Mohammed Ilyas, Mohammed Iyoob (fellow 2016-2017)

I completed my colon and rectal fellowship from Henry Ford Health in 2017. Since then I have been working as a community colorectal surgeon for a multi-specialty hospital in Southern Illinois. I am their first-ever colorectal surgeon, and I established their first-ever robotic surgery program in the region. To be a solo colorectal surgeon in a community hospital dealing with the entire spectrum of colon and rectal pathologies require adequate training and preparation. Over the last 3 years, I was able to achieve some of the best surgical outcomes with complex colorectal cases independently. Good surgical training during fellowship forms the basis for your comfort and confidence in your independent practice.

Colorectal Fellowship at Henry Ford Health offers multiple advantages in your preparation for independent colorectal surgical practice. To put it succinctly, the training is tailored to the needs of the colorectal resident while meeting all the prescribed metrics. The fellowship offers you a very appropriate mix of open, laparoscopic, and robotic cases. Similarly, the mix of anorectal and colorectal pathologies, including early and advanced cancer cases, IBD, pelvic floor pathology prepares you for independent practice. You also have sufficient research and teaching opportunities without impeding your advanced surgical training. The endoscopic training is sufficient to make you comfortable with both basic and advanced endoscopy. The methodology and schemata practiced in gradually advancing to independent operating are very appropriate and helpful in churning you out as a fully trained colorectal surgeon.

The faculty is very professional and friendly, and they end up becoming some of your best friends in life. Also, downtown Detroit and the suburbs of Detroit are a great place to live and raise your family during your fellowship. I consider Henry Ford Colorectal Fellowship as one of the best fellowships available across North America.

Asai, Megumi (fellow 2018-2019)

What attracted me to Henry Ford Hospital was how happy the previous fellows were. Although the case volume, complexity and balance were one of the most important aspects in choosing a fellowship program, I wanted to feel supported and truly enjoy my last year of training. It didn’t take long to confirm that my gut feeling was right.

What I loved the most is the flexibility of the schedule. It is totally tailored to the fellow’s interests, while following ACGME requirements. If you feel like you need more experience in anorectal cases or colonoscopy, you can choose it over abdominal surgery. The case volume and diversity in pathology and type of surgery are excellent and there is almost nothing you can’t do after graduating from this fellowship. It does not matter if it’s an open, laparoscopic, robotic or complex transrectal surgery, you will be prepared.

Fellowship is not just about surgery. Henry Ford Hospital will teach you everything about colon and rectal surgery: how to run the clinic, billing and coding, how to approach each disease in different settings, when to and when not to operate, and how to coordinate care with different services. You will be ready to be an independent and competent colon and rectal surgeon with a fully developed skill set.

Elizabeth Wood (fellow 2019-2020)

I was initially drawn to the program because of the wide variety of operative cases and disease pathology here in Detroit. There are seven staff surgeons who have trained across the country, and I value their experience and unique approaches to different diseases. I truly received a well-rounded education. There is an excellent balance of endoscopy, clinic, anorectal, minimally invasive and open surgeries. You do see bread and butter cases, however there are plenty of very sick patients with complex surgical issues.

The attending surgeons, nurses, and medical assistants that you work with on a daily basis are wonderful. There is a sense of camaraderie within the group and everyone is extremely supportive of your education. This fellowship offers a significant amount of autonomy and flexibility. On any given day, there are cases in the OR, colonoscopies, or clinic, and I am able to pick and choose what I want to do. As the fellow, you work with an intern, an advanced practice nurse, and a chief resident. You are responsible for assigning cases. This freedom allows you to tailor the fellowship to your own interests and learning needs.

There are formal didactics built into the fellowship. On Monday morning, there is a fellow-driven conference where chapters from the ASCRS textbook are discussed. This keeps you on a reading schedule that ensures the entire text is covered over the course of the year. On Wednesdays, we participate in morbidity and mortality conference with the general surgery department. On Fridays, there is a multidisciplinary GI tumor board.

Henry Ford is an exceptional place that has exceeded my expectations for training. Even with a 3 month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have met all of my curriculum requirements, thanks to the tireless effort of my attendings. I know I am ready to enter practice as an independent colorectal surgeon, but I also know that the relationships I have forged here will last a lifetime and I am grateful for the mentorship I have received. It has been a privilege to be trained at Henry Ford Hospital.

Daniel deLahunta (fellow 2021-2022)

At Henry Ford Health, you will receive excellent and comprehensive training in colon and rectal surgery. I had an inside line as the fellows two years prior to me was one of my senior residents from where I did general surgery residency. She could not have spoken higher of the training that she received, and this played a significant role in my choice to come here. There is a broad range of colorectal cases seen in this program spanning from complex multidisciplinary rectal cancer care to advanced endoscopic techniques to benign anorectal disease.

The schedule is extremely flexible with the support provided by the general surgery residents and colorectal NP. You are able to tailor which surgical cases you want or need to do based on your interest and need to reach certain case requirements (none of which did I have any trouble reaching). The flexibility also allows you to do a variety of clinics with the faculty allowing you to see different approaches to surgical and nonsurgical problems that are often encountered in the clinic.

I received incredible support from both Dr. Nalamati and Dr. Reickert as well as the rest of the surgeons as I progressed through the fellowship. The mentorship that they provide helped me to continue to grow as a surgeon. In addition, there is strong commitment to fellow education throughout the year and this absolutely allowed for me to feel prepared to pass my colorectal boards (not to mention feel comfortable about practicing on my own).

I couldn’t have been happier with my training at Henry Ford Health and the time that I spent in Detroit.

Imran Ahmad, MD (fellow – 2022 -2023)

I had the privilege of completing my Colorectal Fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital 2022-2023. My experience surpassed all my expectations. Over the course of the Fellowship, not only was I exposed to the entire breath of Colorectal Surgery, but in every aspect, I was able to see and evaluate straight forward cases to some of the most complexed cases in the region. Tackling these cases from the clinic to the operating room allowed me to step into practice confidently and was ready to lead my own practice. I felt extremely comfortable in all surgical approaches i.e., robotic, laparoscopic, open, transanal, TAMIS, endoscopy, ect. This helped tremendously in securing the exact opportunity I was looking for after graduating.

One of my favorite aspects was the relationship between the Attendings and Fellow. It is one of partnership and trust creating a welcoming and productive training environment. The program focuses on growth of the Fellow and the curriculum was continuously adjusted to fit my wants and needs. The benefit of training in a high-volume center is being able makes these adjustments quickly and effectively while completing all the ACGME requirements.

Currently, I am the only Colorectal Surgeon in the area, which has made me appreciate my training even more. My colleagues from General Surgery, Oncology, Radiology, and others regularly reach out for advice with the most-up-to date recommendations. For this, the GI tumor board has prepared me to manage all cases and provide recommendations confidently. For instance, for Rectal Cancer, I taught my Oncology team about nuisances in TNT, “Watch and Wait” protocols, and when transanal resection is appropriate rather than segmental resection.

Overall, I highly recommend the Colorectal Fellowship at Henry Ford hospital. The mentorship the fellows receive starts on the first day and lasts a lifetime. Fellows are well prepared to start practice confidently in any environment.  

Information for Applicants
Interested in applying to one of our programs, call (800) 436-7936.

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