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Message from the Surgery Chair

From Department Chair, Robert J. Fitzgibbons, Jr., M.D.

Robert J. Fitzgibbons, Jr., M.D

Welcome to the Creighton University School of Medicine Department of Surgery. Our mission in the Department of Surgery is to provide exceptional teaching, clinical care, and surgical services to our patients. We pride ourselves in the education of our students and residents in the Creighton tradition of caring for the whole person.

The Department of Surgery consists of full-time faculty, contributed services faculty and surgical residents. Our facility consists of a new education building and academic medical center that opened in the Summer of 2017. Creighton is partnered with CHI Health which is a large healthcare network. This partnership is vital to the mission of the two organizations which creates an outstanding clinical and educational experience for the medical students and residents.

Residency Program

As an Omaha native and graduate of Creighton University School of Medicine, I am happy to share with you a little about what sets Creighton University apart from other mid-sized residency training programs. Creighton is just one of four Jesuit Universities that has a school of medicine with associated post graduate training programs. The residency in general surgery was established in the early part of the last century and has been training surgeons continuously ever since. Our overriding philosophy is to promote excellence in surgical training, with an emphasis on caring for the whole person, not just a disease process, in an atmosphere that promotes team collaboration and growth. Our residents have a strong connection to each other and work in tandem toward patient care and outcome-based goals.

Faculty members are cognizant of the fact that surgical training is one of the more difficult specialty areas to choose. There is a vast body of knowledge that must be mastered so surgical judgement can be developed in concert with learning the technical skills needed to succeed in surgery. For this reason, a determined effort is made to emphasize a healthy work life balance, to strictly follow duty hour restrictions, and to foster a family-based atmosphere. These coordinated efforts allow residents to focus on personal and professional development in this fast-paced discipline.

We have an academic program with a community-based feel that allows for diverse experiences with reasonable autonomy as training years progress. Research is encouraged, and opportunities are available for those inclined to pursue them. Rotations in academic, government, and private practice settings provide a wide breadth and depth to the surgical training experiences. Our residents have had great success in obtaining the post-residency fellowships of their choice, but it is not uncommon for our graduates to go directly into practice, not feeling a need for further training. If you are a team player type seeking to train in a state of the art program, our residency in the department of surgery just might be what you are looking for.

Student Program

Our student program utilizes our faculty and residents not only as teachers, but mentors. Currently our Residents have been nominated or have won the Golden Apple teaching award for the last 6 years. Our Faculty is currently working with 51 medical students from the M1-M4 year covering 14 research projects, 5 case reports. They are also piloting a CV writing and mentoring M1 & M2 students on how to write IRB grants and proto calls. Teaching by our faculty does not end with the academic year, as we host multiple summer research programs for M1-M2 students. Currently the Omaha campus is scoring above the National Average on the SHELF exam with a 30% honors rate.