General Surgery

General Surgery

Welcome to the General Surgery Program at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York.

Theodor Kaufman, MD
FACS Program Director

Andrew Griffiths, MD
FACS Associate Program Director


Melanie Howell, MD
Associate Program Director

Medical education has been a cornerstone of our institution’s mission for close to 80 years. Located in what is known as the Leatherstocking Region of New York State, our program offers a true general surgical exposure that is seldom found in either university- or community-based programs. There is, of course, an immense body of general surgical, vascular, and thoracic conditions that are encountered. In addition, our trainees have a significant and a five-year longitudinal exposure to subspecialties such as otolaryngology, plastics - both reconstructive and cosmetic, urology, gynecology, orthopedics, and neurosurgery, among others. Our trainees are afforded an unparalleled opportunity to become familiar within these areas because there are no other surgical specialty residency programs with which to complete.

The chief residents generally average 1,100 major operative procedures by the time they graduate. There is ample endoscopic experience as well, with many residents having performed more than 100 before the end of their third year. For over 20 years we have collaborated with the University of Rochester and our third-year residents spend four months at Strong Memorial Hospital with in-depth exposure to solid organ transplantation, trauma/critical care, and pediatric surgery.

We also offer an elective opportunity for fourth-year residents for two months in Kalispell, Montana, working with a group of advanced oncological surgeons performing surgery as a regional referral center for the state.

Most of our graduates go on to practice general surgery immediately after graduation, and many in small communities. Some pursue fellowship training, and in recent years these have included specialties such as plastic and reconstructive, minimally invasive, cardiothoracic, oncology, vascular, thoracic, hepatobiliary, and colorectal surgery.

The Department of Medical Education provides financial support as well as a progressively increasing allowance for educational materials and conferences. Our surgical department actively supports and helps to produce articles that are published as well as abstract/poster presentations at national and international meetings.

Our residents live and train in a small, family-friendly village. It is a wonderful upstate New York lakeside community with a seasonal tourist population and a peaceful year-round environment. Hiking, x-country skiing, running, rock climbing, cycling and boating are just some of the outdoor activities enjoyed. Many of our residents and faculty walk or bike to work.

We are compliant with both ACGME and New York State Duty Hour Regulations.

We actively seek and encourage applicants from non-traditional backgrounds and ethnicities in an effort to secure a diverse group of trainees.

One visit will convince you of both our high-caliber program and the close-knit relationship that the house staff have with each other, something not common in large multi-hospital based programs.

We welcome any and all questions and encourage you to consider our program and look forward to meeting you someday in picturesque Cooperstown, New York.

Theodor Kaufman, MD, FACS
Program Director