On behalf of the Weight Loss Surgery and Wellness Center, we would like to thank you for considering our Bariatric Surgery Fellowship. We strongly believe that the foundation of a high-quality bariatric program involves the training of the future generation of highly qualified and well-educated bariatric surgeons. The fellowship was originally conceived by Dr. Stephen Myers and began in 2017. Our philosophy is that you are a fully trained surgeon and a colleague who brings a unique perspective to our fellowship program.

The goal is to involve you in every aspect of management of the bariatric patient.

You are going to play a critical role in the management of the patients during the preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative phases of the patient’s journey. We look forward to reviewing your application to our program and wish you luck in your educational pursuits.

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About the Program

The Tower Health/Reading Hospital Bariatric Surgery Fellowship expands on the education that a trainee has completed in a general surgery residency. Reading Hospital, the flagship hospital for Tower Health, is located approximately one hour from Philadelphia. It is the major health system providing care for about 500,000 people in Berks County, PA and the surrounding regions. Reading Hospital is a 750-bed regional and referral hospital in addition to a Level 1 Trauma Center. 

Reading Hospital completed their expansion in 2016 to include 24 new, state-of-the-art operating rooms equipped with the most advanced minimally invasive and video technology, including four Da Vinci robots. As part of the design, the operating room utilizes a video capture technology system that allows for the cases to be recorded and stored in a secure cloud location. We have access to these recordings by utilizing our computers in the office or at home. We are able to review our cases to learn from any challenges, and more importantly to educate our fellows and ourselves on how to improve our technique and the flow of the surgery. Each year, we edit multiple videos and submit them for presentation at major conferences in the United States and around the world.

Reading Hospital has been actively involved in medical training for more than 50 years. There are independent residencies in General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Fellowships in Trauma/Surgical Critical Care, Plastic Surgery, and Bariatric Surgery.

Tower Health has major affiliations including Drexel University. Drexel University and Tower Health partnered to open a new medical school less than a mile away from Reading Hospital in 2021. Presently, there are third- and fourth-year medical students from Drexel University rotating through our institution.

The Bariatric Surgery Fellow completes their training having performed 300-400 bariatric operations, which greatly exceeds the requirements of the ASMBS. This includes more than 100 gastric bypasses, 150 sleeve gastrectomies, 50 duodenal switches, and 40 revisional cases. Other procedures include diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopies, cholecystectomies, ventral hernia repairs, and emergency cases. The fellow will finish with extensive robotic experience and will also gain experience with laparoscopic surgery. The fellow will have the opportunity to be involved in several ongoing research projects and will be supported to initiate a clinical research project. The fellow oversees the care for all bariatric surgery patients in the hospital, performing daily rounds and providing care for each one individually.

The fellow will be in the operating room at least four days a week, performing an average of eight to 10 bariatric operations a week, in addition to other minimally invasive and endoscopic procedures. The Fellow will see patients in the outpatient clinic for initial evaluation, preoperative, and postoperative care.

The comprehensive bariatric surgery center is certified by the MBSAQIP of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. It is fully staffed with two internists, one pediatrician, one psychologist, three nurse practitioners, four bariatric nurses, five dietitians, 10 medical assistants, and three bariatric surgeons. The group has extensive laparoscopic, robotic, and endoscopic experience, having collectively performed over 6,500 bariatric operations. 

The educational program for the fellow will follow the recommendations of the ASMBS curriculum. The fellow will attend weekly M&M conferences, quarterly bariatric quality committee meetings, and the weekly clinical care committee meetings. The fellow will be responsible for completing a clinical research project for presentation and publication. There is also plenty of opportunity for research that is supported by the institution. There will be a quarterly meeting with the Program Director and other attending surgeons to evaluate the progress of the fellow.

Call will be from home and shared with the four attending bariatric surgeons.

This program will train one bariatric surgeon each year and prepare the fellow to meet all the criteria to become credentialed by the ASMBS at the end of the fellowship. For more information, reference The Fellowship Council.