Complex General Surgical Oncology (CGSO) Fellowship

About the Program

Stanford University offers a two-year, ACGME-accredited Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship approved by the SSO. The aim of the program is to provide fellows with advanced training in complex oncologic surgery and multidisciplinary cancer care. In addition, trainees will receive ample mentorship in cutting-edge surgical oncology research and tools to refine their skills as clinical educators. The mission of the program is to cultivate the next generation of clinical and academic leaders in surgical oncology. The fellowship was established in 2020 and accepts one fellow every other year.


Rotation Schedule

There is a strong emphasis in hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB), complex upper GI, and retroperitoneal sarcoma surgery, with half (12 months) of the 24-month curriculum being devoted to such rotations (6 months/year) (see goals and objectives here). The remaining 12 months are dedicated to endocrine/melanoma (2-3 months), colorectal (1 month), and breast surgery (1 month), in addition to 4 months of protected clinical research time (2 months/year) and 1-month rotations in medical oncology, radiation oncology, and pathology.

The surgical oncology faculty at Stanford have demonstrated significant interest and proficiency in minimally-invasive techniques (laparoscopic and robotic surgery) as well as established expertise to successfully remove borderline resectable pancreatic, liver, and retroperitoneal tumors involving major vessels. Our peritoneal surface malignancy/HIPEC program is the leading program in Northern California and Northwestern US, contributing to the fellowship’s robust clinical experience.

Clinical rotations adhere to an apprenticeship model, with the fellows working directly with 1-2 attendings, while leading a clinical team that includes mid-level residents, interns, PAs/NPs, and medical students. The fellows spend one day per week in clinic while on a clinical service, forming multidisciplinary treatment plans for new patients as well as providing postoperative and long-term follow-up care.


The fellows are expected to actively participate in numerous, relevant Tumor Boards (hepatobiliary, neuroendocrine, upper GI/pancreas, colorectal, breast, thyroid, and sarcoma) within the NCI-designated Stanford Cancer Institute, presenting cases in need of multidisciplinary discussion. There is a fellow-run weekly Surgical Oncology/HPB teaching conference, where scientific literature is critically reviewed to answer pertinent clinical questions. Similar conferences exist on the Breast and Endocrine rotations. The fellows participate actively in weekly Department of Surgery Grand Rounds and Division of General Surgery Morbidity and Mortality conferences. Through the aforementioned conferences as well as daily teaching rounds, the fellows are important contributors to the education of our general surgery residents and medical students.

The SurgOnc/HPB teaching conference 2023-2024 schedule is located here.


The program is positioned within the New Stanford Hospital, a highly innovative ultramodern facility blending the most advanced medical technologies with a human-centered approach to patient care.


Stanford Surgical Oncology faculty are international leaders in their respective fields. Over 20 faculty will be involved in the training of the surgical oncology fellows. Core faculty members include:

George Poultsides, MD, MS          Section Chief, Surgical Oncology
Byrne Lee, MD                                    Director, Regional Cancer Therapies Program
Daniel Delitto, MD, PhD                 HPB Surgical Oncology Faculty
Monica Dua, MD                                Associate Program Director, General Surgery Residency and HPB Fellowship
George Fisher, MD, PhD                 Medical Oncology Faculty
Electron Kebebew, MD                  Division Chief, General Surgery
Amanda Kirane, MD                        Director, Cutaneous Surgical Oncology
Andrew Shelton, MD                       Section Chief, Colorectal Surgery
Brendan Visser, MD                         Section Chief, HPB & Program Director, HPB Fellowship
Lucas Vitzthum, MD                        Radiation Oncology Faculty
Irene Wapnir, MD                              Program Director, Breast Surgery Fellowship

Program Information

Length of program: 2 years

Eligibility: By the beginning date of the fellowship, all applicants must have completed their residency training in an accredited general surgery program in the US or Canada and have attained qualification to sit for the examination of the American Board of Surgery.

Number of positions: 1 every other year

Program policies are available here

How to Apply

Applications for fellowship positions will be accepted through ERAS. Following the application deadline, completed applications will be reviewed and candidates selected for interviews will be notified. In addition to the application, the following documents should also be included:

  1.  Current curriculum vitae
  2.  Personal statement
  3.  Three letters of recommendation
  4.  USMLE scores
  5.  Recent photograph
  6.  ECFMG certificate (international medical graduates)

The fellowship participates in the national match program for CGSO administered by the NRMP.


George Poultsides, MD, MS
Program Director

Byrne Lee, MD
Associate Program Director


Leslie Johnson                   Fellowship Coordinator
(650) 723-3826


Sara Daniel, MD
2022-2024 SurgOnc Fellow

Sara is originally from Seminole, FL and graduated from medical school at the University of Virginia. She completed her general surgery residency at the University of Washington. During her research years, she studied the tumor immune microenvironment in the liver and pancreas. Her current research interests are taking those translational methods and applying them to peritoneal surface malignancies and clinical trials. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and hiking with her husband, son, and two dogs.

Christopher Javadi, MD, PhD
2020-2022 SurgOnc Fellow