The surgical staff at Ochsner are full-time, academic, hospital-based surgeons. Members of the surgical staff are actively involved in clinical research. Several staff members also maintain active basic science laboratories. The Department of Surgery has divisions in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Transplantation, Plastic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, and General Surgery. General Surgery includes Endocrine, Laparoscopic, and Surgical Oncology. There is a separate Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, through which all General Surgery residents rotate during their first and fifth years.

Faculty Listing

George E. Loss, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Chairman

George E. Loss, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.

My clinical areas of interest are abdominal transplant surgery and transplant immunology. Transplant care is a multi-disciplinary process. The surgeons we train today need to not only be technically proficient, but they also need to have the skills and temperament to lead a multi-disciplinary care team. In addition to interacting with residents on the transplant service, I co-chair with Dr. Bolton the weekly patient safety conference (PSC).


George Fuhrman, M.D., Program Director

George Fuhrman, M.D.

Dr. Fuhrman has been actively involved in Surgical Education for his entire 24 year career. He has been President of The Association of Program Directors in Sugary and is a current member of the Surgery Residency Review Committee. Nearly half of Dr. Fuhrman's 90 peer reviewed published manuscripts include residents as the first author reflecting a passion for promoting surgical house staff scholarly activity. Dr. Fuhrman takes frequent General Surgery call in order to have an opportunity to work with the residents that are not assigned to his service during the academic year. As Program Director of The Ochsner Surgery Residency he adheres to an open door policy and enjoys working with the house staff to develop innovative strategies to continuously improve the training program.


Taylor Smith, M.D., Assistant Program Director

Taylor Smith, M.D.

A Louisiana native, Dr. Smith joined the Ochsner faculty in 2010 after completing his Vascular Surgery and General Surgery training at UT-Southwestern in Dallas. He takes an active role in resident education and leads several resident and medical student didactic conferences each year. He also leads a weekly didactic course related to Non-Invasive Vascular Imaging for the Vascular Fellowship program. He is a member of the residency program’s Clinical Competency Committee and has worked closely with Dr Fuhrman to develop a formal system for resident feedback and evaluation of the faculty. He is involved in several multi-center clinical trials ranging from limb salvage, to carotid disease to aortic interventions. He has conducted several clinical research projects on hemodialysis access which have been presented at local, regional and national meetings.


Vincent Adolph, M.D., Associate Program Director

Vincent Adolph, M.D.

On Staff at Ochsner for 21 years. I have always been actively involved in Resident recruitment and education. Dr. Adolph has always tried to be a strong advocate for the Residents and the training program. He has been the Associate Program Director of Surgery Program for last 8 years. Section Head of Pediatric Surgery and Medical Director of ECMO Program for 16 years. Teacher of the Year for the Surgery Department 3 times in the last 8 years. Currently also serving as Interim Chair of the Pediatrics Department.


Christopher Babycos, M.D.

Christopher Babycos, M.D.

Dr. Babycos earned his medical degree from Tulane where he also completed his surgical internship and residency. He completed a plastic surgery fellowship at Tulane followed by a fellowship with the Australian Craniofacial Unit in Adelaide, Australia. Dr. Babycos is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and has been on staff at Ochsner since 1995. He is board certified in surgery and plastic surgery. Dr. Babycos specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery with specific interests in craniofacial and cosmetic surgery including aesthetic, breast, and reconstructive surgeries.


Aditya Bansal, M.D.

Aditya Bansal, M.D.

Dr. Aditya Bansal is a Senior Staff Surgeon and Surgical Director of Mechanical Circulatory Support and Adult ECMO here at Ochsner Medical Center. Dr. Bansal was born and raised in India. He completed his General Surgery training at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and then his Cardiothoracic Surgery residency and Thoracic Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Subsequently, he joined University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor of Surgery before joining Ochsner Medical Center. His practice involves cardiac surgery, TAVR, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, heart/lung transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. His primary interest is in the surgical treatment of end-stage heart and lung failure. Dr. Bansal has multiple funded research projects and serves as a reviewer for multiple scientific journals.


Michael Bates, M.D.

Michael Bates, M.D.

My first love in surgery is operating with residents. I am the Program Director for our Thoracic Surgery Residency and I am also a graduate of the Surgery and Thoracic Surgery programs at Ochsner. My clinical areas are primarily cardiac surgery and Thoracic Transplantation. I have also started a Thoracic Surgery clinic at Chabert Hospital with our surgery residents in Houma. By far the most satisfaction I have in surgery is assisting the residents as they perform operations. I also enjoy the teaching aspects surgical education. These teaching environments can be in the ICU and hospital, the clinic or in the lecture hall. I give the medical school lectures as well as periodic conferences with the surgery residents and the Thoracic Surgery curriculum. In our division we always have residents on clinical research projects. This year we had several different projects presented at our research day. Over the years I have had many students and residents prepare and present clinical projects and some have even won awards. As a graduate of the program I am invested in seeing that the residents get great training in surgery and I believe that the operating room is central to their experience. The privilege of working with and training residents in surgery is by far the most satisfying and important aspect of my work. I take great pride our training program at Ochsner with its great history and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure it succeeds. It is of vital importance to me that the residents get to operate and that they receive excellent training in surgery.


Hernan Bazan, M.D.

Hernan Bazan, M.D.

Hernan Bazan, MD FACS is a Professor, Section of Vascular/Endovascular Surgery, Dept. of Surgery and a Program Director, Vascular Surgery 5+2 year fellowship program. Dr Bazan has a busy clinical practice and is devoted to medical student and resident teaching. He has received numerous teaching awards in the past, including medical student teaching awards from the Ochsner/University of Queensland School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and the prestigious Arthur Auufses, Jr. Award at Mt. Sinai for mentoring of junior residents. He is actively involved in several endovascular clinical trials and is the PI of several translational research grants on atherosclerosis.


David E. Beck, M.D.

David E. Beck, M.D.

Dr. Beck was a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Academy and attended medical school at the University of Miami. He completed his residency in general surgery at Wilford Hall USAF Medical School, Lackland AFB, Texas and completed a fellowship in colorectal surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio. He is board certified in general and colon and rectal surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. After retiring from the Air Force, where he was Chairman and Residency Program Director of the Department of General Surgery at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center and the Military Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General in Colon and Rectal Surgery, Dr. Beck joined Ochsner in 1993. Dr. Beck conducts research into colorectal diseases, has authored and edited seven medical textbooks, and written over 250 scientific publications. Dr. Beck is a nationally recognized expert in inflammatory bowel disease, anal cancer, stomas, adhesions, bowel preparation, sphincter saving surgery for cancer, and laparoscopic surgery.


Luis Bogran, M.D.

Luis Bogran, M.D.

He plays a close supervisory role at the Houma rotation and is committed to maintaining the more autonomous nature of that practice experience for the residents. He feels this contributes to the development of self-confidence as they are freer to apply the knowledge and techniques gleaned from working with the best specialists in their fields at the main campus and complement this with different opinions offered by the staff at Houma whose experience is more along the lines of busy rural/small town practice. He participates actively in the weekly tumor board and M&M conferences as well as the daily teaching rounds which are frequently done jointly with one other teaching staff member, thus exposing the residents to more than one point of view on an ongoing basis.


Humberto Bohorquez, M.D.

Humberto Bohorquez, M.D.

Dr. Humberto Bohorquez, is a general surgeon with subsequent fellowship training in abdominal transplantation. He is the director of pancreas transplant surgery. He is lecturer with the University of Queensland. He has mentored trainees from first year medical school to final year residency. His areas of interests include organ allocation, liver, kidney, pancreas transplantation and liver surgery.


John Bolton, M.D. (Chairman Emeritus)

John Bolton, M.D.

Dr Bolton is the senior surgeon on the Upper GI Surgical Oncology service. This is a high volume, complex service with no post-graduate fellows, so it is a key rotation, both for the PGY1 resident who is focused on perioperative management of complex patients, and for the senior resident who serves as a junior partner on the service and gains extensive operative experience and experience with complex decision making for difficult surgical problems. It is an intense, fun, and in many ways a formative experience for our general surgery residents and a source of tremendous satisfaction for Dr. Bolton to be a part of. In addition, he is the Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Surgery and former Program Director for the surgical residency program. Dr. Bolton conducts the weekly Patient Safety and Grand Rounds Conferences on Wednesday morning, as well as a Chief Resident Clinical Conference each spring designed to sharpen the chief residents' decision-making ability as they prepare for practice and their Oral Board exams. There are typically one or two clinical research projects in progress and one or more presentations at national meetings each year.


Clayton Brinster, M.D.

Clayton Brinster, M.D.

Clay Brinster is a staff surgeon in the section of vascular surgery. He completed medical school and a general surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in vascular and endovascular surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Before joining the staff at Ochsner, Dr. Brinster gained experience in Europe with endovascular devices currently undergoing clinical trial in the United States. His clinical interests include all aspects of vascular and endovascular surgery, focusing on the treatment of aortic disease and on the advancement of endovascular techniques. Dr. Brinster actively participates in resident and fellow education including case conferences, vascular surgery journal club and clinical research projects.


Russell Brown, M.D.

Russell Brown, M.D.

Dr. Russell Brown earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center School of Medicine located in Houston, TX. He then completed a General Surgery Residency at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation. Dr. Brown went on to complete a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the University of Louisville. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery.


David S. Bruce, M.D.

David S. Bruce, M.D.

Dr. Bruce has been a member of the Ochsner faculty since 2008. His clinical interests include liver, kidney, and pancreas transplantation, as well as robotic living donor nephrectomy. After graduating from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1985, he did his general surgery residency at University of Chicago, where he also completed a research fellowship in immunology and a clinical fellowship in liver and kidney transplant surgery. He was a member of the University of Chicago faculty from 1995 to 2000. Since 2012, Dr. Bruce has been active in medical informatics at Ochsner, and spends most of his non-clinical time working on Epic implementation for both the transplant program and the Ochsner health system as a whole.


Emily Bugeaud, M.D.

Emily Bugeaud, M.D.

Dr. Emily Bugeaud is a general surgeon with subsequent training in abdominal transplantation and transplantation immunology. She is currently one of the surgeons in the Ochsner Multi-Organ Transplant Institute and sits on the Advisory Board for the Louisiana Organ Procurement Association. She is involved in the medical school curriculum as well as the abdominal transplant fellowship program. Throughout her career, she has been active in resident, medical student, graduate and undergraduate mentorship receiving several teaching awards. Her clinical interests include kidney, pancreas and liver transplantation as well as organ donation, including living donation. Her research interests include the study of how innate immunologic insults, such as infection, inflammation, and tissue damage can influence acute and chronic allograft rejection and fibrosis.


Ian Carmody, M.D.

Ian Carmody, M.D.

Dr. Ian C. Carmody is a general surgeon with subsequent training in abdominal transplantation, trauma and critical care. During his training he was awarded two teaching awards. He is an associate professor with the University of Queensland and the medical director of the Louisiana Organ Procurement Association. He has mentored trainees from first year medical school to final year residency. He is involved in the medical school curriculum as well as the abdominal transplant fellowship program. His areas of interests include organ allocation, biliary complications, hepatocellular carcinoma and history of transplantation.


Ari Cohen, M.D.

Ari Cohen, M.D.

Dr. Ari J. Cohen is a general surgeon with subsequent fellowship training in abdominal transplantation. He is the section head of Abdominal Transplant Surgery and Director of the transplant research laboratory. He is a Professor of Surgery with the University of Queensland School of Medicine, Ochsner Clinical School and the president of the governing board at the Louisiana Organ Procurement Association. He has mentored trainees from first year medical school to final year residency. He is involved in the medical school curriculum as well as the abdominal transplant fellowship program. His areas of interests include organ allocation, liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation.


Ralph Corsetti, M.D.

Ralph Corsetti, M.D.

Dr. Ralph Corsetti is a board certified surgeon who has been at Ochsner since 2006. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery who graduated from the Boston Univ. School of Medicine in 1991. Dr. Corsetti received his general surgery training at Tulane University from 1991-1996. He then completed a Surgical Oncology fellowship at Brown University from 1996-1998. Dr. Corsetti is the medical director of the Lieselotte Tansey Breast Center. He is also the general surgery course director for the 3rd year medical student core clerkship in general surgery within the University of Queensland School of Medicine/Ochsner Clinical School. His primary clinical focus is breast, endocrine, and melanoma surgery. He has twice received the outstanding surgery clinical faculty award voted by the residents. He has also been named the Ochsner system wide clinical teacher of the year.


Matthew Gaudet, M.D.

Matthew Gaudet, M.D.

Dr. Matthew Gaudet was born and raised in New Orleans, LA and is an alumnus of Jesuit High School. He graduated from Louisiana State University with Honors, obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology. Dr. Gaudet received his Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University Medical School in Shreveport and went on to complete General Surgery training here at Ochsner Medical Center. He then completed a Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship at Duke University Hospital.


Michael Garcia, M.D.

Michael Garcia, M.D.

I have been associated with the Ochsner General Surgery training program since I completed my own residency at Ochsner 21 years ago. Since that time, I have been intimately involved in the resident rotations at Chabert Medical Center. Our hospital is a safety net hospital for the State of Louisiana whereby we offer greater autonomy to the training resident aligned with close resident supervision within a Chief Resident run general surgery hospital service. We conduct standard weekly Grand Rounds and Morbidity/Mortality conferences as well as participate in our weekly Tumor Conference. Although our Level 2 Emergency Room provides a minimal amount of penetrating trauma, the referrals for acute care surgical problems provide excellent teaching cases for our training program. In addition, I have also been the hospital’s Medical Director for the past 11 years.


Brian Kann, M.D.

Brian Kann, M.D.

Dr. Kann received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, PA. He completed a General Surgery Residency at Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center in Camden, NJ followed by a Colon and Rectal Surgery Residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Kann is a member of the following professional organizations: American College of Surgeons, American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons and the Association of Program Directors for Colon & Rectal Surgery.


Aimee Mackey, M.D.

Aimee Mackey, M.D.

Dr. Aimee Mackey was born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA, and is an alumnus of St. Joseph's Academy. She graduated from Louisiana State University and earned her Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University Medical School in Shreveport. She then completed general surgery residency at Ochsner Clinic and a fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology at Columbia University in New York, NY. In 2012, she joined the faculty at Duke University as an Assistant Professor of Surgery.


David Margolin, M.D.

David Margolin, M.D.

Dr. Margolin earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo and completed his internship and residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed his fellowship in colon and rectal surgery at Ochsner. Dr. Margolin is board certified in general surgery and colon and rectal surgery and has been on staff at Ochsner since the beginning of 2003. Dr. Margolin is listed in Best Doctors in America. He serves as Director of Colon and Rectal Surgery Research.His professional interests include laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, complex anorectal conditions and incontinence.


Adwoa Opoku-Boateng, M.D.

Adwoa Opoku-Boateng, M.D.

Dr. Opoku-Boateng attended Loma Linda University School of Medicine and completed her internship and residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation. She then worked for several years as an acute care and general surgeon at Ochsner before completing a fellowship in endocrine surgery through a combined program through the Medical College of Wisconsin, Duke University and University of Wisconsin — Madison. She is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a member of the Southeastern Surgical Congress, the American Medical Association and the California Medical Association. She is board-certified in Surgery.


P. Eugene Parrino

P. Eugene Parrino

Dr. Parrino is the Section Head for the Cardiothoracic Section. Residents rotate in the section of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery as second years (cardiac) and as third or fourth years (thoracic). During the cardiac surgical rotation, there are twice-daily rounds which are brief but allow adjustments to patient care on a less than every 24 hours basis. Residents participate in discussions covering the hemodynamic management of patients after conventional cardiac surgery (valves, bypass) as well as mechanical assist devices (LVADs, total artificial heart). Heart and lung transplant recipients are also covered. Residents are always welcome to participate in cases in the operating room. Residents actively manage the ICU patients with attending supervision (usually from the operating room during work hours). The critical care team is available, but not routinely involved. Residents have significant autonomy in the management of these patients within the usual postoperative guidelines. Within the last year, a member of the section was elected by the medical students as a winner of a teaching excellence award, while another received the attending of the year teaching award from the graduating class of chief residents.


Brian Pettiford, M.D.

Brian Pettiford, M.D.

The general thoracic section at the Ochsner Medical Center provides expert care in benign and malignant diseases of the thorax with a focus on lung and esophageal cancer. Minimally invasive techniques such as video assisted thoracoscopy (VATS) and robotic assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) are used for the management of all stages of lung cancer. These approaches are applied to minimize patient discomfort and expedite recovery. Our surgeons have an interest in airway surgery including tracheal resection and reconstruction as well as airway stenting and laser therapy. Additional innovative techniques such as cryotherapy and photodynamic therapy (PDT) also play a key role in airway and esophageal management and are available at Ochsner. Pleural diseases such as malignant mesothelioma are managed in a multidisciplinary setting requiring close interplay between our thoracic surgeons and our oncology team. Our surgical team offers extrapleural pneumonectomy and radical pleurectomy with decortication in select patients with malignant mesothelioma. These approaches are combined with heated intracavitary chemotherapy to optimize patient response. The multidisciplinary approach to thoracic disease is most evident during our weekly lung conference. A multispecialty team of radiologists, pathologists, surgeons, pulmonologists and oncologists carefully review benign and malignant thoracic cases. This provides a forum for discussion of patient management as well as clinical trial enrollment. Resident and medical student attendance and participation in this weekly conference is greatly encouraged. Our thoracic section is an active participant in the Oschner Biobank which serves as a national tissue repository to provide samples for thoracic oncology research efforts. We also participate in a number of national trials including ALCHEMIST, CALGB 14053 and the PDT registry.


William S. Richardson, M.D.

William S. Richardson, M.D.

Section Head of General Surgery. Dr. Richardson is a general surgeon primarily interested in minimally invasive surgery, bariatrics and robotics. During rotations on his service residents will be taught the workup, treatment and procedures for abdominal conditions including hernia, gallbladder diseases, adrenal diseases, splenic diseases, reflux disease, hiatal hernias, achalasia and morbid obesity. Residents are required to become proficient in laparoscopic techniques in our dry lab. Dr. Richardson is an academic surgeon and there is plenty of opportunity for residents to get exposure, assist or run clinically based research projects.


Amy Rivere, M.D.

Amy Rivere, M.D.

Dr. Amy Rivere is originally from Napoleonville, LA. She graduated from Louisiana State University and earned her Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University Health Science Center in Shreveport, LA. She then completed general surgery residency at Ochsner Clinic and a fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, AR. In 2016, she joined the faculty at Ochsner as a Breast Surgical Oncologist in the Department of General Surgery.


Jessica Roybal, M.D.

Jessica Roybal, M.D.

Dr Roybal is relatively new to Ochsner and is active in teaching residents in clinic, on the wards, and in the operating room. She helps give the SCORE lectures for pediatric surgery. In the coming year, her goal is to set up a pediatric surgery conference for residents and faculty to discuss interesting cases. She also hopes to get a few research projects started this coming year and will aim to get residents involved.


John Seal, M.D.

John Seal, M.D.

Dr. Seal is a staff surgeon in Abdominal Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery. He is actively involved in the General Surgery residency program through clinical rotations in Multi-Organ Transplantation and Critical Care, didactic lectures and weekly multi-disciplinary transplant conferences. During the transplant rotation, operative instruction is focused on nuances of abdominal anatomy and approaches through the organ recovery operation and technical skill development in vascular anastomoses. Dr Seal has mentored residents on several clinical research projects in transplantation that have resulted in presentations at national meetings and publications in high-impact surgical journals. Dr Seal is currently leading translational research projects to develop metabolomic and proteomic biomarkers of liver allograft function that would offer a long-term research opportunity for interested residents.


Dennis Sonnier, M.D.

Dennis Sonnier, M.D.

Dr. Dennis Sonnier is part of the Abdominal Transplant Surgery Service. He attended medical school at LSU school of medicine in New Orleans. He completed his surgical residency at the University of Cincinnati and his transplant surgery fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Sonnier’s areas of interest include organ allocation, liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation.


Rodney Steiner, M.D.

Rodney Steiner, M.D.

Pediatric Surgery is perhaps the best specialty within general surgery. Specialties within General Surgery have flourished over the last two decades with fellowship trained individuals performing much of what a General Surgeon used to do routinely. This has certainly led to improved outcomes with the most difficult problems as these individuals are highly trained and competent. Pediatric Surgery broke away from General Surgery in the 1970s and there are about 600 practicing Pediatric Surgeons in North America, all fellowship trained. The beauty of our specialty is that our purview and expertise is age and size related. Most other specialties are based on anatomic regions or particular diagnoses (like oncology). Pediatric Surgeons operate in the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and even the extremities. We repair congenital anomalies, resect tumors, manage trauma and routine surgical issues of pediatric patients. Our patients range from 400 gms to 150 Kg, and from hours old to 18 or 21 years. The Pediatric Surgery rotation for the residents is always interesting. It’s a steep learning curve and there isn’t a lot that transfers from their adult General Surgery experience. It’s always interesting to teach the next group of surgical residents what we do and how special it is. Every once in a while we convince one of them to join us.


W. Charles Sternbergh, III, M.D.

W. Charles Sternbergh, III, M.D.

Dr. Sternbergh’s educational background includes an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine. He performed his general surgical training at the Medical College of Virginia and his vascular fellowship at Emory University. Dr Sternbergh has been on staff at Ochsner since 1996. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in Vascular Surgery, and is the author of more than 100 scientific publications and book chapters pertaining to vascular disease. Dr. Sternbergh literally "wrote the book" on the endovascular treatment of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysm.


Michael C. Townsend, M.D.

Michael C. Townsend, M.D.

Dr. Townsend’s clinical practice involves Acute Care General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care as well as elective General Surgery. He has over 25 years of experience in a variety of clinical teaching settings. His teaching style involves a gradual assumption of both technical and clinical responsibilities by the residents as they progress in the program. While providing continual oversight and availability, he takes pride in helping develop young surgeons with a strong mastery of fundamental surgical principles and superb clinical and technical judgment who can function independently when they complete the residency. It is indeed a pleasure to care for patients with the quality residents in this program.


David Vargas, M.D.

David Vargas, M.D.

After leaving fellowship training in New Orleans, Dr. Vargas gained extensive clinical experience in both private practice and academic surgery all the while remaining involved in medical education and post-graduate surgery resident training. He has been active in local, regional, and national professional organizations and has held positions of leadership. He has authored book chapters in major surgical textbooks as well as multiple scientific articles published in peer-reviewed surgical journals. While Dr. Vargas’ clinical practice encompasses the breadth of Colon Rectal Surgery, in particular he has gained recognition for minimally invasive or laparoscopic colorectal surgery resulting in his recruitment in 2007 to the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Medicine as Chief of Colon Rectal Surgery in the Department of Surgery. While at UK, Dr. Vargas distinguished himself in his academic career receiving several honors as a surgical mentor and educator. He was awarded the UK Department of Surgery Chief Resident’s Teaching Award recognizing excellence imparting operative technique. In addition, he was the recipient of the UK Department of Surgery Ward O. Griffen, MD Award which recognizes excellence in medical student education. After five years at UK, Dr. Vargas returned to New Orleans in 2012 to join the Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery of the Ochsner Clinic where he now serves as Staff Surgeon as well as the Program Director of the Colon Rectal Surgery Fellowship. In addition, he serves as the Assistant Medical Director of Endoscopy Services at Ochsner Medical Center (OMC). As a medical staff member of OMC, he is a member of the Physicians Excellence Committee and Therapeutic Innovation & Utilization Council.


Thomas Weed, M.D.

Thomas Weed, M.D.

The rotations you will get at Chabert Medical Center in Houma will be unique. The residents come here in all levels from PGY-1 to PGY-5. The surgical service is set up to allow the residents a level of autonomy that is appropriate for their level of training. Developing a sense of taking care of your own patients rather than helping to take care of Dr. X's patients is a critical part of your residency.


Charles B. Whitlow, M.D.

Charles B. Whitlow, M.D.

Dr. Whitlow earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas and completed his internship and residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. He completed his colon and rectal surgery fellowship at Ochsner. Dr. Whitlow is board certified in general surgery and colon and rectal surgery and has been on staff at Ochsner since the Summer of 2002. Dr. Whitlow is listed in Best Doctors in America. He serves as Program Director of the Colon and Rectal Surgery training program. His particular areas of professional interest include Transanal excision of large benign rectal tumors, sphincter-preserving surgery for rectal cancer, surgical treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, laparoscopic and robotic colon and rectal surgery, surgery for rectal prolapse, and treatment of anorectal fistulas.


James Wooldridge, M.D.

James Wooldridge, M.D.

Dr. Wooldridge is a native of Memphis, TN and attended The University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he received his undergraduate degree in Biology. He went to medical school at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and then did his general surgery residency at The University of Missouri in Columbia. Upon graduation, he moved on to complete a fellowship in laparoscopic and bariatric surgery at The University of California at Irvine. Since joining the Ochsner Medical Staff in 2009, he has continued to increase his clinical practice focusing on bariatric, foregut, hernia, and general surgery. He has recently been involved with organizing the Ochsner Swallowing Center, a multi disciplinary team focused on total care for Upper GI disorders. He is also on the University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School Education Committee for General Surgery, helping shape the general surgery rotation for our Ochsner Clinical School students.