Meet the Doctors

David Zabel, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon​

Zabel-David

Dr. Zabel is currently the Chief of Plastic Surgery of Christiana Care Health Systems and co-director of the Christiana Hernia Center. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He graduated with honors from Case Western Reserve University majoring in engineering and continued his education to graduate from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

After completing his General Surgery residency at Christiana Care, he performed a Wound Healing Research Fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco (Stanford Medical School). He then completed his formal training in Plastic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Zabel has actively been pursuing his passion for hernia care by combining his interest in engineering and medicine with the concepts of mesh, fixation and abdominal wall reconstruction for almost 20 years after having won a first place research award at the Ohio Valley Plastic Surgery Society for his work on component muscle separation in 1997.

Dr. Zabel is a retired Commander in the United States Navy Reserves.

A member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Hernia Society, Dr. Zabel continues to present and publish the work of the Christiana Hernia Center at both national and international meetings. He enjoys hosting visiting surgeons in the operating room to share techniques and advice. A member of the American Hernia Society Quality Collaborative that shares outcome data of the Christiana Hernia Center to compare to national standards in hernia care.


Michael Conway, M.D.

Board Certified General Surgeon​

Featured imageA board-certified surgeon, Michael K. Conway, M.D. is chief of Christiana Care’s general surgery section.

Dr. Conway also is also medical director of operating room surgical physician assistants at Christiana Care.

A 1989 graduate of Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. Conway completed his postgraduate surgical residency in 1993 at the Medical Center of Delaware, now Christiana Care.

He was chief resident from 1993-1994. Dr. Conway spent two years in private practice before co-founding Delaware Surgical Group in 1996.

He is currently president of the practice, which specializes in laparoscopic procedures for hernias and gallbladder surgery.During his distinguished career at Christiana Care and in private practice, Dr. Conway has received a number of clinical and academic appointments.

He is a clinical professor of medicine at Jefferson College of Medicine, an advanced trauma life support instructor and a member of Christiana Care Health System’s teaching staff.

He serves on a number of hospital-based committees including the general surgery advisory board, the surgical education committee and the medical leadership council.He is a member of the Medical Society of Delaware, the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons and the Society of Gastric Endoscopic Surgeons.


Eric Kalish, M.D.

Board Certified General Surgeon​

Featured imageBoard certified in general surgery, Dr. Eric D. Kalish, MD has been providing comprehensive surgical care to patients in the tri-state area for the past ten years. He continues to be a member of the Christiana Care Health System’s surgical teaching staff.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1994, Dr. Kalish completed his postgraduate surgical training in 2000 at Christiana Care.

He was chief resident from 2000-01. Dr. Kalish specializes in hernia and gallbladder surgery, as well as colon surgery. With a particular interest in complex abdominal wall reconstruction, he has teamed with Christiana Hernia Care to repair complex hernias in hundreds of patients with prior failed repairs.

He is a member of the Medical Society of Delaware and serves as Medical Advisor for Maxim Healthcare Services.


Joseph Belgrade, M.D.

Board Certified General Surgeon​

Featured imageDr. Joseph Belgrade, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a board certified general surgeon who is a Delaware native and has been practicing privately since 1990.

Dr. Belgrade attended Jefferson Medical School (where he graduated in 1985) and completed his internship and residency at the Medical Center of Delaware, where he was also Chief Resident for a period (1989-1990).

As a surgeon on staff with Christiana Care Health Systems, he has achieved many accomplishments such as: Trauma Attending of the Year (1997 & 2003), Department of Surgery Attending of the Year (1997 & 2005), and Associate Section Chief Department of Surgery (2006-2008).

Dr. Belgrade is also a member of Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Medical Society and New Castle County Medical Association.


Peter Santoro M.D. 

Board Certified General Surgeon 

Featured imageDr. Santoro is a native Delawarean. He is a graduate of St. Mark’s High School (’99) here in Delaware as well as the University of Delaware. He attended St. George’s University School of Medicine where he graduated magna cum laude in 2009. He continued his training at Christiana Care completing his residency in 2014, also serving as Chief resident from 2013-2014. In addition, since finishing his residency, Dr. Santoro has completed advanced training in robotic and single site robotic surgery.

Dr. Santoro is a board certified General Surgeon and specializes in advanced laparoscopic and minimally invasive techniques including robotic surgery for inguinal hernias and gallbladder problems. His interests also include complex ventral hernia repair and abdominal wall reconstruction, surgical oncology and breast surgery, surgical dermatology, endoscopy, and colorectal surgery.