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Residency in General Surgery

Resident watching surgeryThe residency training program in general surgery is approved by the American Board of Surgery for complete training. The program consists of five years of clinical training with progressively increasing responsibility. Emphasis the first two years is on diagnosis and the preoperative and postoperative care of the patient. Surgical experience is gained during these years as an assistant and as the operating surgeon with faculty and senior resident assistance on less complex procedures. The PG-2 house officer assumes a more active role in the student teaching program, supervises the care of a group of patients, and gains further experience in operating under the supervision of a senior resident or faculty member. In addition to rotations in general surgery and vascular surgery service, extensive experience in surgical critical care is acquired in the Burn ICU, the Surgical ICU, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children. At the completion of the second year, the residents are encouraged to spend one or two years in research under faculty supervision. At the completion of the research year(s), the resident will rejoin the clinical years as a PG-3. Participation in research is not mandatory.

During postgraduate years 3 and 4, residents are given increasing responsibilities. Residents at this level serve as senior residents on pediatric surgery, transplant, and thoracic surgery. Much of the rest of the time is spent as a senior assistant resident on general surgery or vascular services. Additional time is devoted to rotations on surgical endoscopy and laparoscopy.

The PG-5 house officer, or chief resident, supervises an entire service in close collaboration with the faculty attending. Eight to nine months are spent on general surgery services and three to four months on the vascular surgery service.

At the end of the five years of training, all residents are eligible to take the examination of the American Board of Surgery. The program is rectangular rather than pyramidal, and obtaining complete training will fulfill the requirements of the American Board of Surgery.

Teaching Conferences and Rounds

Departmental Grand Rounds Weekly
Core Curriculum Lecture
Junior Medical Students
5 days/week
Pediatric Surgery Faculty Ward Rounds Daily
General Surgery Faculty Ward Rounds Daily
Trauma Sign Out Daily
Morbidity and Mortality Conference Weekly
General and Cardiothoracic Surgery
Grand Rounds
Weekly
Vascular Surgery Conference Weekly
Transplantation Conference Weekly
Surgical Basic Science Conference Weekly
Cancer Multi-Disciplinary Conference Weekly
Trauma/Critical Care Conference Monthly
Burn (Adult and Pediatric) Conference Weekly
Resident-Faculty Teaching Conference Weekly
GI Conference Weekly


SurgerySurgical Simulation Center

Simulation-based training is now a component of all 5 years of general surgery residency. Interns participate in a "Boot Camp" program of simulation center workshops on basic surgical skills from suturing/knot-tying to chest tubes and ultrasound-guided central venous catheter placement. These sessions are taught by faculty and senior residents. All residents complete the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) curriculum prior to performing laparoscopic cases. Twice-monthly workshops in the Simulation Center cover a range of topics from vascular and GI anastomoses to advanced laparoscopic and robotic procedures. Simulation is also used to teach and assess core competencies such as communication, professionalism and systems-based practice. The Simulation Center is home to a variety of specialized curricula, educational research projects and quality improvement efforts. Click here to see pictures of the curricular activities and simulators available in our simulation center.

Clinical Service

The Division of General Surgery has 10 clinical services. Each of these services is attended by one or two full-time faculty members. These services include:

Adult General Surgery (two services)
Each of these services provides 34 beds for staff and private patients, admitting approximately 2,000 patients annually. This service operates on more than 2,100 patients per year.

Pediatric Surgery
This service operates on nearly 600 patients a year. Experience on this service ranges from simple hernia repairs to the most complicated congenital abdominal and thoracic anomalies.

Surgical Intensive Care Unit
This is a 32-bed service that provides care for critically ill surgery patients. Knowledge and experience are gained in the care of patients with complications of trauma and surgical illness such as pulmonary insufficiency, septic shock, and acute renal failure.

Vascular Surgery
More than 600 patients are admitted and operated on each year in this service, which is staffed by a chief resident, one assistant resident, and an intern. The vascular surgery service’s clinical caseload encompasses patients with cerebrovascular disease, vascular occlusive disease of the lower extremities, aneurysmal disease, and visceral and renovascular occlusive disease. The vascular clinic sees an average of 45 new vascular patients each month and has a state-of-the-art noninvasive vascular laboratory.

Pediatric Acute Burns Service
This service at Shriners Hospitals for Children has 30 beds. It provides care for more than 750 acutely burned children each year. It offers experience in total care of a burned child to residents in General, Orthopaedic, and Plastic Surgery.

Transplant Service
The transplant service treats patients needing kidney, pancreas, or heart transplantation. A comprehensive patient evaluation is performed by the service, and the transplant teams provide multidisciplinary services and support to the patients and families. PG-1 and PG-4 house staff rotate on the transplant service.

Burns Intensive Care Unit
The unit consists of 8 beds on the second floor of John Sealy Hospital. This service offers experience in intensive care of the burned adult, with more than 150 admissions annually.

Emergency Medicine/Trauma
Emergency Medicine is a division of the Department of Surgery. This service offers students the opportunity to become actively involved in the emergency management of the critically ill or injured surgical patient. UTMB’s Division of Emergency Medicine handles more than 73,000 patients per year, with more than half seen by the surgical services.

TDCJ Hospital (The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Hospital) is the largest of the TDCJ-contracted facilities in the state of Texas. The hospital services a population of approximately 138,000 male and female inmates. The TDCJ Hospital services all the medical needs of this population. The UTMB Surgical Service provides the ambulatory and surgical care including major, minor, and emergency procedures.

Application Procedure

Selections of PG-1 house officers are made through the National Matching Program. We strongly advise that applicants submit letters of reference. Personal interviews will be arranged after applications have been reviewed. Applicants interested in a career in general surgery, as well as those interested in the surgical subspecialties, will be considered. Applicants interested in one of the surgical subspecialties should direct applications to the chief of the appropriate division.

Resident Training Program in General Surgery
The preferred method of application is through the Electronic Residency Application Service. If direct contact with the department is necessary, application forms, transcripts, letters of reference and inquiries for further information should be addressed to:

LaNette Patton
Residency Coordinator
Department of Surgery
University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77555-0534

or email: gs.residency@utmb.edu