Chairman's Message

George J. Todd, MD, FACS -
Chairman of the Department of
The Departments of Surgery at the St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals were formed as separate entities during the 1850's. Each flourished as independent surgical departments affiliated with the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and each was distinguished by innovation and clinical excellence. The Roosevelt Hospital tradition took shape during the latter part of the 19th century under the leadership of Charles McBurney, MD whose techniques for abdominal surgery were widely adopted throughout the world. During his years as Chairman, the Department became recognized as a center of excellence in abdominal surgery, a distinction that continues to the current day. It was also during the McBurney era that William S. Halsted, MD began his career as a young Attending Surgeon at the Roosevelt Hospital.

Charles McBurney, MD
Many surgical milestones have been achieved at both sites. Among these are included the first pulmonary resection for cancer (1935), the first open heart surgery ever performed in New York (1955) and the description and perfection of the internal mammary to coronary artery bypass (1970's). The first renal transplant service in this region was developed at St. Luke's Hospital in the 1960's.

In 1979, these two distinguished Departments merged into a larger and more successful entity that we know today as the St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Department of Surgery. In 2013, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital merged with Mt. Sinai to create the Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai St. Luke-Roosevelt Hospital Center.

William S. Halsted, MD

The Department of Surgery consists of 12 divisions: breast, cardiac, colorectal, minimally invasive, pediatric, plastic and reconstructive, renal transplant, robotic, research, thoracic, trauma/critical care, and vascular surgery. More than 19,000 surgical procedures are performed annually at the Hospital Center. There are more than 44,000 annual discharges at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital.

We currently train 37 surgical residents and four surgical fellows. There are just four surgical fellows (two in breast surgery, one in colorectal surgery, and one in minimally invasive surgery) in keeping with the philosophy that our residency program is focused on training general surgery residents and exposing them to the broadest possible subspecialty training experience.

Applicants to our training program are ranked by committee according to their academic records and personal qualifications. The program is highly competitive. In 2013, our program received more than 1200 inquiries for five categorical positions. The overwhelming majority of graduating residents go on to advanced postgraduate surgical training at highly competitive and sought-after training programs throughout the country. All of our graduating chief residents during the past several years have passed both parts of the American Board of Surgery examination on their first attempt.

Research is encouraged in our program and is an important part of the training. The majority of our residents will publish and/or present their research work at regional, national, or international scientific meetings during their training.

We who are fortunate enough to be members of the SLR Department of Surgery are the beneficiaries of the skill, innovation, and commitment of those generations who worked in both of these outstanding hospitals during the past 150 years. We enthusiastically accept the responsibility and challenge to strive for the highest standard of skillful and compassionate care, to teach subsequent generations of surgical leaders, and to foster an environment of research and innovation in a manner befitting our surgical heritage.

George J. Todd, MD, FACS

November 2014