WELCOME from the Program Director

Photo of Dr. Andreas Meier
Andreas H Meier, MD
Dr. med MEd
Program Director
General Surgery
Residency

Welcome to the website for the General Surgery residency program here at SUNY Upstate Medical University! We appreciate your interest in our program.

We strive to make our residency the preferred and most competitive academic General Surgery training program within Central New York.

It is our mission to develop our residents into well-rounded, compassionate and proficient surgeons by providing them with a comprehensive and nurturing learning environment. Our program is structured in a way that allows the individual trainee to choose either an academic career path or to be successful in private practice.

Upstate Medical University is part of the much larger SUNY system; we are the only Level I Trauma Center in central New York and recently were the first trauma center in the state of New York that achieved both adult and pediatric trauma center accreditation from the American College of Surgeons. We provide all General Surgery training experiences within the city of Syracuse.  It is not necessary for any resident to rotate away from their home or family. Opportunities do exist however, for senior residents who elect rotations elsewhere. Our program has the great advantage of utilizing each of the five hospitals in Syracuse: Upstate Medical University Hospital, Syracuse Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, Crouse Hospital, St. Joseph's Medical Center, and Upstate University Hospital at Community Campus. This variety of work offers the resident a different experience including private practice in General Surgery, Colorectal Surgery and Vascular Surgery. Upstate offers the tertiary care perspective and the VA offers the advantage of a resident led team approach to a wide variety of General, Thoracic and Vascular patients.

Our department has undergone significant growth over the last few years and this trend continues. We have added general, trauma, thoracic, burn, plastic and vascular surgeons. The division of pediatric surgery has grown from one individual to a group of four. Our divisions in surgical oncology, advanced laparoscopy and transplant continue to add faculty. The campus at Community Hospital is a rapidly expanding venue for the Department of Surgery.
In August of 2014 we opened our state of the art Cancer Center, one of the most advanced cancer centers in the country. Besides the top notch clinical care provided there it also opens avenues for basic and translational research for interested residents.

Even though our Department is large enough to provide learning opportunities in nearly all surgical disciplines, it remains small enough to allow for good mentorship between faculty and each resident. We as faculty are acutely aware and concerned about each of our trainees. We get to know you personally, as well as professionally. Each resident has a faculty advisor and we encourage all residents to meet with them on a quarterly basis. It is our goal to help each of you attain the career of your choice and be as great as you can possibly be. We are very proud of all our graduates and the fact that many of them have matched into highly competitive fellowships.

Our department has made great efforts to optimize the educational experience for our trainees. We have established a curriculum and simulation committee, both with participation of residents. Please refer to our didactic educational program for more detailed information.

As an academic program we encourage scholarly activity. We do not require that you take time off for research, but we provide opportunities to do so. Currently we have four basic science research laboratories within the Department. We are very open to research projects related to outcomes and quality, and have multiple faculty members with expertise in this field. Some of our residents have had very successful research years off campus, including with NIH.

Let me say a few words about our community. I consider myself a newcomer, as my family only arrived here in 2012. However, I have noticed that many of our faculty and physicians in private practice have lived here for many years and consider this area a great place to live. Both rent and real estate are very affordable and convenient. Some of our residents own their homes within easy commuting distance, others rent apartments that are available close to the hospitals.

Central New York is very family friendly. Local school districts are excellent. There is a thriving music and theater scene. Syracuse University and LeMoyne College are close to downtown and they do attract a variety of rock bands. The nearby Turning Stone Casino and Resort have almost weekly national headline acts. Sporting events are readily available as well. We have professional baseball and hockey teams in town. Syracuse University has very competitive basketball, football and lacrosse teams. Be prepared to wear orange when you move here!

For the outdoor enthusiast, the area provides three decent ski areas close by. Cross country skiing and snow shoeing are readily available. There are hundreds of miles of trails and country roads in the area for running, hiking, cycling and mountain biking. Lake Ontario can be reached in little more than an hour as can the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Adirondack Mountains are within an easy morning's drive. Lake Placid can be reached in 3 hours.

Finally, the Big Apple is only a 4-5 hour drive. Boston is about 5 hours and even Montreal, a truly international city is about 5-6 hours; Toronto is even closer.

I am certain you can find both professional and personal satisfaction here with us at the SUNY Upstate Medical University Department of Surgery. I truly look forward to meeting you!

Andreas H Meier, MD, Dr. med MEd FACS FAAP
General Surgery Residency Program Director