Colorectal Surgery Fellowship

This one-year ACGME-accredited program prepares physicians for certification by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery (ABCRS). Our program is enhanced through collaboration with Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center.

As a tertiary care referral center, we offer broad and significant program experience balanced with high case volume including:

  • Surgical treatment of colon, rectal and anal cancer.
  • Extensive experience in the surgical treatment of patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Care and treatment of complex diverticular disease.  
  • Training in colonoscopy and anorectal surgery.
  • Collaboration with physicians in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

In addition, the resident rotates one session per week (half day) in the outpatient clinic and approximately one session per week performing endoscopies. Pelvic floor experience occurs at Massachusetts General Hospital once a month. At the conclusion of the year, the resident will have had exposure to all colorectal disease problems and a rich operative experience in minimally invasive and open surgical techniques.

Colorectal Surgery faculty and trainees at the 2023 ASCRS meetingColorectal Surgery faculty and trainees at the 2023 ASCRS Meeting

Nelya Melnitchouk, MD, MSc

Nelya Melnitchouk, MD, MSc

Program Director

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Colorectal Surgery Fellowship Topics

Quick Facts

  • One fellow is appointed annually to the one-year colorectal fellowship.
  • All faculty hold full-time teaching appointments at Harvard Medical School.
  • Most fellows complete 400 to 500 procedures by the completion of the fellowship.
  • Each year 20 to 25 candidates are interviewed.
Program Objectives
  • To offer an exposure to a broad range of colorectal disease problems.
  • To provide a rich operative experience in minimally invasive and open surgical techniques.
  • To learn state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques.
  • To undertake a clinical research project.
  • Chapter Review: Weekly to biweekly with colorectal faculty. This conference is case based.
  • Journal Club: Review of current and "classic" manuscripts on a quarterly basis.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease Conference: Biweekly case presentations by the colorectal surgery fellow and residents, in conjunction with the Division of Gastroenterology.
  • GI Cancer Conference: Biweekly in conjunction with the medical and radiation oncologists at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center.
  • Surgery Morbidity and Mortality Conference: Weekly meeting sponsored by the Department of Surgery for all sections and divisions. Selected complications are presented by the residents and fellows. Radiology and literature are reviewed.
  • Surgical Grand Rounds: Coordinated by General Surgery faculty. Colorectal or topics of significant interest are presented once or twice per month.
  • Fellows Retreat: One full day per year sponsored by the Mass General Brigham Graduate Medical Education Office. Specialized lectures relating specifically to post-residency fellows are reviewed. Networking is encouraged.
Research Opportunities

All residents are required to submit an abstract for presentation at the annual meeting of the ABCRS. All residents are encouraged to write one manuscript and one book chapter. Collaboration is an essential part of the experience at the Brigham.

Residents are also supported to attend the annual meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) and the meeting of the New England Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (NESCRS), both in the spring. Other courses for specialized training are offered on a case-by-case basis.


Brigham and Women's Hospital is a scientific, clinical and academic institution with a long history of firsts. We foster a shared commitment to predict, prevent and treat the world's toughest diseases. Our collaborations are changing the future of medicine, in Boston and beyond.

Our culture in providing excellence in patient care, teaching and research affords an exceptional environment for clinical training and participation in exciting advances in basic and clinical research.

Committed to teaching and mentoring the next generation of surgeons and leaders in medicine, our faculty is comprised of experienced clinicians who impart a breadth of knowledge and expertise during clinical rounds and in clinics. In addition, basic and clinical research mentors provide many research opportunities for residents and fellows.

Our Faculty

Ronald Bleday, MD - Section Chief
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Jennifer Irani, MD
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Joel Goldberg, MD
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Nelya Melnitchouk, MD - Program Director
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Mandeep Saund, MD
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James Yoo, MD
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Teaching Facilities

Brigham and Women's Hospital is located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area in Boston, Massachusetts. It is Harvard Medical School's second largest teaching affiliate. Along with Massachusetts General Hospital, it is one of the two founding members of Mass General Brigham, the largest health care provider in Massachusetts.

Brigham and Women's Hospital is an international leader in virtually every area of medicine and has been the site of pioneering breakthroughs that have improved lives around the world.


The colorectal surgery fellowship matches one new fellow each year to the one-year clinical program. We will begin recruitment in summer 2024 for the fellowship position to begin on August 1, 2025. All resident applicants must register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) in addition to requesting an application from the AAMC Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Programs participating in ERAS may only accept those application materials sent electronically through ERAS. We will not accept any additional supporting documents by mail.

Requirements and Deadline

We require the following documents to be available for download through ERAS for a complete application to be reviewed:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Medical school transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Dean's letter
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • USMLE transcript
  • ABS in-training exam scores

The deadline to submit completed applications is September 1, 2024.

Interview Information

Each application is reviewed in its entirety with a focus on a combination of overall academic excellence, leadership ability, career development potential and personal character.

We interview approximately 20 to 25 candidates for the colorectal program each year. All invitations are sent through email via ERAS after our deadline. We contact all candidates with an invitation or decline. All interviews are held virtually on Zoom.

This year's virtual interviews will be held in fall 2024.

Please contact Brigham and Women's Hospital Surgery Education office with any further questions at 617-732-6861 or via email at

Dedication to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

With our United Against Racism initiative, Mass General Brigham is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workforce. Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) promotes this mission by offering mentoring, training, networking events, and more to foster career advancement and professional development. The DEI also supports a number of employee resource groups to provide support and community.  

Fellow Well-Being Resources and Support

Residents and fellows at Brigham and Women’s have access to resources to help you stay healthy and manage your work-life balance. Resources include our robust Employee Assistance Program, a lease guaranty program to assist with moving to the Boston area, transportation and parking programs, loan repayment and deferment options, mental health tools, and parenting resources such as lactation rooms and equipment, day care, and back-up childcare services. Visit our GME Website for more information.

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital

For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

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