General Surgery Residency

Program Details

Our education program is designed to reflect the American Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) six core competencies: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice. Resident evaluation is based on the ACGME General Surgery Milestones which incorporate the six core competencies.

Our program draws on the unique strengths of its integrated hospitals to provide breadth and excellence in clinical teaching at the bedside, in the operating room coupled with structured educational conferences and a comprehensive curriculum based in the simulation lab and our robotic/laparoscopic skills lab.

Clinical Rotations

Through the five year General Surgery Residency program, our residents rotate through these Surgical Specialties:

  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Surgical Endoscopy
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Breast Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Urology Surgery
  • General Surgery

Click here to view a sample rotation.


Didactic Conferences

Our program follows (SCORE) curriculum which is in conjunction with the weekly lecture schedule. The Wednesday morning conference is structured to cover the surgical curriculum yet remains varied to address all areas of surgical education including critical appraisal of current literature as well as surgical case studies.  The monthly Journal Club is part of the lecture schedule to address critical review of literature. Our Clinical Correlations Conference affords the resident to present interesting surgical cases they have participated in to the Department of Surgery with the guidance of his/her Attending faculty member.  This allows the resident experience in preparing and presenting topics in a public but comfortable venue.

Juniors Club is an attending supervised and proctored interactive format in which surgical patients/cases are presented to the junior level residents to discuss and manage.  This is a way to promote independent thinking and decision making by junior level residents while also learning about pertinent surgical topics.

In addition to the weekly Wednesday conference attended by all residents, the surgical services at the different hospital sites may have separate teaching conferences, tumor board and morbidity and mortality conferences that the residents attend.

Chief Club and Mock Oral Boards

A monthly Chiefs Club occurs at a faculty member’s home where the fourth and fifth year residents are able to practice the oral board format.  Each month a different subject is presented and the residents are able to practice oral boards in a “mock oral” format.  This is in preparation for a city wide surgical residency formal Mock Oral Board Exam that is conducted by several of the residency programs in the city.  This format allows for resident participation in a simulation of the actual exam complete with formal feedback and explanation of questions and answers.  The chief residents have found this exercise to be extremely helpful in preparation for the General Surgery Board exam.

Research Opportunities

A secondary goal of the program is to provide residents with the tools and mentorship necessary to foster their growth as future leaders in surgery. Our program is structured to permit trainees interested in academic surgery to spend additional years in research.

Mary E. Huerter (Mattern) (2014-Present)

Mentor: Dr. Irving Kron, University of Virginia

Dr. Huerter’s work focuses on acute lung ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury as it relates to complications after transplantation leading to rejection. Two major projects of the lab are the role of adenosine and ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP). One significant anti-inflammatory mechanism in IR injury is mediated through the release of adenosine. Activation of the adenosine A2A receptor largely attenuates lung IR injury. Research is ongoing as little is known about the role of other adenosine receptor subtypes in lung IR and acute lung injury in general. Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP), has been used for both assessment and reconditioning of marginal donor lungs. The lab uses EVLP as a platform for pharmacologic delivery of A2A receptor agonist to rehabilitate donor lungs for transplantation in a porcine model.

Aslam Ejaz (2013-2014)

Mentor: Timothy Pawlik, MD, Johns Hopkins University

In addition to obtaining his MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Ejaz worked in Dr. Pawlik’s surgical outcomes lab.  They performed statistical analysis on the processes of surgical care and surgical outcomes through a multidisciplinary approach.  Their research was focused, but not limited to, areas such as assessing the quality of care, morbidity, mortality, readmission, and cost of care.  They addressed these outcomes following surgical care for several cancers including cholangiocarcinoma, secondary liver metastasis, primary liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, and colorectal cancer.

Jonathan Bean (2012-2014)

Mentor: Mary Beth Madonna, MD, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Dr. Bean spent two years researching chemotherapy resistance in human Neuroblastoma tumors. He was in the surgery lab of Dr. Mary Beth Madonna at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. His specific project focused on understanding the metabolic underpinnings of chemotherapy resistance. Specifically Dr. Bean studied how chemical inhibition of glycolysis would affect how chemotherapy-resistant Neuroblastoma tumors responded to chemotherapy

Cristina O’Donoghue (Thorsen) (2011-2013)

Mentors: Laura Esserman, MD, MBA; Elissa Ozanne, PhD, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. O’Donoghue researched breast cancer screening, prevention, and treatment with a focus on cost-effectiveness and health policy at the University of California, San Francisco. She received separate funding to study breast cancer risk assessment tools in low SES, minority populations at San Francisco General Hospital.

Posters, Publications, and Presentations

Residents in our program have the opportunity to publish and present their work at conferences. Here are a few examples of some of the work from the residents throughout their journey in this residency program.

Click here for a listing of posters, publications, and presentations.