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Quillen College of Medicine

Residency Program Director's Message

Joseph Lee

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


          The faculty and staff of the ETSU Department of Surgery are committed to providing our residents with high quality training in general surgery. By providing broad-based training in general surgery, our residents start with a strong foundation from which they can seek a variety of surgical careers.  100% of our graduating residents meet the American Board of Surgery surgical case experience requirements in all the defined categories.  In addition to providing an extensive and diverse clinical training experience, ETSU Surgery not only provides a didactic curriculum based on the Surgical Council On Resident Education (SCORE) but also a wide variety of opportunities for research and scholarly activity.  Residents have the option to perform funded basic science research in the study of inflammation, sepsis, mechanisms of myocardial injury, reperfusion, and regeneration.  The ETSU Department of Surgery has six full-time research faculty members with multiple post-doctoral fellows in six laboratories with $8.7 million of research funding ($5 million of NIH funding).

          ETSU Surgery is able to provide our residents with an excellent training experience by providing clinical rotations in four training hospitals across three health care systems.  Each of these facilities provides unique educational opportunities.  Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC), our primary training hospital, is a 488-bed tertiary center with a Level I Trauma Center.  JCMC is the flagship referral hospital for twenty-one hospitals within Ballad Health.  The James H. Quillen Veteran's Affairs Medical Center is a 114-bed hospital that provides an excellent general surgery and endoscopy experience.  Holston Valley Medical Center (HVMC) is a 505-bed tertiary center in Ballad Health System with a Level I Trauma Center.  Bristol Regional Medical Center (BRMC) is a 348-bed referral center that has an extensive patient catchment area through western Virginia.  In addition to the core hospitals, an elective international rotation at La Loma Luz Hospital in San Ignacio, Belize is available for PGY 2, 3, and 4 residents.  Residents work with a variety of faculty, from broad based community surgeons who perform a wide variety of operations to highly sub-specialized surgeons such as surgical oncologists, a hepato-pancreato-biliary/transplant surgeon, vascular surgeons, and cardiothoracic surgeons.  The clinical rotations vary from one on one apprenticeships with a single surgeon to university rotations that have residents of chief, senior, and junior levels working in multidisciplinary teams.

          While 70% of our graduates practice general surgery, 30% of our graduates have gone on to advanced clinical fellowship training. Graduates have matched into competitive fellowships in cardiothoracic, minimally invasive, colon-rectal, trauma/critical care, plastics, breast, endocrine, transplant, and vascular surgery.  Our residency program seeks motivated medical school graduates with a passion for surgical procedures, complex patient care, teaching, and for lifelong learning.

Joseph Lee, MD
Resident Program Director

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