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Leadership

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 Surgery 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.

Jessica Koller Gorham, MD

Jessica Koller Gorham, MD

Program Director

Dr. Gorham received her medical degree from the University of Texas School of Medicine in San Antonio after obtaining a Bachelor of the Arts in Chemistry and International Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her general surgery training at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, WA, the oldest surgical residency program in the Pacific Northwest. She pursued fellowship training in Minimally Invasive Surgery, with a focus on Bariatric surgery and benign upper gastrointestinal disease, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. She was Associate Program director from AYs 2020-2023 and has transitioned to Program Director as of July 1, 2023.

Conor Coogan, MD

Conor Coogan, MD

Associate Program Director

Dr. Conor Coogan is a native of South Louisiana, completing undergraduate and medical school at LSU and LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, respectively. He completed his general surgery residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, AR before attending Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA for further training in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care. His interests include emergency general surgery, trauma surgery, critical care medicine, and evidence-based resident and medical student education in those fields.

Faculty

The Department of Surgery has divisions in Cardiothoracic Surgery, General Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Transplant Surgery, and Vascular Surgery. The division of General Surgery includes Acute Care/Critical Care, Bariatrics & Foregut, Breast, Endocrine, 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.

Vincent Adolph, MD

On Staff at Ochsner for 21 years. Dr. Adolph has always been actively involved in Resident recruitment and education. He is a strong advocate for the Residents and the training program, having 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.
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Jonathan Babin, MD

Dr. Babin's practice involves Acute Care Surgery and Trauma/Critical Care, in addition to elective General Surgery. He has special interest in abdominal wall reconstruction, intensive care performance improvement, and Robotic Surgery. Resident education and training are a central part of his practice and he is heavily involved with resident didactics and simulation training. He believes resident autonomy is key to develop the clinical skills necessary to function independently and actively involves them in all phases of patient care.
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Christopher Babycos, MD

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.
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Aditya Bansal, MD

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.
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Hernan Bazan, MD

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.
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Christopher Blackstock, MD

Dr. Blackstock is a staff vascular surgeon and joined Ochsner in 2022. He earned his M.D. at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his training in Vascular Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Blackstock offers surgical therapies for nearly all areas of vascular disease including thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms, carotid artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, chronic-limb threatening ischemia, thoracic outlet syndrome, hemodialysis access, and venous disease (including varicose veins). During his training at Penn, Dr. Blackstock gained a robust experience using cutting-edge technologies such as branched and fenestrated endografts for the treatment of thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms. Through his proficiency in performing open surgery, complex endovascular, and hybrid approaches, Dr. Blackstock is equipped to treat the most complex vascular disease and develop a surgical strategy tailored to the individual patient. In addition to being clinically active in offering advanced surgeries to his patients, Dr. Blackstock has a strong understanding and appreciation for vascular biology. Prior to medical school, Dr. Blackstock completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Tulane University with a focus in atherosclerosis. His dissertation work helped elucidate the understanding of cell signaling pathways in human aortic smooth muscle and identified a novel mechanism by which insulin-like growth factor enhances collagen synthesis. These findings may have implications in treating major vascular pathologies including aneurysms and peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Blackstock has interest in continuing his studies in the biomedical sciences with aims to develop novel therapies that provide for more specific and effective treatments for patients.
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Humberto Bohorquez, MD

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.
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John Bolton, MD

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.
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Nathan Bolton, MD

Dr. Nathan Bolton received his Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and completed his General Surgery residency at Ochsner, where he served as chief resident of the General Surgery program. He moved on to complete a Surgical Oncology fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York before returning home to Ochsner as a member of the Upper GI/HPB Surgical Oncology team. He is a member of the resident education committee and has an active interest in surgical resident training.
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Russell Brown, MD

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.
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David S. Bruce, MD

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.
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Emily Bugeaud, MD, PhD

Dr. Emily Bugeaud completed her undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Michigan. She then went on to complete her residency in General Surgery at the University of Chicago. During her clinical training, she simultaneously earned her doctorate in immunology from the University of Chicago studying the role of bacterial infections in transplantation tolerance. Dr. Bugeaud then went on to continue her clinical training in Abdominal Organ Transplantation, completing her fellowship at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Bugeaud joined the Ochsner Multi-Organ Transplant Institute in August 2014 with an interest in liver, kidney and pancreas transplant as well as organ donation, including living donation.
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Ian Carmody, MD

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.
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Ari Cohen, MD

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.
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Jessica Dahle, MD

Dr. Jessica Dahle completed her fellowship training in Endocrine Surgery at Duke University and is the faculty member of the Endocrine Surgery service. Fourth year surgical residents rotate on the Endocrine Surgery service, a one-on-one apprenticeship model service designed to teach senior level residents comprehensive understanding of endocrine disorders of the adrenal, parathyroid, and thyroid glands. Endocrine surgical techniques are taught with graduated responsibility to build operative skills in robotic and open adrenalectomy, minimally invasive surgery parathyroidectomy, thyroidectomy, and lymph node dissection. Dr. Dahle is also actively involved in resident recruitment, didactics, and medical student education.
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Jordan Dozier, MD

Dr Dozier completed his general surgery internship and residency at Rutgers University NJMS in Newark, New Jersey. During his residency, he completed a two-year research fellowship focusing on immunotherapy for thoracic malignancies at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York. He completed his fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Dozier has been on staff at Ochsner since 2022. He specializes in removing both benign and malignant tumors of the lung, esophagus, mediastinum chest wall, trachea, and diaphragm. He has a special clinical interest in robotic surgery. Dr. Dozier's research interests include immunotherapy and healthcare disparities. He has published 10 peer-reviewed scientific papers and presented his work at several international conferences.
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E. Alexa Elder, MD

Dr. Elder is originally from Tulsa, OK. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine after completing a degree in Neurobiology at the University of Miami. She underwent general surgery training at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. She then completed subspeciality training in breast surgical oncology at Atrium Health/Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, NC.
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Michael Friel, MD

Dr. Michael Friel serves as the Surgical Director of Ochsner’s Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Program. Dr. Friel is a double-fellowship trained, triple-board certified surgeon (American Board of Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Plastic Surgery Hand Subspecialty). He serves as a section editor for Annals of Plastic Surgery and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. He is reviewer for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, and Microsurgery.
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Salim Hosein, MD

Dr. Salim Hosein is a General and Bariatric Surgeon who returned to Ochsner in 2023 following several years of practice in Southern Illinois. He is a graduate of the Aga Khan University Medical College. He completed his Surgery Residency training at Brown University & Ochsner, before additional fellowship training in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. His interests include bariatric (weight loss) and anti-reflux surgeries, hernia repair and resident education.
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Elliot Jessie, MD

Dr. Jessie earned his undergraduate degree from Xavier University of Louisiana and his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. He subsequently completed his general surgery residency at the then National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and his fellowship in Trauma/Surgical Critical Care at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Prior to joining the faculty at Ochsner, he was an Associate Program Director for nine years at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was also the Chief of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. There he won multiple awards for resident education both in and outside of the operating room. He retired in 2023 after 21 years of active-duty service in the Navy. He has special interest in abdominal wall reconstruction, the use of robotics in Acute Care Surgery, and resident and medical student education.
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Wm. Forrest Johnston, MD

Dr Johnston joined the Ochsner staff in 2017. He completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Virginia and a proceeded to train in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the Lahey Clinic. His interests are colon and rectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, anorectal disorders, and abdominal wall reconstruction. Dr. Johnston is committed to fostering the residents’ exposure and interest in all aspects of Colon and Rectal surgery. He is also interested in working with the residents on any research projects to help develop critical thinking and appropriate project development.
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Brian Kann, MD

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.
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William Kethman, MD

Dr. Kethman earned his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and medical doctorate from Tulane University in New Orleans. He completed his general surgery residency at Stanford University and a colon and rectal surgery fellowship at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center - Case Western Reserve University. He completed a research fellowship at the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering health technology innovators and leading the transition to a value-driven innovation ecosystem. He joined the staff at Ochsner Health in August 2020 and is interested in leveraging technology to improve the care we provide patients.
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Charles Leithead, MD

Dr. Charles Leithead is a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in French at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He received his Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. He completed an Integrated Vascular Surgery Residency at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Leithead treats a wide variety of vascular conditions including aneurysms, carotid artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, DVT (blood clots), spider veins and varicose veins with both open surgery and minimally invasive procedures. He is the Medical Director of The Ochsner Vein Clinic. Dr. Leithead loves being a vascular surgeon because he has a passion for vascular surgery and treating patients from head to toe.
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Jeffanne Millien, MD

Dr. Jeffanne Millien received her medical degree with a focus on global health from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. She then moved to New Orleans to complete her internship and residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation. She successfully completed a fellowship in trauma and surgical critical care at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She then returned to Ochsner in the Summer of 2020 to assume an acute care surgery position. Her interests include global health medicine, critical care surgery and medicine, and resident education.
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Samuel R. Money, MD, FACS

Samuel R. Money attended the State University of New York College of Medicine – SUNY Downstate and graduated with distinction. He trained in vascular surgery at the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana, under the tutelage of Larry H.Hollier and John Ochsner. He remained at Ochsner Clinic for 15 years where he rose through the ranks to be Division Head of Vascular Surgery. He then moved to Mayo Clinic in Arizona where he served as professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery. He has served in numerous leadership positions including presidency of the society for clinical vascular surgery, the southern association of vascular surgery and the vascular and endovascular society. He currently serves as the treasurer of the society for vascular surgery.
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Andrew Newton, MD

Dr. Andrew Newton received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed his general surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After residency, Dr. Newton completed a fellowship in complex general surgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He is board certified in General Surgery and Complex General Surgical Oncology by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Newton's expertise is in hepatopancreaticobiliary malignancies, gastroesophageal malignancies, neuroendocrine tumors, peritoneal surface malignancies including HIPEC, sarcoma, and melanoma.
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G. Ross Parkerson II, MD

Ross Parkerson is a staff surgeon in the section of vascular surgery. He earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University. He then returned home to attend LSU school of Medicine in New Orleans where he earned his MD and was elected to the AOA Honor Medical Society. Afterward, he moved to Tampa where completed integrated vascular surgery residency at the University of South Florida. While in Tampa, Dr. Parkerson was able to participate in numerous clinical trials of novel endovascular devices designed for the treatment of complex thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms.
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P. Eugene Parrino, MD

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).
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Jennifer Paruch, MD

Dr Paruch earned her medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed her General Surgery Residency at the University of Chicago. While there, she earned an award for excellence in teaching from the junior residents. She completed her fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. Dr Paruch is board certified in general surgery and colon and rectal surgery. She was in practice in Chicago for 2 years before joining Ochsner in the summer of 2019. She has been an instructor for several advanced endoscopy courses for residents and fellows.
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Brian Pettiford, MD

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.
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David Pointer, MD

Dr. David Pointer is a surgical oncologist at Ochsner MD Anderson Cancer Center. He completed medical school and general surgery residency from Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Pointer completed fellowship training in Surgical Oncology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. His clinical interests include gastrointestinal, hepatopancreaticobiliary, skin and soft tissue malignancies with a specific focus on the application of robotic techniques. Dr. Pointer has an interest in resident education, technical development, and mentorship.
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William S. Richardson, MD

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.
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Amy Rivere, MD

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.
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Jessica Roybal, MD

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.
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John Seal, MD

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.
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Christopher R. Smith, DO

Originally a Kansas native, Dr Smith joined that medical staff at Ochsner in 2022. He attended medical school at the Kansas City University of Medicine, then followed by General Surgery residency at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center in Spartanburg, SC. Afterwards, he completed his Plastic Surgery residency at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he received extensive training in all forms of breast reconstruction and microsurgery. He is board certified in General Surgery and board eligible in Plastic Surgery. Dr Smith's primary interests are implant based and microvascular breast reconstruction, complex extremity reconstruction, and aesthetic surgery. He serves as teaching faculty for the Tulane/Ochsner Plastic Surgery residency program, as well as surgical residents from Ochsner and students from the University of Queensland.
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Dennis Sonnier, MD

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.
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Stephen Spindel, MD

Dr. Stephen Spindel is a cardiothoracic surgeon at Ochsner Medical Center. He served eight years in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard and graduated as an Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society member from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Afterwards, he completed an integrated residency fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. At Ochsner Medical Center, he specializes in mitral and tricuspid valve repair, particularly through a mini incision, and complex aortic root reconstructions.
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Rodney Steiner, MD

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.
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W. Charles Sternbergh, III, MD

Dr. Sternbergh’s educational background includes an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a MD 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.
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David Vargas, MD

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.
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Dennis Wells, MD

Dr. Dennis Wells is a congenital cardiac surgeon specializing in the care of infants and children as well as adults with congenital heart disease. He earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed his cardiothoracic surgical training at the University of Cincinnati and congenital cardiac surgical fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. His clinical interests include neonatal surgery, single ventricle palliation, the Ross procedure, mechanical circulatory support, and transplantation. He enjoys opportunities to work with medical students, residents, and fellows.
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Charles B. Whitlow, MD

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.
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James Wooldridge, MD

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.
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