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Who We Are

About the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery at UMass Chan Medical School

Director’s message

The Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship at UMass Chan Medical School is a one-year fellowship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The fellowship received initial accreditation in 2011 and matriculated our first fellow in 2012.  Eligible candidates must have completed an ACGME-accredited general surgery residency and be eligible for the American Board of Surgery qualifying and certifying exams. The Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery in the Department of Surgery comprises five board-certified colon and rectal surgeons, three nurse practitioners, an inpatient physician assistant and a clinical research nurse. Division faculty are very active in the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and hold leadership positions within the society. Several faculty are on the editorial board of the society’s primary journal Diseases of the Colon and Rectum.  The fellow will gain knowledge, experience and expertise in the management of the essential components of anorectal and major abdominal surgery, endoscopy and office management of common anorectal conditions during the year-long clinical fellowship.  The fellow will also gain significant experience in advanced minimally invasive approaches, including Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM), robotic assisted approaches, and Transanal TME (TaTME).  In addition to the diverse clinical experience, the fellow will be expected to engage in scholarly activity, including completion of a clinical research project culminating in submission of a completed manuscript. This research experience is supported through the division by the Colon and Rectal Surgery Research Core comprising the four faculty members and headed by the Fellowship Director Karim Alavi, MD; a fully funded research resident; a clinical research coordinator; a data analyst; and a statistician. The overall aim of the fellowship is to graduate well-rounded surgeons and leaders who will advance the field of colon and rectal surgery through research and investigation.   

Karim Alavi, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCRS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Director, Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship


Mission

Our four-part mission statement encompasses the goals of the UMass Memorial Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center:

  1. Providing exceptional, state-of-the-art care for our patients
  2. Educating medical students, residents and practicing physicians
  3. Advancing the field of colorectal surgery through research and investigation
  4. Serving as an educational resource and advocate for the Central Massachusetts community

2022 Fellowship interview dates

TBD


Faculty


Coordinator

Teresa Paulin


Physician extenders

Janet McDade, NP, clinical coordinator
Dorcas Taylor, FNP
Katelyn Stickney, FNP
Jennifer Guertin, PA


Current Fellow


John Konen, MD

John Konen, MD is the current Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellow at the UMass Chan Medical School. He grew up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and completed his Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, followed by his MD from Michigan State University. He then moved to Vermont to complete his general surgery residency at the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC). During his surgical residency, he conducted research with Dr. Gary Mawe in the department of Neurological Sciences and was awarded the Young Investigator Award by the International Federation of Neurogastroenterology and Motility for his work on colonic motility and luminally acting 5-HT4 receptor agonists. He also conducted research on organ preservation in rectal cancer, and a funded prospective trial in carbohydrate loading enhanced recovery in colorectal surgery patients. He was the recipient of the 2021 Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society Housestaff Award during his time at the University of Vermont. In his free time, John enjoys hiking, biking, camping, playing music, and spending time with his friends and family. John is a board-eligible general surgeon who is excited to continue his training at UMass to become a colon and rectal surgeon.


Alumni

Name

Residency

Current Location

Jennifer S. Davids, MD

2013 Graduate

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Associate professor of surgery at UMass Chan Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, Mass.

Erica B. Sneider, MD

2014 Graduate

UMass Medical School

Colon and Rectal Surgical: A Division of ProHEALTH Care, Lake Success, New York

Pasithorn Suwanabol, MD

2015 Graduate

University of Wisconsin

Assistant professor of surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Andrew T. Schlussel, DO

2016 Graduate

Tripler Army Medical Center

Assistant professor of surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash.

Uma Phatak, MD

2017 Graduate

University of Texas at Houston

Assistant professor of surgery, University of Texas, Galveston, Texas

Cristina Harnsberger, MD

2018 Graduate

University of California San Diego

Sansum Clinic Multi-Specialty Clinic, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Clayton Tyler Ellis, MD

2019 Graduate

University of North Carolina

Assistant professor of surgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.

Sue Jean Hahn, MD

2020 Graduate

Mount Sinai Hospital (N.Y.)

Assistant professor of surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, N.Y.

Jeremy Springer, MD

2021 Graduate

McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario, Canada

McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario, Canada

Contact us for more information