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21st Century Surgery

About the Ilitch Department of Surgery 
at the Wayne State University School of Medicine

The Michael and Marian Ilitch Department of Surgery has a long and proud history of service, education, and research. The Department is comprised of sections in general surgery, surgical oncology, trauma, cardiothoracic, plastic, transplantation, pediatric, vascular, and minimally invasive surgery. The Department is home to more than 70 residents and fellows who are taught by 47 full-time faculty and more than 90 clinical faculty. In addition, the surgical education of the 1,200 students in the Wayne State University School of Medicine is the Department’s responsibility.

The Department’s strengths and reputation rest on its tripartite base of clinical, education, and research foci. Although outstanding clinical surgeons are its trademark, the research and education missions are equally outstanding. Did you know that the vast majority of Michigan surgeons trained here? And that it was our surgeons, in collaboration with engineers from General Motors, who researched and developed the world’s first successful heart pump?

With well over 10,000 feet of lab space, large and small animal labs, and access to state-of-the-art engineering facilities from atomic force microscopes to a Class 10/100 Clean Room in the Smart Sensors and Integrated Microsystems (SSIM) Lab at the College of Engineering, our faculty and residents have unparalleled access to world-class medical/surgical/microbiological research facilities and equipment, all within a single campus.

Residencies & Programs

Our residency is built on the tenets of traditional surgical training, but has positioned itself to take advantage of new technologies and methods for the continued evolution of surgical education to be on the leading edge of change.


Research is strongly supported and encouraged. In addition to the large amount of research conducted by individual surgeons, the Department supports institutional research through several academic labs and commercial/industrial collaborations.