Contact Information

Surgery Interest Group

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

SIG Officers

2d Lt Matthew Gangidine, USAF

2d Lt Douglas Morte, USAF

ENS Utsav Patwardhan, USN

Lecture Coordinator
2d Lt Jakob Fischer, USAF

Surgical Skills Coordinator
2d Lt Elan Sherazee, USAF

Service Coordinator
2Lt Kevin Climaco, USA

Shadowing Coordinator
2d Lt Kelly Mead, USAF

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. David Welling, Col, USAF (ret.), FACS

Welcome to the homepage of the Surgery Interest Group (SIG) at the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine. SIG is an active group that conducts a wide variety of activities throughout the year including a regular lunchtime lecture series, surgical skills labs, shadowing, service opportunities, and more. Explore our website for details or "like" us on Facebook.

For general information, contact SIG President 2d Lt Matthew Gangidine or the SIG Faculty Advisor, Dr. David Welling. For those of you who might be considering a career in surgery, log onto So you want to be a Surgeon. This is a free, on-line book of suggestions about who might consider a career in surgery, how to get a good training program, the various subspecialties of surgery, etc., published by the American College of Surgeons, entitled "So, you want to be a surgeon...".


Come hear presentations from noteworthy surgeons in a variety of specialties on what it is like to be a surgeon!

Students with Dr. Bill DeVries after a SIG lecture

Students with Dr. Bill DeVries after a SIG lecture

Also, look out for information regarding the Department of Surgery Distinguished Lecture Series.

To view upcoming events, take a look at the SIG calendar.


For information about membership and getting involved in SIG activities, please contact ENS Utsav Patwardhan


Contact 2d Lt Kevin Climaco for information on SIG volunteering within the local community.

Students from USUHS serve food at Christ House

Students from USU serve food at Christ House

Shadowing Opportunities

Shadowing Opportunities are emailed out to SIG members. Dr. Welling regularly takes groups of students to the OR at WRNMMC to give students the chance to see surgery first hand. Other opportunities include shadowing in the wound clinic or with a transplant team. Contact 2d Lt Kelly Mead with questions.

Suture Lab

Are you ready to learn surgical techniques used in the OR? Learn from Dr. Welling and other USU faculty and develop skills crucial for your future medical career. Students may begin with basic knot tying and suturing, and progress to techniques such as cricothyrotomy and simulated endoscopy. Contact 2d Lt Elan Sherazee.

Teaching of a proper two-handed knot tying method

Dr. W teaches the proper two-hand knot tying method

Dr. W teaches the proper two-hand knot tying method

Learning knot tying from Dr. Hutton