About Our Program

Donald L. Morton, Founder of the Saint John's Cancer Institute and Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship
Donald L. Morton, Founder of the Saint John’s Cancer Institute and Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship
The Donald L. Morton, MD Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center is approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to offer advanced training in surgical oncology.

The program’s name reflects the Institute’s long-established training program founded by the late Donald L. Morton, M.D. and remains one of the largest in the country. Under the leadership of program director Leland J. Foshag, M.D., the program continues to set the standard for multidisciplinary training in academic surgical oncology.

In keeping with its focus on clinical translational research, our multi-campus program covers technical operative skills in cancer surgery, multidisciplinary aspects of clinical surgical oncology, skills to become an academic clinical scientist, clinical translational research that links patient care and laboratory studies, and laboratory basic science research that can be applied to the clinic.

Fellows are groomed to establish their own laboratories and research programs. The program’s success is reflected by the many graduates who have become department chairs or division chiefs of surgical oncology.

Prospective Fellows

Donald L. Morton Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship

The Donald L. Morton, MD Complex General Surgical Fellowship at Saint John’s Cancer Institute offers a two-year clinical fellowship in surgical oncology for four trainees, with an optional third year in basic science research, to candidates who have:

  • completed an ACGME general surgery residency
  • board-eligible in general surgery
  • eligible for a California medical license

The two-year core curriculum for the surgical oncology fellowship comprises 18 months of training in inpatient and outpatient surgical oncology as well as four months for research and longitudinal rotations in medical oncology and radiation oncology. Pathology, genetics, and biostatistics are incorporated into each rotation.

Our fellows spend the majority of their rotations at Providence Saint John’s Health Center but we also affiliate sites that include, Hoag-Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Long beach memorial, The Angeles Clinic, UCLA, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles, Providence Saint Jude’s Medical Center, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, and Providence St. Joseph Hospital.

Saint John’s Cancer Institute affiliate rotation locations

This unique multicenter surgical oncology training program integrates clinical and basic science in a format that considers the limited protected research time available to today’s practicing surgical oncologists. Fellows attend mandatory courses and lectures, present their work at national meetings, write and submit scientific manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals, and learn how to design clinical translational protocols and proposals for competitive grant funding.

A Legacy of Research Excellence

The legacy of Donald L. Morton lives on through a robust surgical oncology fellowship program at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California. This overview is presented by Michael Ricks, Chief Executive for Providence Saint John’s Health Center & Saint John’s Cancer Institute, Dr. Leland Foshag, Director for Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship, and Trevan Fischer, Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology.

Fellowship Overview

Fellows, Stephanie Young, MD, MPH, and Wade Christopher, MD, share their experience working in the Donald Morton fellowship program. Laura Morton Rowe provides a personal message for fellows seeking to build upon her father’s legacy of care and innovation.

Fellow Spotlight

Laura Fluke, M.D., Surgical Oncology Fellow and Class of 2024, Talks DLM Fellowship and Being a Top Gun Surgeon.

Dr. Laura Fluke elucidates her surgical training as a naval surgeon and fellow at Saint John’s Cancer Institute, Donald L. Morton Complex Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program.

How to Apply

Visit AAMC.org
Visit AAMC.org Applying Residencies
Applicants must submit applications and all supporting materials through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).  The Saint John’s Cancer Institute will participate in the national match program for Complex General Surgical Oncology administered by the NRMP.

  • Application
  • Recent CV
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • USMLE scores
  • ABSITE scores
  • Headshot photo
2025 CGSO Fellows
2025 CGSO Fellows

Alumni and Current Fellows


Application Support and General Contact


Contact Us

2022-2023 CGSO Fellows
2022-2023 CGSO Fellows
Leland J. Foshag, M.D., FACS
Program Director

Trevan Fischer, M.D., FACS
Assistant Program Director

Mark Padillo, MPA, C-TAGME
Fellowship Program Manager

Fellowship Office
2200 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404