Annual Report

Learn more about Michigan Medicine Department of Surgery highlights from academic year 2021-2022.

What will “Surgery 2025” look like and how will we optimally redesign our working lives to be successful in that future state? It’s important for us to think about and plan for it as we enter this new phase of the pandemic.
We will think about how we creatively integrate tools of virtual care into our clinical delivery and how we should incorporate our new capabilities in virtual connection. At the same time, we must rebuild the community in our department and sections, and we need to spend some time reflecting on how we can build new competencies and best lead our teams in whatever the new reality looks like.
So much about the future is unclear, but we know this: Now more than ever, our culture requires intentional cultivation. Great things happen when connections are made, and we were reminded of that in so many of our activities last year.

Justin B. Dimick, MD, MPH

Clinical Care: By the Numbers

Department of Surgery Fiscal Year 2022 Clinical Care By the Numbers
  • 6,293 admissions
  • 17,292 operating room (OR) cases: 7,063 Main Hospital; 3,769 Ambulatory Surgery Centers; 1,894 Cardiovascular Center; 3,676 C.S. Mott Children's Hospital; 890 Non-Michigan Medicine
  • 112,124 clinic visits
  • 141 clinical faculty
  • 581,968 wRVUs
  • 26,227 video/telehealth visits

Research: By the Numbers

Department of Surgery Fiscal Year 2022 Research By the Numbers
  • $58,271,713 M. Total Funding
  • 61 Principal Investigators
  • 142 Active Grants
  • 3 AHRQ Awards
  • 2 Department of Defense (DoD) Awards
  • 22 NIH Awards (RO1, RO3, R21, K08, UM1, T32 and P30 Grants)
  • $32,358,942 M. Total Fiscal Year 2022 NIH Funding

Education: By the Numbers

Department of Surgery Fiscal Year 2022 Education By the Numbers
  • 118 Residents: 57% Male, 43% Female, 35% Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine, 25% Hold Advanced Degrees
  • 3 T32 Grants
  • $386,766 External Resident Funding
  • 157 ACGME-Accredited House Officers
  • 15 Residents Went on to a Fellowship
  • 8 Residents with Grants
  • 39 Fellows

Michigan Promise Highlights


We hosted the 4th Annual Asa Yancey Lecture delivered by Dr. Selwyn Vickers, Dean of the Medical College at University of Alabama Birmingham. His virtual lecture was entitled “Principles and Practices of Effective Leadership: Lessons Learned from a Crisis and Our Past.” We also hosted Grand Rounds speakers on “Entrustable Professional Activities: Practical Competency- Based Education or Just the Next Fad?” delivered by Dr. Brenessa Lindeman; “Baby on Board: Safeguarding the Next Generation of Academic Surgeons,” delivered by Dr. Eugene Kim; and “When You Can’t Fix It: Lessons from Loss,” delivered by Dr. Britney Corey. Our Culture Crew facilitated bystander and bias training and monthly Cultural Complications sessions, a dedicated space for faculty and residents to examine clinical or teaching situations to improve cultural competence and communication. In addition, the Culture Crew curated and sponsored the Diversity and Representation in Medical Illustration exhibit in the medical school.

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Our 16-member recruitment committee participated in 31 group interview sessions to assist the Department in selecting the best candidates for open faculty positions during a busy recruitment season. We are excited to welcome 10 new faculty to the department this fall.

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We continued to support new and mid-career faculty with our Launch Teams, which provide three years of team-based mentorship guided by a flexible curriculum of early-career faculty development. A similar program for mid-career faculty, the Boost Team Program, is in its second year with four faculty in our current cohort.

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The Junior Faculty Exchange Program was reinstated this year with a return to travel. Through the exchange program, the Department of Surgery partners with 10 other academic surgery programs to “exchange” Assistant professors for a brief visiting professorship. The department hosted 13 faculty over the course of the academic year and eight of our own faculty visited other institutions. We also held the fourth cohort of our Leadership Development Program with 27 faculty participating in the 10-month program. Finally, we hosted our Coaching Academy, a program that helps extend coaching competencies to support professional and leadership development with nine faculty and staff participating in this eight-month development program.

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The Center for Surgical Innovation funded five team projects this year. The projects include a device to retrieve button batteries to reduce esophageal and other complications, a financial hedge fund protection for patients with post-surgical complications, a noise reduction device to help diminish noise threshold in the operating room, wearable sensors to help assess posture and ergonomics for surgeons, and a low-cost surgical trainer to ensure long-lasting use for learners on the go. An oversight committee made up of faculty inside and outside of the department worked with the teams to provide feedback and help them reach project milestones.

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The Center for Global Surgery hosted its annual symposium virtually, focusing on data science in global surgery. The Michigan Women’s Surgical Collaborative hosted their annual conference in person this year, entitled “Advocating for Change: The Strength of Our Voices.” The Doctors of Tomorrow Program hosted their annual Diversity in Medicine conference virtually, entitled “Partnering for Change: Amplifying Our Voices,” and hosted their annual capstone symposium, which returned to an in-person event at Cass Tech High School. In 2022, the Michigan HOPE Scholars Program welcomed the inaugural cohort of five HOPE Scholars who have come through the Doctors of Tomorrow pipeline, have graduated from the University of Michigan as pre-medical students and still aspire to matriculate into our medical school. The Department of Surgery has supported students to bridge gaps to competitive candidacy and excellence beyond their existing limits through curated research opportunities, test preparation, multi-level mentorship and a close cohort community. The HOPE Collaborative is partnered with the U-M School of Education and planning deployment of early medical science curriculum to students at The School at Marygrove, beginning in 3rd grade.

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Research Center Highlights

Center for Basic & Translational Science

CBATS continues to support basic and translational science efforts of the Department of Surgery. Meetings have continued virtually, allowing for updates on current research projects and grant review for both junior and senior investigators. This year, CBATS is launching an immunohistochemistry core to both support basic science research labs and provide the opportunity for clinical investigators to ask translational questions. Meetings will resume in a hybrid version in the fall with both institutional and invited speakers. Mini-grants will be offered to members to help push research projects over the edge to fundability to continue to grow our diverse research portfolio.

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Center for Global Surgery

In the last academic year, the center continued to work on efforts related to capacity building
in Ghana, India, Philippines and Kenya. Research projects with multiple publications and grant applications to the NIH were completed. The annual symposium was held on November 5, 2021 with an emphasis on data science and attracted 15 departments of surgery around the globe in addition to private industry and relief organizations. The Center has developed a global surgery fellowship for surgical residents during academic development time.

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Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy

Our faculty and fellows generated research that positively impacted our communities and healthcare systems. Faculty submitted multiple R-level and K-level grants, and numerous society and foundation grants were awarded. Funded projects examined topics such as the risks and benefits associated with the adoption of robotic surgery procedures, ways to improve surgeon adherence to preoperative patient optimization guidelines to improve long-term outcomes of hernia repair and optimizing hospital quality and costs. Over the last year, CHOP has enjoyed community and collaboration within writing groups, works-in-progress seminars and the inauguration of our annual visiting fellow program.

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Center for Surgical Innovation

The Center for Surgical Innovation continues to thrive under the new leadership of Dr. Rishindra Reddy and is mentoring its fourth annual cohort of Michigan Surgical Innovation Accelerator funded projects. We launched a new Surgical Innovation Discovery Course for faculty and residents to discover and explore innovative ideas. Our team received funding from GME innovations, industry-sponsored research, and the National Science Foundation. We established the nation’s first Medical Innovations in Extended Reality NSF IUCRC and are collaborating with the University of Maryland on this work. We have three Surgical Innovation Fellows working
on innovative projects related to mixed reality surgical simulation and novel medical device development.

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Center for Surgical Training and Research

CSTAR continues to be a national leader in surgical education research. Over 20 faculty, residents, research fellows and medical students represented the University of Michigan at Surgical Education Week with dozens of presentations, panels and posters. Drs. Gurjit Sandhu, Grace Kim and Brian Fallon won prestigious national awards related to surgical education this year. The University of Michigan also hosted a national seminar series in collaboration with the Association for Surgical Education and Society for Improving Medical Professional Learning (SIMPL). Funded projects examined topics such as the use of simulation to teach technical skills, learning curves in general surgery, the association between Board exams and patient outcomes and resident wellness.

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Section & Division Highlights

Section of General Surgery

We earned the #1 Surgery Residency Program ranking on Doximity, and we established and matched for the new Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship. Our section had nine successful faculty promotions and hired five new faculty members. The section submitted 92 grant proposals and was awarded 43 extramural grants. A total of $29.3M in direct and indirect funds was awarded. We were also successfully re-verified as a Level 1 Trauma Center, and we earned accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer.

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Section of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Hospital Dentistry

Our team established a non-ACGME clinical fellowship in temporomandibular joint surgery. In addition, we received grant funding from OMS Foundation for validation of an anesthesia simulation curriculum. Our section’s work also led to an increased clinical footprint, securing operating room block time at Ann Arbor East and Chelsea, resulting in the highest RVU year in history.

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Section of Pediatric Surgery

Dr. Erika Newman was welcomed as the new chair of the section and was named the Michael W. Mulholland, M.D., Ph.D. Research Professor. Our team hosted a national pediatric surgery fellowship bootcamp and published 53 studies in peer-reviewed journals. Several of our faculty members were recognized for their research and received funding for their work. Two new research consortiums were established: Michigan Surgical Evaluation and Research in Child Health, a multidisciplinary group at U-M, and Child Health Evaluation of Surgical Services, a national group of pediatric surgery researchers.

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Section of Plastic Surgery

The Integrated Plastic Surgery Residency program was ranked #1 for research and #3 overall in the United States by Doximity. In addition, our graduating residents and fellows received their first choice for fellowships and jobs after completing the program. The section published 136 scientific manuscripts this past year, and nine faculty members received extramural funding. The research program for prosthetic rehabilitation and functional restoration following limb loss was highlighted as the cover story of the May issue of National Geographic. The Section of Plastic Surgery continues to expand our network across Michigan. Our breast reconstruction program is the largest in the state of Michigan, and the procedure is currently performed at all Michigan Medicine hospital operating rooms and ambulatory surgery centers at Michigan Medicine, Chelsea Community Hospital, Brighton Center for Specialty Care, MyMichigan (Midland, Michigan) and Sparrow Health System (Lansing).

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Section of Thoracic Surgery

Several of our trainees were recognized for their research through awards, scholarships, presentations and fellowships. We have two clinical trials in collaboration with the Thoracic Surgery Oncology Group, and we have the LEADER Study sponsored by the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium (LCMC). Our section has three active drug trials for neoadjuvant targeted therapy in resectable non-small cell lung cancer, including the NAUTIKA1 Study, GEOMETRY-N and NeoADAURA. We also completed an intra-op clinical trial (ELUCIDATE) sponsored by OnTarget Labs, and the results of this study are finalized and part of the sponsor’s NDA submission to the FDA. Tissue and biomarker sample procurement continues to populate our Lung and Esophageal Cancer Biorepository. Our team completed a combined robotic bronchoscopy targeting case with VATS resection at UMHWest and performed the first Robotic Ivor Lewis this past spring at U-M, after having done years of Robotic THEs.

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Section of Transplant Surgery

Recent changes in organ allocation along with longstanding outreach efforts across the state helped our team perform 175 deceased donor kidney transplants last year, the most in over two decades. We continue to innovate and incorporate new technologies into our practice, including developing expertise in robotic surgery for kidney transplantation. We are participating in several novel clinical trials including a study utilizing donor stem cells to promote engraftment in living donor kidney transplant recipients. We also are developing new approaches to ex vivo organ perfusion, which will potentially permit utilization of organs previously considered not suitable for transplantation. In addition, faculty in our section received the Arnold Coran Teaching Award for excellence in medical student education and the William Coon Award for excellence in resident education.

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Section of Vascular Surgery

Our section launched a virtual guest lecture series to facilitate learning from experts and lectures around the globe, focusing on novel areas of research, pathology, or disease treatments to broaden exposure to global health issues, disparities and social issues embedded within vascular surgery and medicine. Our resident and fellow successfully graduated, and we hired two new faculty members. We secured close to $7.4M in extramural grants from NIH, American Heart Association, Vascular Cures, Medtronic and Surmodics, and our faculty members published 83 publications. In addition, we exceeded the virtual care target for the section and led the department in the adoption of new virtual care techniques with the highest e-consultation volume. Our team received a 3 Star Level certificate of achievement in the Vascular Quality Initiative from the Society for Vascular Surgery.

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Division of Anatomical Sciences

Our faculty taught over 1,300 students this year, with increased enrollment in ANAT 303 and our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Anatomy series on Coursera, EdX, and FutureLearn, which includes approximately 120,000 learners worldwide. We continued consistent leadership in open-access anatomy learning resources through the BlueLink project, used worldwide at over 150 institutions. It has led to an increase in development of open-access, three-dimensional anatomical scans and promotes access and equity in educational resources for anatomy learners worldwide.

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Our Team Highlights

New Faculty Members

Faculty Promotions

New Residents

Culture Crew

The Department of Surgery Culture Crew, convened by the Vice Chair for Faculty Development, is charged with leading efforts to make our culture in the Department of Surgery more inclusive.

We strive to foster an environment where everyone can succeed, and differences are respected. Our department collectively embraces the idea that diversity makes us stronger; excellence flows from allowing each individual to come to work whole.

Culture crew task teams have focused on initiatives including #WeAreMichiganSurgery, vision and mission, cultural complications, culture competency, culture assessment, bias training and the HOPE Collaborative. This year, we hosted 11 Cultural Complications sessions to enhance cultural competency and inclusion in the department, and we led eight Stepping-In sessions to provide bystander intervention training to faculty and Michigan Medicine staff.

Diversity in Medicine Art Exhibit

Dr. Gurjit Sandhu and Julie Evans led a Culture Crew initiative to showcase the importance of expanding diversity in biomedical communications as an essential part of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in medicine. Medical illustrations displayed in an exhibit at the University of Michigan Medical School highlight some of the valuable inclusionary efforts being made by artists in this space and aim to promote discussion among faculty and trainees on how to increase representation in medicine and to deliver optimal care. The exhibit was curated by medical student Dawson Hill, Director of Mentorship for the Doctors of Tomorrow program.

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