Surgical Critical Care
Fellowship Program


to educate, mentor, and develop surgical critical care physicians who deliver outstanding, efficient medical care with compassion, integrity, and respect

Watch the Program Introduction Video

The Lakeland Regional Health Surgical Critical Care fellowship program is a one-year ACGME-accredited fellowship. Our goal is to teach critical care skills, and foster intellectually curious, clinically capable and patient-family centered surgical critical care intensivists able to lead the multi-disciplinary approach to the care of the acutely-ill and injured.

Why Train at LRH?

The primary mission of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program is to educate, mentor, and develop surgical critical care physicians who deliver outstanding, efficient medical care with compassion, integrity, and respect. With a community-focused program centered on developing community hospital leaders, fellows will learn the practical aspects of surgical critical care while using the most up-to-date practices and evidence-based medicine. Our graduates will be well-prepared for careers within the community and academic environment. Through a focused and robust clinical and didactic curriculum, mentoring from ABS/AOBS certified faculty members with a variety of backgrounds and expertise and bedside learning, our fellows will be well-prepared for independent practice.

Lakeland Regional Medical Center is the primary clinical site for the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program. As one of Florida’s largest hospitals, with 892 beds, Lakeland Regional Medical Center has ample opportunity for fellows to gain hands-on clinical experience with an array of patients. In an effort to maintain continuity of care, all Surgical Critical Care rotations will occur at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center. The hospital has received numerous from Forbes, Gallup, and Becker’s Hospital Review. The Surgical Critical Care fellows at Lakeland Regional Health will have access to an exceptional assortment of resources that will aid in their training.

Why Choose Us?

  • We are one of the busiest emergency departments in the entire country and with a diverse rural population, the pathology and patient variety is unmatched.
  • We are a state-designated Level II Trauma Center since 1998 and the only designated trauma center for Polk, Highlands, and Hardee counties.
  • The diversity in training and background of the faculty results in mentorship by a varied and highly respected pedigree from some of the premier surgical critical care training institutions from around the country. The faculty are motivated to teach and dedicated to mentorship.
  • Attendings are not dependent on residents or fellows for their daily work. This results in a fellowship in which the fellow is closer to an attending than they are a resident and a training program that is more of an apprenticeship than a residency.
  • You will be an ICU leader. As the point of contact and face of the unit while on service you will meet with the ICU Director and nursing management. You also have the global responsibility for overseeing the care provided by the ICU team.
2021 Critical Care Patients
2021 Trauma Activations

Lakeland Regional Health is one of Forbes Best-in-State Employers for 2022. We aim to remain thriving workplace for everyone on our team. We are excited to welcome our residents into our organization and support their personal and professional growth.


Surgical Critical Care fellows will participate in a robust educational program, including surgical critical care journal club. The fellows’ responsibilities also include and teaching residents, staff and students. Fellows also attend the weekly morbidity and mortality conference and actively participate in hospital meetings and research.

  • Trauma Intensive Care Unit (3 months)
    • The Trauma Intensive Care Unit is an 18-bed unit dedicated primarily to the care of critical trauma and surgical patients.

  • Medical Intensive Care Unit (2 months)
    • The Medical Intensive Care Unit is a 32-bed unit dedicated to the care of critically ill medical patients.

  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit (3 months)
    • The Surgical Intensive Care Unit is an 18-bed unit dedicated primarily to the care of surgical critical care patients.

  • Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (3 months)
    • The Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit is an 18-bed unit dedicated to the care of both critical surgical and medical patients, predominantly with neurologic conditions.

  • Trauma Service (1 month)
    • Mentored experience in operative and nonoperative treatment of the acutely injured patient

  • Elective ICU (4 months)

    • Tailored to the career goals of the fellow.


Weekly Didactic Curriculum
  • Based on Critical Care of the Surgical Patient by DeckerX A module based weekly curriculum of scheduled Surgical Critical Care readings and clinical cases and board-style MCQs keyed to essential elements of critical care surgery.


Journal Club
  • Twice a month journal club focused on in-depth learning and discussions with literature selected by fellows and attendings.


Mortality & Morbidity Conference
  • Weekly Morbidity and Mortality cases with untoward outcomes are pulled from all Surgical Critical Care services and reviewed with group discussion of opportunities for improvement.

Program Leadership

donald davis md

Donald Davis, MD

Program Director, Surgical Critical Care

debra seoane

Debra Seoane, MD

Associate Program Director, Surgical Critical Care

Core Faculty


Sobowale, MD

Read Bio

Olumide Sobowale, MD is a double board-certified surgical critical care and trauma surgeon at Lakeland Regional Health. Dr. Sobowale specializes in Trauma/Acute Care Surgery, General Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care. Dr. Sobowale cares for patients seeking urgent, emergent, and elective surgery. Additionally, he cares for patients needing surgery for trauma injuries and who are acutely ill and need surgical intervention. Dr. Sobowale completed medical school at Howard University College of Medicine and completed his two residencies at the University of Connecticut and the University of Florida Health Science Center. Additionally, he competed his fellowship at Hartford Hospital.


Dr. Sobowale enjoys treating patients and having the capacity to intervene acutely to stop further deterioration of someone’s physiology. He aims to help them recover from an unexpected event. He is additionally interested in the abdominal wall reconstruction of traumatically injured person.


Gaugler, DO

Read Bio

Andrew Gaugler, DO, FACS is a board-certified surgeon at Lakeland Regional Health. Dr. Gaugler has special clinical interest in chest wall reconstruction after injury and prehospital trauma care. He earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Nova Southeastern University and completed his internship and Residency in General Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Additionally, he completed a Fellowship in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at the University of Miami Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Gaugler specializes in Emergency General Surgery and Trauma.


Dr. Gaugler enjoys seeing patients return to the lives they lived prior to being injured. Trauma surgery starts with saving life and limb, but his ultimate goal is for our patients to get back to their loved ones. Additionally, Dr. Gaugler leads a multi-disciplinary research group focused on improving outcomes in polytrauma patients.

matthew forestiere

Forestiere, MD

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Matthew Forestiere, MD is a board-certified surgeon, providing care to patients at our Medical Center. He specializes in General Surgery, Acute Care Surgery, Trauma Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care.  Dr. Forestiere attended medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  He completed his Surgical residency at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, TX.  He then completed his Surgical Critical Care, Trauma, and Acute Care fellowship at LAC+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA before joining Lakeland Regional Health.


Dr. Forestiere is dedicated to helping patients fully understand what is happening to them with their illness or trauma, and ultimately guiding and empowering them through the treatment of their trauma care, surgery, and recovery.

Dr. Forestiere has surgical interests in the care of trauma patients, Acute Care and Emergency General Surgery with the use of Robotics, and chest wall and abdominal wall reconstruction.

Richard Sontchi, MD

Sontchi, MD

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Richard Sontchi, MD is a double board-certified surgical critical care and trauma surgeon at Lakeland Regional Health. Dr. Sontchi specializes in Trauma/Acute Care Surgery, General Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care. In addition to patients seeking treatment for general surgery needs, Dr. Sontchi cares for patients who are acutely ill or injured, particularly specializing in complex abdominal wall reconstruction, while providing individualized care plans for each unique health concern.


Dr. Sontchi completed medical school and his residency at the University of South Florida, and his fellowship training at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Dr. Sontchi feels honored to be able to intervene and be a part of a person’s life at some of the most important chapters. He feels it is a privilege to be trusted by a patient and their family allowing him to care for them. 


Taylor, DO

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Michael Taylor, DO is a double board-certified surgeon, providing care to patients at our Medical Center. He specializes in Trauma Surgery, Emergency General Surgery, Elective General Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care. Dr. Taylor attended medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He completed his fellowship at Boston Medical Center, and completed his medical residency at McLaren Macomb.


Dr. Taylor encompasses a comprehensive trauma and surgical-informed care approach with all of his patients to care for them in their most vulnerable times. By recognizing that any traumatic event can have long-lasting implications for a patient and their loved ones, he can better care for the immediate and future needs of his patients.

Teaching Faculty

Ward Wall Jr., MD

Ward Wall
Jr., MD

Read Bio

Ward Wall, MD is a board-certified surgeon at Lakeland Regional. He specializes in general surgery, trauma surgery, and surgical critical care. He sees patients suffering from various types of surgical needs including hernias, gallbladder, appendicitis, diverticulitis, removal of lumps/masses, and colonoscopies. Dr. Ward attended Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed both his residency and fellowship at Washington Hospital Center.


Dr. Ward is passionate about educating his patients so they feel confident before, during, and after their surgery. He prioritizes developing a relationship with his patients so he can help them improve their daily lives.


Rowe, MD

Sanjiv Gray

Sanjiv F.
Gray, MD


Weston, MD

derek hansen

Hansen, MD

ricki brown

Brown, MD

Read Bio

Where are you originally from? (State or Country)?



Where did you Attend Medical School and What year was your graduation?

University of Science, Arts and Technology 2018


Where did you attend residency?

University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, Brandon Regional Hospital


What is one reason residents should choose LRH EM Residency?

LRH is the second busiest ED in the country with over 190,000 visits annually, including 60,000 pediatric visits. This guarantees you exposure to an extraordinary variety of pathology. We also have robust trauma service offering numerous procedure opportunities.

You will practice in a community setting that is relatively unopposed by other services, ensuring you will learn how to thrive in any circumstance with any illness or injury that arrives.

LRH is a non-corporate entity that champions the ED and its physicians.


What are your favorite hobbies?
Yoga, Barre, Visiting new FL beaches, Cooking


What is your favorite thing about living in Lakeland or Central Florida?
I live in south Tampa, and absolutely LOVE it. I love the small-town feel, with the growing community and all that brings with. It's a young and vibrant city, fun for the whole family!


Do you have any special interests in EM or medicine?
Education, Advocacy, Government affairs, FEM in EM, Public Health


 What is your favorite activity in central Florida?
Exploring the FL coasts


What is your favorite beach in Florida?
Long Beach


Portner, MD

Chaudhry_Headshot_DeptOfNeurosurgeryGroup-26 copy

Chaudhry, MD

Read Bio

Nauman S. Chaudhry, MD is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of South Florida & Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Dr. Chaudhry specializes in complex spine surgery in the adult, adolescent, and pediatric populations. He completed medical school at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, his residency at University of Illinois at Chicago, and his fellowship in Neurosurgery at Duke University Hospital.


Dr. Chaudhry works closely with patients, treating a variety of spinal pathologies with the latest open, minimally invasive, and robotic surgical techniques. He discusses the most durable option with patients and will follow them long term to treat any new issues that may arise after spine surgery.

Croci_square copy

Croci, MD

Read Bio

Davide Marco Croci, MD is a fellowship-trained surgeon in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of South Florida & Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Raised in Switzerland, Dr. Croci is fluent in four languages: Italian, French, German, and English. He completed two very competitive fellowship programs in both complex spine and complex cranial neurosurgery at Kantonsspital Aarau, Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, and University of Basel School of Medicine.


Dr. Croci was named as a member of the North American Skull Base Society, The Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and The European Association of Neurosurgical Societies. Dr. Croci completed his fellowships at the University of Utah (Complex Spine) and the University of South Florida (Complex Cranial). He has special research interest in the inflammatory mechanism after subarachnoid hemorrhage, in skull base approaches, and in studying the outcome of patient undergoing cervical spine surgery. 


Lakeland Regional Health offers a competitive benefits package. Click below to view the benefits package provided to LRH team members.

Beyond our standard tuition reimbursement program, retirement plans, paid time off and a comprehensive health and benefit plan, we also offer the following extended benefits for residents of our Graduate Medical Education Program:

How to Apply

Applicants to the Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowships must submit a complete application via Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Fellowship Application Service (SAFAS).

Fellows will participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Interview dates will begin in May and run through July.

NRMP Number: 2323442F0

Required Supporting Documents

    • Curriculum vitae
    • Medical School Transcript
    • Personal Statement
    • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • USMLE Scores


We are excited to welcome all candidates to apply for our Graduate Medical Education programs. However, please note that applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visas at this time. Thank you for understanding.

Contact Us


Brittany Harris 

Surgical Critical Care Program Manager

863-687-1100 Ext. 3669

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