the Department of Surgery share our desire to provide outstanding clinical care to our patients while advancing the future of medicine through innovative research. We encourage you to learn more about surgery fellowships at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Abdominal Organ Transplant Fellowship Program

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System  offers an ASTS (American Society of Transplant Surgeons) fellowship in multi-organ transplantation. This two-year program provides an intensive experience in transplantation of the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and small bowel in addition to hepatobiliary surgery, and vascular access. UIH participates in the Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship Match Program through the NRMP for the one fellowship position available each two year.

Applicants must have completed a US general surgery residency or equivalent, and are encouraged to initiate the application process 1 – 1.5 years in advance of the July 1st start date they wish to be considered for an Illinois Medical License and DEA certificate are required.

Foreign graduates need to complete the USMLE examinations to be eligible for licensing in the State of Illinois. For additional details, please contact us directly. We also offer the option to first spend 2 to 3 years in the research lab to help build up your academic curriculum and increase your knowledge and expertise in basic transplant biology.

To apply, please submit a curriculum vitae and letter of interest to:

Mario Spaggiari, MD, FACS
Program Director, Transplant Fellowship
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Director, Liver Transplant Program
840 S. Wood Street, Suite 502
Chicago, IL 60612

Tel: 312-413-3379

Please contact if you have any questions or are interested in applying:

Mariana Aldaba
840 S. Wood Street, Suite 502
Chicago, IL 60612

Advanced GI Surgery and MIS Fellowship

DURATION: 2 years, (Start date: July 1st) *** One position is available per year.

This program is for any individual who has completed 5 years in a general surgery residency (United States, Canada, or abroad). Applicants must have superior skills in laparoscopic and open surgical techniques, as well as documentation of excellent teaching skills. In addition, applicants must be proficient in written and spoken English. There will be two fellows during one academic year, one fellow in his/her second year (“senior”), and one fellow in his/her first year (“junior”).

The program aims to train general surgeons to perform advanced and complex cases in various areas of the gastrointestinal tract and abdominal wall. The fellow should be exposed to and participate in a minimum of 150 cases per year (300 for the two years of the fellowship) in the area of bariatrics, advanced minimally invasive surgery, HPB, flexible endoscopy, complex laparoscopic ventral hernia repairs, and/or advanced colorectal surgery.

The program will provide in-depth experience in the pre- and post-operative management of patients who have complex gastrointestinal abdominal pathology, as well as acquisition of technical skills within those areas. Exposure to techniques in these domains with both open and minimally invasive approaches will allow the fellow at the end of the program to complete all these tasks independently.


We are an integral part of the University Of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.


University of Illinois at Chicago: this is a University Teaching 400-bed hospital with a very busy Minimally Invasive Surgery service.


Little Company of Mary Hospital



Any patient evaluated in a surgery outpatient clinic by a fellow will have an attending identified as the surgeon responsible for that evaluation and continuing care.

Outpatient Clinics:

  • General Surgery Clinic: UIC twice a week
  • Bariatric Surgery Clinic: UIC twice a week
  • Little Company of Mary Hospital: once a week


Fellows alternate on the call schedule and are responsible for providing primary care. Their work is supervised by the attending staff by telephone discussion or in person, as needed.  Our service will be on call an average of 7 days per month. Our service will also be the “attending of the week” one week per month. The “attending of the week” will cover all the emergency cases from 8 am to 5 pm that particular week.


The fellow will learn how to safely carry out advanced GI surgical operations by first assisting, and then as the primary surgeon being assisted by the faculties. The fellow will be taught the fundamentals of flexible endoscopy. The fellow will also learn how to design and implement new curricula for teaching advanced GI surgery, as well as how to test for and assess competency of learning new technical skills. The latter skills will be learned by interacting with faculty in both the Department of Surgery and Department of Medical Education as we develop the new teaching curriculum.

Procedures most commonly performed:


  • Adrenalectomy


  • Diverticula resection
  • Heller Myotomy (for Achalasia)
  • Nissen fundoplication (GERD, Hiatal Hernia)
  • Radical esophagectomy for cancer
  • Paraesophageal hernia repair


  • Major Hepatectomy (left and right)
  • Segmentectomy
  • Wedge resections
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Choledocolitotomy
  • Bile duct bypass
  • Resection of choledocal cysts


  • Ventral Incisional Hernia repair
  • Inguinal hernia repair
  • Complex abdominal wall reconstruction


  • Proximal pancreatectomy (Whipple operation and Longmire)
  • Central Pancreatectomy
  • Distal splenopancreatectomy
  • Distal pancreatecomy with spleen preservation
  • Total Pancreatectomy
  • Pseudocystgastrostomy
  • Pseudocystjejunostomy
  • Pseudocystduodenostomy

SPLEEN Surgery:

  • Splenectomy
  • Hemisplenectomy

STOMACH Surgery:

  • Total and subtotal gastrectomy for cancer
  • Gastric Resection
  • Wedge Resection
  • Gastric Bypass


  • Segmental resections (chron cancer)
  • Stricturoplasty


  • Lap Band
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Roux-en y Gastric Bypass
  • Revisional bariatric surgery
  • Endoscopic procedures for weight loss

In collaboration with other Divisions:


  • Lung Resection
  • Lobectomy with lymphadenectomy for cancer
  • Pneumonectomy


  • Visceral Aneurism resection with reconstruction
  • Vascular bypasses


  • Hysterectomy
  • Salpingo-Oophrectomy


  • Right colectomy
  • Left colectomy
  • Sigmoidectomy
  • Anterior rectal resection
  • Proctopexys
  • Miles procedures


Large research facilities are available at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There is a Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery laboratory at the University of Illinois for training fellows, residents, and students in the techniques of minimally invasive and robotic surgery.

With the increased number of funds and the presence of additional research fellows, several projects are currently ongoing. The fellows are encouraged to participate in the research. Each fellow, for the past several years, has finished at least 5 research projects, has prepared their abstract and presented the papers at local, national, and international meetings.

An average of 8-10 papers and abstracts are published yearly by the attending staff and fellows of our Division.


The fellow will learn advanced operative techniques in the laboratory under direct tutelage by the attending surgeons.

Teaching of the residents by the attending staff includes:

  • Informal clinical teaching in the clinics, the ER, operating room, and wards
  • Conferences (weekly) including:
  • Weekly Department of Surgery Grand Rounds
  • Bi-monthly M & M Conference
  • Research Meetings
  • Journal Club
  • Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery Laboratory
  • Library with an extensive selection of books, journals, videotapes, CDs, and DVDs.


Third-year medical students rotate through our service during their surgical clerkship. Our Division offers an elective clerkship of a minimum of 4 weeks to fourth-year medical students, or equivalent level from other institutions and other countries.

Residents and fellows participate actively in the training of medical students.


One of the important components of this fellowship is to learn how to teach. One of the goals of our new surgical education laboratory is to teach future surgeons how to teach effectively and efficiently. We intend to develop and study a new curriculum for teaching academic surgeons how to teach surgical skills to surgical residents. In this regard, the advanced GI surgery fellow will become intimately involved in this process of learning how to teach. We expect that the fellow will learn from Faculty in the Departments of Surgery and Medical Education and then teach these skills, in part, to surgical residents and students.

The fellow will be expected to teach surgical residents, medical students, and operating room staff fundamental techniques in surgery in the laboratory and in the operating room. The fellow will lecture students in the surgical rotation and residents in general surgery on select topics in advanced GI surgery. The fellow will be expected to attend and participate in all didactic teaching conferences in the Department of Surgery such as Department of Surgery Grand Rounds and M&M conference, as well as to discuss cases in the weekly conjoint GI/Surgery conference, and to present at the monthly x-ray rounds. The fellow will run the teaching basic surgical skills lab for residents scheduled every month on Saturday at 9 am.


Each fellow is supported to attend two major Surgery Symposiums per year. Opportunities are frequently provided to attend smaller local or regional meetings as well.

Fellows are encouraged to prepare and submit papers for presentation at meetings at the local, regional, national, and international levels. In keeping with the policy of the Department of Surgery at the University of Illinois, fellows are allowed time and funding to attend such a meeting, if the submitted paper is accepted for presentation.


Goals and expectations of this fellowship will be described in detail to the fellow. These criteria will be used as the basis for biannual evaluations performed by the Director and Co-Director of the Program.

Fellows are evaluated by all attending surgeons involved in the fellowship training program. All 6 categories of competence, including patient care, medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, professionalism, and systems-based practice will be evaluated. The fellow will also evaluate faculty every 6 months.

Evaluations are paper-based and will be discussed in an open fashion.


Program Director:

Pier Cristoforo Giulianotti, MD, FACS
Lloyd Nyhus Professor of Surgery
Surgical Director UIC ACS Simulation Consortium
Chief, Division of General, Minimally Invasive & Robotic Surgery
Vice Department Head, Department of Surgery
University of Illinois at Chicago

Program Co-Director:

Enrique F. Elli, MD FACS
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Division of General, Minimally Invasive & Robotic Surgery
Director of bariatric surgery program
University of Illinois at Chicago

LOCATION: University of Illinois Hospital, College of Medicine

Fellowship application requirements:

  1. Application (link)
  2. Personal Statement
  3. CV
  4. USMLE Score Sheets (Steps 1, 2-CK and 2-CS)
  5. ECFMG Certificate (if applicable)
  6. Medical School Diploma
  7. Three Letters of Recommendation


Daniela Nita
Phone: 312-355-1493
Fax: 312-355- 1987
E-mail: dnita@uic.edu

Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship Training Program

The Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship world-class program that is among the best in the country.  It is a broadly-based and comprehensive surgical training program.  Many of its features are unique and set it above and apart from other Colorectal fellowships.  The fellows spend equal time at each of three very different institutions: The University of Illinois, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Stroger Hospital of Cook County—A University hospital, a large private community hospital and a public hospital.

Fellows are selected for one (1) additional year of fellowship (second residency, actually, as Colon and Rectal Surgery has a primary board ABCRS) training whom have completed five or more years of General Surgery training at an ACGME-accredited program.  The over-riding educational objective is to train residents in the use of modern techniques in the diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of benign and malignant disorders of the colon, rectum and anus.

The goal of the training program is to train residents to become safe and effective Colon and Rectal Surgeons and to become certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.  Our graduates are leaders in the field with nearly 50% entering academic practice in recent years

The strengths of the program are:

  • breadth and depth of the clinical activity available
  • volume of endoscopy
  • availability and expertise of national leaders in the field
  • level of clinical independence available to residents
  • continuity of care of advanced rectal cancer from diagnosis, to neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy, surgery, and follow-up. Including multidisciplinary exposure
  • Diverse, independent and extensive clinic experience
  • Private, Public and University hospital settings
  • Laparoscopic surgery experience
  • Structured education curriculum
  • Comprehensive evaluation process
  • Pathology teaching.

Fellows apply for selection in the July and August prior to anticipated start of Colon and Rectal Fellowship through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).  After review of the application, the program director and associate program director select applicants for interview in August and September.

We currently take 3 residents each year for one year of training. Residency selection criteria include, but are not limited to the following:

  • College and medical educational training
  • Research and publications
  • General Surgery Residency Program
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Exam scores (ABSITE and USMLE)
  • Interview performance
  • Weekly Didactic Lecture Series
  • Weekly Clinical Pathology Review, Preoperative Preparation and Indications Conference
  • Journal Club (Evidence Based Reviews in Colon and Rectal Surgery)
  • Monthly Fellowship Colon and Rectal Surgery Morbidity and Mortality Conference (across institutions)
  • Weekly Departmental (Rush + Cook County) Surgical Morbidity and Mortality Conference
  • Weekly Departmental UIC Surgical Morbidity and Mortality Conference
  • Bi-weekly Multidisciplinary Colon, Rectal and Anal Cancer Tumor Board Conference

The formal teaching sessions are tailored to meet the Institutional and Program Requirements.  The primary education in these issues is integrated into the clinical training.  Ethical issues are discussed during Tumor Boards.  There is an annual lecture in appropriate and successful coding.

As a surgical training program, supervision is primarily during performance of procedures.  Our residents are graduates of General Surgery Training Programs, and as such are allowed a degree of independence in the daily clinical management.  Staff surgeons are present for every operative procedure.

Numerous ongoing research projects are available for resident involvement.  Publications and presentations at regional and national meetings have resulted.  This is adequate.  A research program is in place and a publication requirement is enforced. The faculty is directly involved in research and scholarly activities.  We meet on a monthly basis in addition to electronic communications. This is adequate.

Wound Care & Tissue Repair Fellowship

The Section of Wound Care & Tissue Repair at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System offers the first and only of its kind: a one-year medical fellowship in Wound Healing and Tissue Repair.  The fellowship is available for residents who have completed residency programs and are board eligible in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, or General Surgery.

Fellows rotate through various clinical services during twelve months of training and function as an integral member of the wound care team. During these rotations, fellows are given the opportunity to manage a large number of patients with a variety of wound care related problems. On these specialty rotations, the fellow gains critical insight into the role that each member of a multidisciplinary team brings to the program. Hands-on experience is gained in the operating room, clinical wards, and outpatient clinical settings.

In addition to this specialty experience, there are continuity of care clinics that the wound care fellow runs as the primary physician in charge. This real world practice setting allows the fellow to gain experience in the work up, case management, and follow up care that is required when running a hospital based wound program.

The program is funded through research grants and the Graduate medical education department of the University provides logistical support as well as benefits. Through a collaboration with the American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair (a non-profit organization founded by two faculty members and the president of the Angiogenesis foundation) the program is working with specialty colleges in order to apply for formal certification in the near future.

Rotation List (Each rotation is either 2 or 4 weeks in duration–program total is 12 months)

A. Wound Care I
B. Wound Care II
C. Vascular Surgery
D. Plastic Surgery
E. Dermatology/Pathology
F. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation/Orthotics
G. Orthopaedic Surgery
H. Physical Therapy, Nutrition
I. Pain Medicine
J. Geriatric Medicine
K. Palliative Medicine
L. General Surgery and Trauma, Acute Wound Care
M. Infectious Disease
N. Endocrinology and Rheumatology


Please contact if you have questions or are interested in applying:

Beth Mcleod LPN ll
Section of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair
820 S. Wood St. CSB North, Suite 376, M/C 958
Chicago, IL 60612
P: 312-413-7756
F: 312-355-3722