The Division of Surgical Oncology offers one fellowship position, each year, into a two-year ACGME-accredited program of advanced training in complex surgical oncology and cancer research.

Our fellowship provides well-rounded training in the care of patients with surgical oncology issues. The goal of the training experience is to produce an academic surgeon capable of taking a leadership role in the multi-disciplinary care of cancer patients.


VCU Massey Cancer Center is among the top four percent of cancer centers in the country and is one of two in the state designated by the National Cancer Institute to lead and shape America’s cancer research efforts.

Massey conducts cancer research at every level, including basic science (laboratory), translational, clinical and population sciences research. A major strength for Massey is in facilitating the translation and real-world application of research discoveries into improved treatments and patient care and advances in cancer prevention and control.

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Clinical experience

The ACGME fellowship provides comprehensive training in complex surgical oncology.

During the first year, the Fellow spends the first nine months on the Surgical Oncology service which provides exposure to Breast, Endocrine, Gastrointestinal, Hepatopancreatobiliary, Melanoma, and Sarcoma diseases, and in addition, to HIPEC, robotic surgery, and advanced laparoscopy. Subsequently, the Fellow spends one month each in Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology.

For the last month of the first year and the first month of the second year the Fellow will spend two months on the Transplant service (hepatobiliary-focused). 

During the second year, they will have four months of dedicated research time, one month of Pathology, and three months of Electives which can be tailored to their interests, for example Thoracic/Esophageal, Gynecologic  Oncology, Urologic Oncology, Orthopedic Oncology, etc.. During the last three months of the fellowship, the Fellow will be on the Surgical Oncology service.


As required by the ACGME, the Fellow will be provided with four months of dedicated research time.

The program provides the opportunity for each Fellow to conduct basic research and/or clinical outcomes research with dedicated research time and can choose to work with a wide range of faculty at VCU — both from within the surgery department and throughout the VCU community. For example, past research has included molecular biology, immunotherapy, cell signaling, animal tumor model, and clinical projects.


The Division of Surgical Oncology has weekly didactic conferences, and the Department of Surgery has weekly M&M and Grand Rounds conferences. There are also additional conferences targeted for the Surgical Oncology fellow. Multidisciplinary tumor boards in Breast, Endocrine, GI/HPB, Melanoma, and Sarcoma occur weekly.

Our Alumni

How to apply

Applications are due no later than June 30.

To apply please include:

  • SSO application https://www.surgonc.org/
  • Curriculum vitae, including awards, honors, scholarships, societies and publications
  • Documentation of exams taken (e.g., ABSITE, USMLE)
  • A photograph
  • A personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation (one from your department of surgery chair or designee and two from faculty members who have worked closely with you during your surgery training)

Invitations to interview will be issued by August 1.

From the Program Director

VCUSOM director's message

From the Program Director

"Our goal is to educate the surgical oncology leaders of the future."

Brian J. Kaplan, M.D., FACS
Program Director

Division of Surgical Oncology

Contact Us

Brian J. Kaplan, MD
Fellowship Program Director

Ann Whitaker
Fellowship Coordinator

Office location:
West Hospital
7th Floor, West Wing

Mailing address: 
Box 980011
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0011

Phone: (804) 828-9322
Fax: (804) 828-4808

Current Fellows

Laura Stapleton, M.D. 
Surgical Oncology Fellow (PGY-7)

Herman Peters, M.D. 
Surgical Oncology Fellow (PGY-6)