A Message from Program Director, Michael G. Mount, D.O. FACS
The best community general surgery residency program in the Southeastern U.S.
The faculty and I appreciate your interest in surgery and our training program. We are truly excited about Spartanburg Medical Center and the advantages we have to offer. I trained as a resident here from 2009-2014 and can attest to the strengths of the program and institution. The breadth and complexity of cases and the quality of learning are second to none. Feel free to compare our objective data with other programs – I think you will agree that we match up well. Our general surgery residency program is fully accredited by the ACGME Residency Review Committee (RRC), with 15 categorical residency positions and three preliminary internship positions. Our categorical residents spend five clinical years with us prior to their graduation; our program does not have dedicated lab years.
The best way to determine the quality of a program is by the surgeons it produces. Our graduates are in high demand for both fellowships and private practice opportunities. Our residents choose fellowships to pursue their professional interests, not because they feel inadequately trained or unprepared to practice general surgery. We have recently had residents obtain fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, colorectal surgery, trauma and critical care surgery and vascular surgery.
We are equally proud of the private practices our graduates have entered. The extensive opportunities available here allow residents to tailor their experience to fit their future practices. It is not uncommon for our residents to have contracts to return to their hometown hospitals as early as their intern year. Our graduates are spread across the Southeast in critical access and rural hospitals providing surgical care to their communities.
Spartanburg Regional has no operative subspecialty fellows. Thus, our general surgery trainees perform many advanced laparoscopic, vascular and surgical oncology procedures that are typically performed by fellows in other institutions. Additionally, many of our residents spend time with ENT, cardiac and plastic surgeons, doing cases, not just floor work.
We are a Level I Trauma Center that is fully accredited by the American College of Surgeons and are among the best and busiest in the state. Our Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute has and continues to achieve national recognition and was enhanced by the 2008 opening of the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health.
Our graduating residents typically record greater than 50 percent more than the required 850 cases for graduation. That said, surgical training is more than accumulating a large number of surgical procedures. We pride ourselves in the academic component of our program. Our American Board of Surgery first-time pass rates are excellent. Didactic conferences occur within protected time and include Morbidity/Mortality conference, Mock Oral Boards, Journal Club, ACS Case review, Trauma Case Review, and Vascular Case review. We utilize the SCORE curriculum with weekly conferences, including resident-led didactics, small group sessions and periodic competitions with generous prizes. We have also recently revamped our surgical boot camp, skills lab and robotic surgery curricula.
We have 15 subspecialty-trained faculty members specializing in breast surgery, trauma/critical care, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, colorectal surgery and complex general surgical oncology. In addition to our academicians (who have faculty appointments from the Medical University of South Carolina), residents rotate with surgeons who have spent their professional lives in private practice. Many of these surgeons trained at Spartanburg Medical Center and are dedicated to fulfilling our residency mission statement of striving to be the best. They are also able to offer a practical approach to the business side of surgical practice.
We are obsessive about education and patient care with a foundation in evidence-based surgical practice. We monitor our surgical outcomes and strive for error prevention and continued quality improvement. Opportunities to participate in institutional and regional quality or research programs abound. We teach and provide the tools needed to pursue these activities throughout a resident’s time here.
Finally, we pride ourselves on the personal relationships we create with our residents. We understand that we are training them to be our future partners, colleagues and even our surgeons. These relationships help us to ensure no resident falls behind, and each gets the individualized focus and training they need to achieve their goals.
Spartanburg Medical Center offers many of the advantages of larger academic institutions while giving each resident a more personal experience. We are particularly concerned about the quality of our resident's life, both within and outside of the hospital. We encourage and support the family life of each of our residents. The program is sincere in adhering to the Residency Review Committee (RRC) work-hour regulations. Also, several events are sponsored by our institution throughout the year, such as sporting events, family picnics, bike races and other social events.
Spartanburg is a vibrant city of 40,000 within the Greenville-Spartanburg metropolitan area of more than 1 million people. The county is in excellent financial shape; BMW built in the area in 1996 and continues to create excellent job opportunities. Advance America, QS/1 Data Systems, and Denny’s house their corporate headquarters here. Downtown Spartanburg has entered a renaissance, and new growth is seen monthly. The Chapman Cultural Center is a $48 million project that enhanced performance arts in the area. Spartanburg is home of several colleges (Wofford, Converse, USC Upstate, Spartanburg Methodist College) and has a strong public school system. Housing is affordable (median home price $225,000), and virtually all of our categorical residents purchase homes during residency. Traffic is minimal – the average commute is only 10 minutes.
Amenities offered to our residents include free meals, free parking, gym membership and access to a private golf club (Carolina Country Club). We also purchase surgical loupes for our categorical residents, and each resident is given a generous yearly book allowance. A stipend is also provided to residents presenting at regional and national conferences.