Florida Surgical Specialists Enhanced General Surgery Fellowship - Society of Laparoscopic & Robotic Surgeons

Florida Surgical Specialists Enhanced General Surgery Fellowship

Florida Surgical Specialists Enhanced General Surgery Fellowship: Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Foregut, Hernia and Colorectal Fellowship

Location: Florida Surgical Specialists; Bradenton, Fl
Program Director: Paul Toomey, MD, FACS
Program Co-Directors: Riva Das, MD, FACS and Alvaro Bada, MD, FACS

Application process opens: August 15, 2023
Application process closes: April 30, 2024

Florida Surgical Specialists Enhanced General Surgery Fellowship: Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Foregut, Hernia and Colorectal Fellowship

The Society of Laparoscopic & Robotic Surgery (SLS) presents this one year post-Graduate fellowship. This fellowship will include training in all facets of General Surgery with a focus in minimally invasive surgery. The fellowship will feature robotic operations with a primary focus on robotic inguinal hernia repairs and robotic colorectal operations. However, multiple robotic operations will be included, such as cholecystectomies, gastrectomies, ventral hernia repairs and anti-reflux operations.

This will also be a true General Surgery experience. We will address all common benign diseases, General Surgical emergencies and complex Surgical Oncology, including, but not limited to, appendectomies, management of diverticulitis, anti-reflux operations for gastroesophageal reflux disease, hernia operations, melanoma excisions, lymph node biopsies, lumpectomies/mastectomies, small bowel resections, anorectal disease and complex gastrointestinal/colorectal operations. The Fellow will also gain additional extensive experience with upper endoscopies as well as colonoscopies.

The fellowship started 2019-2020 with one fellow and increased to two fellowship positions 2020-2022.  Intuitive has graciously agreed to sponsor one of the fellowship positions since 2020.

The primary training goal of this post Graduate fellowship is to improve patient care and teach advanced robotic/laparoscopic/endoscopic operative skills to individuals who are interested in propagating the field of minimally invasive surgery, while honing skills regarding complex/emergency General Surgery.

The Florida Surgical Specialists Enhanced Gastrointestinal Surgery Fellowship is based upon a very busy clinical practice of General Surgery, especially foregut, hernia and colorectal surgery with intensive clinical research. There will be strong focus on minimally invasive and robotic surgery.

We have a very high volume practice and at the forefront of technology/innovation for both minimally invasive and open operations. Dr. Paul Toomey, program director, is a pioneer in robotic surgery with experience in over 800 robotic operations in the last six years. Dr. Riva Das, co-program director, is a colorectal specialist focused on minimally invasive robotic operations to common colorectal diseases.  Dr. Bada is also a pioneer in robotic surgery and adds complex ventral hernia repairs with the TAR approach to our practice.

We will offer two positions starting August 1st, 2024 of the academic year, for graduates of accredited General Surgery training programs in the United States.This one-year program is designed for surgeons who want to increase their knowledge and technical skills in advanced laparoscopic/robotic operations and advanced GI Surgery/Colorectal Surgery. The program includes clinical, academic, and research components.

The goals of the one-year fellowship are:

Train fellows in the application of the following techniques of advanced GI Surgery for foregut, abdominal wall and colorectal diseases:
Robotic Surgery
Endo-luminal Surgery
Emergency General Surgery
“Open”, complex GI Surgery


Prepare fellows to be leaders in Surgery and for careers in Surgery by:
Providing guidance for the development of independent research
During the fellowship, extensive experience is gained in flexible endoscopy, including diagnostic, therapeutic, and advanced upper/lower endoscopy of the GI tract.

The clinical activity of the fellowship is undertaken at all training facilities served by Florida Surgical Specialists. Florida Surgical Specialists serve three hospitals in Manatee and Sarasota Counties: Manatee Memorial Hospital (295-bed hospital in Bradenton, FL), Doctors Hospital of Sarasota (155-bed all private room facility in Sarasota, FL) and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center (120-bed hospital in Bradenton, FL), Lakewood Ranch Surgical Suites and Manatee Surgery Center. The mission of Florida Surgical Specialists is to present Southwest Florida patients with the industry’s most ground-breaking surgical solutions for digestive disorders, cancer treatment and general surgery needs.


Clinical care

The Fellow is fully engaged in both clinical and research activities throughout the year. Clinical activities include inpatient and outpatient care. The outpatient clinical experience includes patients seen in a state-of-the-art outpatient facility. Outpatient clinics are on Monday and Friday. About 120-150 patients are seen per week in the clinic. The Fellow aid attending faculty in the clinic, along with medical students and physician assistant students.

Three days per week Fellows’ activities focus on operative experience and inpatient care. The operative experience includes a spectrum of operations ranging from minimally invasive and robotic surgery to “maximally invasive” complex intra-abdominal and thoracic procedures. The operating schedule is very busy; the three attendings run approximately eight full operating rooms per week. There are no surgical residents competing for attention from the faculty.


The research activities are undertaken almost daily throughout the year. The clinical research work involves collecting and analyzing data primarily from different databases including peptic ulcer disease, biliary dyskinesia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, melanoma, robotic inguinal hernias and LESS surgery outcomes and techniques. We run both investigator initiated and industry sponsored clinical trials, and the Fellow will be involved with the writing and/or implementation of these clinical trials. In addition, the fellow is involved in educating advanced robotic techniques to both pre-medical students and practicing visiting surgeons in the operating room.

Research Expectations and Responsibilities

  1. Participate in ongoing research activities.
  2. Identify research projects of interest.
  3. Send abstracts to regional, national and international meetings.
  4. Complete preparation for presentations at regional, national and international meetings.
  5. Complete manuscripts covering research projects chosen by the Fellow.
  6. Initiate and maintain a registry for all procedures done in the fellowship, including outcomes.
  7. Participate in accrual, evaluation, and data management of various clinical protocols sponsored by the supervising surgeons.


Education and Teaching

Educational activities are a focus of the fellow. The fellow is responsible for informal teaching and for the organization and “running” of conferences, especially Monday afternoon conference where members of the service meet and discuss patient care. At this conference, we discuss all upcoming operations for the week and interesting patients we care for; the Fellow is actively involved in this conference. The Fellow is also engaged in the teaching of undergraduate students, particularly in the summer, in conjunction with a summer student education and research program.

The Fellow will also attend and present at Surgical Grand Rounds, and cancer conference. Conferences with the attendings on clinical care and research occur daily.

Fellow’s Weekly Activities

Office Experience:
Toomey/Das/Bada – each have office one day per week and our Physician Assistant has clinic Monday-Thursdays; Fellow will also have an independent clinic for indigent patients through our free We Care (local) program.

Operative Experience:
Fellow is mentored by three surgical attendings:
Toomey/Das/Bada – each have 3-4 days/week of operative time

Supervision & Evaluation

The fellow will undergo written evaluations by all faculty of the fellowship quarterly during the year, and the fellowship director will discuss the evaluations directly with the fellow. The fellow should expect close contact with and mentoring by the faculty with daily exposure. The purpose of the evaluations will be to measure the fellow’s progress in achieving his or her goals (self-defined at the initiation of the Fellowship) and to facilitate achievement of these goals. The fellow will receive constructive criticism regarding his or her performance and a progress report on the chosen research project will be discussed. To obtain the certificate of completion, an unanimous decision on the part of the faculty will be required; this decision will be based on the written evaluations submitted by the faculty each quarter. Innumerable opportunities for feedback will exist for fellow and faculty on a day-to-day basis. Full encouragement for feedback is given. Frank and honest, especially constructive, criticism is encouraged.

Basic Program Information:

  • Interaction with Residents: No surgical residents
  • Is there a General Surgery Residency at the Primary Institution?: No
  • Is there a General Surgery Residency at the Secondary Institution?: No
  • Is there a curriculum in place for fellowship?: Yes
  • Are there teaching conferences available for the fellow?: Yes
  • Is there an evaluation tool for fellow by faculty in place?: Yes
  • Is there an evaluation tool for faculty by fellow in place?: Yes

Citizenship and Visa Requirements:

  • US Citizens
  • US Permanent Residents (Green Card)
  • We do not accept H-1B or J-1 Visas.

Surgical Residency Requirements:

  • We accept graduates of U.S. Residency Programs

Examinations and Certifications:

  • Applicants must have passed the USMLE Step 1, 2, & 3 exams.
  • Applicants must have had at least 5 years of prior training in an ACGME accredited residency or in an AOA (American Osteopathic Association) accredited residency.
  • Applicants who are ABS Board Eligible or Certified or AOBS (American Osteopathic Board of Surgery) Eligible or Certified.


Contact Information For Questions:
Scot Cranston, Chief Operating Officer
Phone: 941-216-3602
Fax: 941-216-3605
Email: floridasurgicalspecialists@gmail.com
Website: www.floridasurgicalspecialists.com
To apply, please visit: http://sls.org/sls-fellowship-programs/sls-fellowship-application/