Skip to main content

Residency Program Updates from Dr. Laura Lambert - July 2022

General Surgery Residency Highlights

It is hard to imagine that another academic year is drawing to a close. Much has happened in the past year - with the residents logging over 9,000 cases! In addition, numerous papers were published, presentations give, certificates earned, grants funded and awards won.  But one of the best things that happened was our return to in-person meetings! It has been great to get the residents together – even if briefly – on Wednesday mornings for conferences and didactic sessions. We were recently pleased to participate in the Department of Surgery First Annual Resident/Fellow Research Retreat directed and produced by general surgery’s own Dr. Anna Ibele. Over 25 resident, fellow and medical student research abstracts were presented with cash prizes awarded to the top 3 resident/fellow presenters and for the top medical student presenter. We are already looking forward to next year’s event!

resident and fellow research retreat

One of the other best things at this time of the year is watching our newly minted general surgeons take the next step in their careers. This year we congratulate:

  • Dr. Jessica Blumhagen who will be doing  general surgery in Yakima, WA;
  • Dr. Maranda Pahlkotter who will be doing a surgical oncology fellowship at Mt. Sinai in New York City;
  • Dr. Tyler Pender who will be doing a surgical critical care fellowship at the University of Utah;
  • Dr. Liese Pruitt, who will be doing a pediatric surgery fellowship at The Ohio State University;
  • Dr. Riann Robbins who will be doing a fellowship in surgical critical care at the University of Minnesota and
  • Dr. Mark Taylor who will be practicing general surgery in Pittsfield, MA.

We are incredibly proud of each of them and look forward to watching their lives and careers unfold. We are confident that they will all be amazingly successful in the years to come!

One of the other best things about this time of the year is welcoming the newest members of our surgical community. This year we welcome:

  • Dr. David Brown from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College;
  • Dr. Jessica Hall from the University of Colorado School of Medicine;
  • Dr. Dalton Hegeholz from the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska;
  • Dr. Marisol Monzon from the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah;
  • Dr. Emily Straley from the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and
  • Dr. William Starr from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

This is an incredibly talented group of young people and we are really looking forward to working with them all over the next 6-7 years.

It is also a very exciting time for all of our residents as they either move up in the clinical years or over for some professional development time. We acknowledge all the hard work and dedication that each of our residents has provided over the past year in taking such great care of a lot of surgical patients, the surgical faculty and their colleagues.

In memoriam, we would also like to remember one of our affiliated faculty – Dr. Andrew Gagnon  - who we tragically lost this past February. Dr. Gagnon was the faculty education lead for the PGY 3 transplant rotation at the Intermountain hospital. We remain grateful for his service to the program and his support of our residents. He will forever be a part of the residency program.

The program would also like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Robert Glasgow for his incredible leadership as the interim chair of the Department of Surgery over the past couple of years as well as his continued support and mentorship for our residents.

The program would also like to thank Dr. Ram Nirula, chief of the Division of general Surgery, for his invaluable support and guidance for the general surgery residency program.

As we approach the start of the new academic year, we look forward with hope to what lies ahead. We will be welcoming a new chairman of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Fiemu Nwariaku, who will also be a member of the Division of General Surgery.  We will continue to explore new ideas in surgical innovation and surgical education. We will continue our justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) efforts in coordination with the Department of Surgery and the greater GME community, and we will continue to strive to make the University of Utah the best place to train as a surgeon of the future.

Go Utah Surgery!
Laura A. Lambert, MD, FACS Program Director