General Surgery Residency: Program History
This section is dedicated to the memory of the founding Program Director:
Euta M. Colvin, MD (1918 - 2000). The Trustees of the Hospital named the program "The Euta M. Colvin General Surgical Residency" on January 18, 1995. His portrait stands outside our administrative offices forever watching over the men and women who are part of his legacy.
Formation of a Residency Program (1954-7)
The formation of our program is excerpted from Dr. Colvin's own words:
I realized what a benefit my additional training had been to me and I had always strived to be the best that I could be. Therefore, I had a strong interest in imparting my surgical knowledge to the aspiring young surgeons to be the best they could be and I feel strongly that we have accomplished this goal.
We contacted the Surgical Residency office in Chicago and made an application. However, we were discouraged and led to believe that a small hospital such as ours could not and probably should not support a residency program. (we) contacted the members of the National Residency Review Committee however and wherever we could reach them… We would find out where they were staying in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Chicago.
We were met with considerable skepticism and questions such as “Why would you want to start a program such as this in a small town like Spartanburg?” Our answer was that we had a nucleus of well-trained and American Board of Surgery certified surgeons practicing in the area and we felt that a certified general surgery residency would be of educational value to each of us and would improve surgical care in our town.
Eventually we convinced the officials that we were sincere and they approved us for a three-year program… after three years here the residents would receive two or three additional training in another institution.
D.C. Hull, MD became the first SRHS resident in 1957, completing his training at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Hull returned to Spartanburg and practiced surgical oncology and general surgery until his retirement in 2002. Following his retirement, the Gibbs Regional Cancer Center honored him for his years of service as the Director of the Tumor Board. D.C. will always be remembered for his kindness and intellectual curiosity as well as his impeccable surgical skills (and several residents received their initial aviation lesson in D.C.’s airplane).
By the mid-sixties, the program was self-sustaining, with the senior residents working with a local board-certified surgeon in a preceptor model. Dr. Bill Morris (left) was the first resident completing training in this new mode (1969). He remained in the group founded by Dr. Colvin until his retirement in 2005.
A strong affiliation was established between the Medical University of South Carolina’s chairman, Curtis Artz, MD, and the residency at SRHS.
Dr. Colvin: (Dr. Artz) called the Residency Committee chairman in Chicago and had me listen in on another telephone. The gentleman in Chicago told him ”That fellow Colvin in Spartanburg was about to run him crazy” trying to get full approval for his surgery program. Dr. Artz’s comment was “Give him the approval he wants and deserves.” It was not long before we received the full approval that we now have had for 30 years or more.
By the mid 1970’s, the program had expanded to its current structure of 2 graduating chief residents per year. The requirement for preceptor training had been lifted. The late 70’s and early 80’s represents one of the strongest periods in our program’s history. During this time frame, 19 consecutive graduates passed their written Boards on their initial try! Jimmy Green, MD (Right), a graduate of the surgical residency at MUSC was appointed Chairman for the Department of surgery in 1981. Although he retired from his administrative position in 2005, he remains active in clinical surgery practice.
In 1972, a fully accredited family medicine residency was started at Spartanburg Regional. This program remains one of the strongest family practice programs, and currently trains 13 residents in each of its three years. It is headed by Otis Baughman, MD, who is also Director of Medical Education.
John Bottsford, MD completed the Spartanburg Regional residency in 1976 and was one of the first formal program directors. After a brief hiatus to further his vascular training, he was director from 1980 until 1987. Dr. Colvin was reappointed Program Director until his promotion to Emeritus status in 1995.
Spartanburg Regional has developed into a true regional health system. Building campaigns included the Regional Outpatient Center, Gibbs Cancer Center, the Emergency Center and the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health. Changes in medical care and residency training emphasis prompted some major changes in our Program, as well.
Dr. Sid Steinberg became Program Chair in 1998, and recruited three surgical subspecialists to become full-time teaching faculty, joining faculty member Tom Ashley, MD. Chuck Morrow, MD, a Spartanburg Regional graduate, received additional training in Trauma/ Critical Care and rejoined the faculty. After completing the initial restructuring, Dr. Steinberg took another position in North Carolina, and Dr. Richard Orr was appointed Program Director in 2001. Dr. Kristine Lombardozzi joined the faculty in 2004 as our second fellowship-trained trauma/critical care surgeon. Drs. Barry Hird and Christophe Nguyen soon followed. Since 2006, the two largest private surgical groups have merged with the teaching faculty. At the present time, the hospital-employed surgical faculty numbers 21, including sub-specialists in surgical oncology, breast, colorectal, trauma-critical care, vascular, plastic and reconstructive, and cardiothoracic surgery.