About Our Residency

Chief of General Surgery Mark P. Callery, MD performing surgeryThe General Surgery Residency Program is non-pyramidal. The surgical housestaff is composed of 14 first-year residents, including nine categorical (full five-year), and five preliminary residents.

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

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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 surgery. 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, and Brockton Hospital Pre- and postoperative 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. During these rotations, residents hone their skills in the work-up of the surgical patient through consults in the emergency room and inpatient settings, learn how to care for critically ill patients, and begin to step into the role of senior resident on certain services. In the operating room, residents focus on the acquisition of complex laparoscopic and open skills including bowel resection and anastomosis, neck dissection, and vascular anastomosis. The PGY-3 includes a dedicated cardiac surgery experience. In the fourth year, senior-level experience is obtained in general surgery, vascular, thoracic, and pediatric surgery at Boston Children's Hospital. A significant portion of the year is spent as the senior resident in acute care and trauma surgery affording the residents leadership of a complex, high-volume service and the opportunity to teach junior residents in the operating room.

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, including Mount Auburn Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Needham, Brockton Hospital, and Cambridge Hospital. The pediatric surgery experience is obtained at Boston Children's Hospital.

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:

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

Regular monthly conferences include:

Thursdays: Surgical Horizons Seminar Series and Chairman's Conference