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Fellowship Program


Dr. Rifenbery actively participates in the Franciscan Health System Advanced Laparoscopy Fellowship Program. He is currently the Associate Director of the Fellowship Program. A variety of surgeons in the region serve as clinical instructors in the Fellowship Program. This program trains surgeons (Fellows) in the latest techniques in laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery. The Fellows are fully trained surgeons who have already completed a 5-year or longer surgery residency training program. They are eligible to enter surgical practice, but have elected to further their training in laparoscopy and minimally invasive surgery. Only the most talented and highly regarded surgeons are selected for this one year long program.

We are honored to teach these surgeons, and feel strongly that it is vital that this type of program be supported to train a new generation of Laparoscopic Surgeons. Our participation as clinical instructors helps to keep us at the forefront of laparoscopic technique and ensures the highest diligence to each procedure. All of this helps bring the highest quality and most contemporary surgical care to our patients. Please be assured that your Surgeon always attends and directs all aspects of your operation. The Fellow acts as a first assistant in surgery and performs directed portions of procedures to enhance their education. The Fellow also participates in clinical research, hospital rounds, weekend call, and office care. If you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with your Surgeon. For more information on Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Training please follow the following link



This year's Fellow is Dr. David Scutter. Dr. Scutter has completed the 5 year surgery residency program at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, MI. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, KS. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Nebraska, in Lincoln, NB, with a Bachelor of Science. He has a particular interest in laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery. He is fully qualified to begin general surgery practice, but has elected to continue his education with our program. Dr. Schutter began the Fellowship Program on August 1, 2019, and will finish his training with us on July 30. 2020.





Previous Fellows:

Dr. Kelly Nolan (July 2005 - June 2006) Now in laparoscopic surgery practice in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Dr. Wendy Weeks (July 2006 - June 2007) Dr. Weeks is now in laparoscopic surgery practice in North Carolina.


Dr. Janie Orrington-Myers (July 2007 - June 2008) Now in laparoscopic surgery practice in Richmond, Virginia.


Dr. Kayvon Alizadeh (July 2008 - June 2009) Now in practice in Jacksonville, Florida.


Dr. Bradley Demarais (July 2009 - June 2010) Now in laparoscopic surgery practice in Wisconson.


Dr. Michael Higgins (July 2011 - June 2012) Now in private laparoscopic surgery practice in Bellingham, Washington.


Dr. David Lundy (July 2012 - June 2013) Now in private laparoscopic surgery practice in Denver, Colorado.


Dr. Andrew McCoy (July 2013 - June 2014) Now in private laparoscopic surgery practice in Angels Camp, California.


Dr. Jordan Gale (July 2014 - June 2015) Now in laparoscopic surgery practice in Tacoma, WA.


Dr. Nathanial Paul (July 2015 - July 2016) Now in laparoscopic surgery practice in Olympia, WA.


Dr. Analisa Armstrong (August 2016 - July 2017) Now in laparoscopic surgery practice in Kirkland, WA.


Dr. Jose Lopez (August 2017 - July 2018) Now in laparoscopic surgery practice in Austin, Texas.


Dr. Michael Lin (August 2018 - July 2019) Now pursuing a laparoscopic career in Oregon.

What we offer


Laparoscopic Surgery NW
1802 S. Yakima Avenue, Suite 202
Tacoma, WA 98405
Phone: 253-234-1283
Fax: 253-572-1071
Office Hours

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