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General Surgery Residency

View or download the current General Surgery Residency Program brochure

The General Surgery Residency Program is non-pyramidal. The surgical housestaff is composed of 19 first-year residents, including nine categorical (full five-year), and 9 preliminary residents.

In the PGY-2 year there are nine categorical residents and four preliminary residents. In the PGY-3, PGY-4, and PGY-5 Chief Resident level, there are nine categorical residents. All members of the housestaff hold academic appointments as Clinical Fellows in Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

The surgical training program produces the country’s future surgical leaders. Clinical excellence is the foundation upon which that leadership is built, and our training programs strive to help young surgeons develop both technical and cognitive expertise. At all levels, the housestaff receive training and practical experience in the preoperative, operative, and post-operative care of patients.

The Beth Israel Deaconess program places a strong emphasis on resident-faculty interaction to enhance trainees’ education. Teaching conferences and seminars for housestaff capitalize on working relationships developed with the attending staff.

Upon completion of five years of surgical training, residents are eligible for the American Board of Surgery Examination. Our graduates consistently obtain outstanding specialty fellowships in surgical oncology, trauma, critical care, cardiothoracic, pediatric, transplant, colorectal, plastic, and vascular surgery. Graduates typically attain superb opportunities in either academic or private practice.

PGY-1 Year

The internship year focuses on the acquisition of basic principles and clinical skills in general and vascular surgery. Additional rotations in the Emergency Department and subspecialty services round out the first-year experience. The majority of these rotations are at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, supplemented by a pediatric surgery rotation at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as experiences with Harvard-affiliated faculty at any of number of external sites, including Cambridge Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Brockton Hospital, or Saint Vincent Hospital. Pre- and post-operative patient care is emphasized under the guidance of attending surgeons and resident staff. Interns participate in procedures that are appropriate for their stage of training and can expect to perform approximately 150 surgical cases.

PGY-2 through PGY-4

The second and third years of residency include longer rotations to provide more in-depth training in general surgery, transplant, vascular, and trauma surgery, as well as critical care and endoscopy. In the fourth year, senior-level experience is obtained in general surgery, vascular, thoracic, and pediatric surgery, and a significant portion of the year is spent as the senior resident in acute care and trauma surgery.

PGY-5 Chief Residency

During the fifth year of training, chief residents hone their clinical skills, performing more than 250 operations as surgeon in their final year. In their chief year, residents are also encouraged to develop their administrative and teaching skills by leading didactic sessions, heading inpatient teams, and teaching junior residents. Two chief residents are selected by their peers to serve as administrative chief residents, who also serve as resident representatives to the Housestaff Education Committee. During the chief year, residents may tailor their experiences to be most relevant to their future subspecialty.

External Rotations

While most of the residency years are spent at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, that experience is rounded out with an excellent community-based experience at outside rotations at nearby hospitals. 

Didactic Teaching

The residency program has dedicated education time, including a strong didactic conference schedule, to provide a basic foundation of surgical knowledge and skills. The core curriculum didactics are based on the SCORE® curriculum, to which each resident has full access.  In addition to a range of conferences that are unique to each clinical service, there are a number of additional department-wide conferences focused on resident education.

Regular weekly conferences include

Tuesdays: Core Curriculum Conference, including ABSITE Review
Wednesdays:
Surgical Service Morbidity and Mortality and Surgical Grand Rounds

Regular monthly conferences include

Mondays: Surgical Horizons Seminar Series
Wednesdays: Chairman’s Conference

Contact Information

Department of Surgery
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Lowry Medical Office Building
110 Francis Street, Suite 9B
Boston, MA 02215
617-632-9236
617-632-7424
surgedu@bidmc.harvard.edu

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