History of the Division of Endocrine Surgery at the University of Michigan
The Department of Surgery at the University of Michigan has a rich 150-year history, and endocrine surgery has played a major role in this history. One of the department's greatest chairmen (1930-1957) Frederick A. Coller, M.D., was a renowned thyroid surgeon.
Michigan is located in an iodine deficient geographical area known as the goiter belt. Before the routine iodination of salt, many residents of Michigan suffered from goiter (or enlarged thyroid) and came to University of Michigan Medical Center for treatment. Dr. Coller helped to develop the field of thyroid surgery, in which he gained extensive expertise and technical supremacy. Working closely with Jerome Conn, M.D., a prominent University of Michigan endocrinologist (for whom Conn's syndrome is named), he also developed early methods for measuring adrenal gland function. Norman W. Thompson, M.D., who trained in general surgery under Coller at the University of Michigan, continued to make advances in thyroid surgery following Dr. Coller's retirement. He gained world-wide renown for surgery of the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and pancreas and is recognized as one of the founders of the specialty of endocrine surgery. He was pivotal in gaining recognition for endocrine surgery as a distinct discipline both in the USA and in the international surgical community. The Division of Endocrine Surgery at the University of Michigan, established by Dr. Thompson in 1979, was the first of its kind in the United States. Since then it has contributed to the training of many prominent general and endocrine surgeons and provided exceptional care for tens of thousands of patients with endocrine surgical disease.
After a long and immensely successful career, Dr. Thompson retired in 2002. At that time a professorship in endocrine surgery was established in his name. The first recipient of the Thompson professorship was Dr. Gerard Doherty, who joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as chief of the Division of Endocrine Surgery in 2002, leaving the division at the end of 2011 to take a position as Chair, Department of Surgery, Boston Medical Center. Dr. Paul Gauger has taken the position of chief of the Division of Endocrine Surgery as of 2012 and Dr. Hasan Alam became the Norman Thompson Professor of Surgery and Section Head of General Surgery in 2012.
Norman W. Thompson Fellowship in Endocrine Surgery
The Norman W. Thompson Fellowship in Endocrine Surgery was the first fellowship dedicated to the specialty of endocrine surgery upon its establishment in 1984. The one year clinical and integrated research fellowship is designed to develop special interest and expertise in the field of endocrine surgery.
The fellow must be well-trained in general surgery and eligible for American Board of Surgery certification. The goal of the fellowship is to facilitate the graded transition of the trainee to an independent endocrine surgeon who is confident in the management of patients with the full variety of endocrine surgical problems. Opportunities to contribute to the field through clinical research are also provided and encouraged. The endocrine surgery fellow is funded for one year as a Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Michigan.
The Division of Endocrine Surgery group performs over 600 cervical endocrine operations, 25-50 endocrine pancreas operations, and >75 adrenal operations each year. The Thompson fellow begins the year learning management and technical principles with the endocrine surgical faculty in both the clinic and operating room. A graded progression of increased independent responsibility occurs throughout the year. The year also includes exposure to outpatient clinical care, endocrine pathology, radiology and nuclear medicine, and intraoperative parathyroid hormone monitoring. Extensive skills with cervical ultrasound and laryngoscopy will be developed.
Applicants are considered for the fellowship through the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons fellowship match. Applications (CV, 3 letters of recommendation, and a summary cover letter from the applicant) are accepted until June 1st of the year prior to the July 1st start date. Interviews are offered in June, July, and August on a rolling basis when applications are complete.
Paul G. Gauger, M.D. William J. Fry Professor of Surgery
List of Previous Fellows