Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship | MedStar Washington Hospital Center | MedStar Health
A gastroenterologist points to a model of a human colon.

The MedStar Health—Washington Hospital Center Fellowship Program in Colon and Rectal Surgery

Our ACGME-approved fellowship training program in colon and rectal surgery at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, was initiated by Drs. Lee Smith and Thomas Stahl in July 1999 and has since trained over 20 ABCRS board certified / board eligible individuals in our subspecialty. We host a one-year clinical training experience, following the completion of a residency in general surgery. Our program offers wide exposure to colorectal and anorectal diseases, including colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, pelvic floor disorders, and all forms of anal / perianal disease.

The mission of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship Program is to prepare fellows to care for patients through exposure to diverse patient populations, faculty role models, structured didactics, a supportive learning environment and opportunities for scholarly activity. Our goal is for our fellows to be compassionate, capable, and well-rounded practitioners who thrive in any clinical setting with the skills to continue lifelong learning and attend to their professional and personal well-being. Fellows will embody our SPIRIT values of service, patient first, integrity, respect, innovation, and teamwork in the care of our diverse patient population in the DC area.

Why train here

We perform open, straight laparoscopic, hand-assist, and robotic major cases. We utilize a dual-console robotic system to maximize the learning experience. We train our fellows in the full scope of anorectal physiology testing and have a lab in our clinic with manometry, ultrasound, and EMG.

We train our fellows in the full scope of anorectal physiology testing (manometry, anal ultrasound, pudendal nerve terminal motor latency), and have a close relationship with our colleagues in urogynecology, urology, physical therapy, and radiology, to offer multidisciplinary care as part of the National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery.

We are one of the few NAPRC (National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer) programs in the country and only one in the metropolitan DC area.

We also encourage clinical research throughout the year, submitting abstracts to multiple local and national conferences.

The program aims to provide the education, clinical experience, and faculty mentorship necessary to train skilled, compassionate, board certified, CRS physicians for the practice in public or private settings. The CRS faculty work closely with the fellow to ensure a full complement of surgical procedures is offered for him/her to participate. One of the aims is also to ensure a variety of cases to be available with each of the six faculty so that the fellow can experience several approaches to each of the required cases featured in the ACGME log.

Curriculum and rotations

We host and participate in several educational activities during the academic year on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis as described below.

While the vast majority of training occurs at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the fellow will travel to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, MedStar Montgomery Medical Center or MedStar Lafayette Surgery Centre on occasion when an applicable teaching case is presented.



Teaching rounds with students, general surgery residents, and faculty.


  • Pre-operative conference
  • Case discussion of inpatients
  • General Surgery Grand Rounds and Morbidity & Mortality conference
  • Systematic review of CRS Core Subjects (ASCRS textbook chapter review, plus supplemental materials)
  • Multidisciplinary GI Oncology/NAPRC conference


  • Colorectal Surgery Journal Club
  • IBD Conference


  • Pelvic floor/UroGyn conference


  • Local - Metropolitan DC American College of Surgeons (bi-annual meeting)
  • Regional - Chesapeake Society of Colorectal Surgeons (bi-annual meeting)
  • National - ASCRS Annual Meeting

Application information

Interested in applying?

Contact us

Contact the program administrator:

Ashley Nordhagen
Program Administrator