Residency Program Director's Message

Joseph LeeJoseph R. Lee, MD
Assistant Professor
Division of General Surgery / Resident Program Director
More information about Dr. Lee




The ETSU Department of Surgery Residency Program at the Quillen College of Medicine prides itself on helping high quality individuals develop into skilled surgical practitioners. The Department believes that there is need for "old school" general surgeons who have the ability to provide a wide variety of surgical skills to their patients. Our program provides a solid knowledge base and a technical skill set that allows our residents to enter a diverse practice immediately upon completion of their residency. While many residents do decide to undertake fellowship training, we do not want our general surgery training to simply prepare someone for fellowship. We expect our graduates to be broadly trained and ready for general surgery practice upon completion of their training.

                Our program operates in three health care systems and four hospitals. Each of these facilities provides unique and diverse educational opportunities. The Johnson City Medical Center is a 488-bed tertiary referral hospital. It is a flagship hospital for Mountain State Health Alliance - a thirteen hospital comprehensive health care system. The 114-bed Quillen Veteran's Affairs hospital provides excellent general surgery experience for our residents. Wellmont Health Systems is an eight-hospital system from which we use Holston Valley Hospital (505 beds) and Bristol Regional Medical Center (348 beds) to train our residents. Residents work with a wide variety of faculty, from highly specialized surgeons to those who perform a wide variety of general and vascular surgery procedures. Rotations offer experience with University groups and private groups, allowing residents significant exposure to a wide variety of practice types.

                In recent years, approximately 70% of our graduates have entered the practice of general surgery and 30% have gone on to additional training. Our residents have obtained competitive fellowships in cardiothoracic, minimally invasive, colon-rectal, trauma/critical care, plastics, breast, endocrine, transplant and vascular surgery. Additionally, our residents who are interested in research have the opportunity to work in well-funded laboratories with six full-time research faculty and multiple post-docs.

               Our residency is always trying to identify and attract motivated individuals who are dedicated to the surgical care of patients. We provide excellent educational opportunities across a wide spectrum of general surgery practice, and we train general surgeons in a manner that equips each graduate to provide the highest possible care for his/her patients.

Joseph Lee, MD
Resident Program Director

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