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General Surgery

General Surgery Residency Training Program

The General Surgery Residency Program is under the direction of Paul G. Gauger, M.D. Approximately 7,000 procedures are performed annually by the General Surgery residents in four major hospitals, including the University of Michigan Hospital, Mott Children's Hospital, the Ann Arbor Veterans' Administration Hospital, and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Residents are supervised by 63 surgical faculty members at these four institutions. Research time is not required, but it is strongly encouraged and there is an emphasis on scholarship. Following completion of the General Surgery Residency Training Program, many graduates continue their training in fellowship programs and more than half of the graduates are now full-time academic surgical faculty at high quality programs around the country.

The program is rectangular and is approved for finishing six chief residents. During the first year of the core curriculum, experience in all major surgical specialties is acquired. While some emphasis is placed on operative technique, the primary focus of the first year of training is pre- and post-operative care, with special emphasis on the care of the critically ill patient. The first year of the program is designed as a basic surgical curriculum and prepares residents for additional training in General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, and Urology. Residents in these specialties are matched directly to these disciplines.

Urology appointees have a single year of core experience and begin their specific specialty training during the second year. About half of the core period is devoted to rotations within the Section of General Surgery (gastrointestinal, endocrine, burn/trauma, Surgical Oncology, peripheral vascular, transplantation and general surgery at the VA). The remaining half comprises rotations in other services (Urology, Pediatric Surgery and Surgical Critical Care).

In the second clinical year, increased emphasis is placed on operative skills. In addition, the resident acts as a consultant in general surgery and plays a major role in emergency and trauma cases. During the third clinical year, the resident becomes proficient in gastrointestinal endoscopy, participates in increasingly complex operative procedures, and acts as junior chief on the General Surgery inpatient services; the duties of the junior chief include patient management in the absence of the chief resident and performance of consultative services. During the fourth and fifth clinical years, the resident is assistant chief and chief resident and rotates on a variety of general surgery services in all major divisions. Emphasis is placed on the fine points of patient management, clinical judgment, and participation in complex surgical procedures.

The typical service on which the house officer rotates consists of attending staff surgeons, chief resident, senior resident, and 2 junior residents(PGY-I's or a combination of a II and I) and several medical students. This team cares for approximately 15-25 patients. House Officer I's are primarily responsible for the diagnostic workups, bedside procedures, preparation of the patients for operation and postoperative care. They also perform, under close supervision of the attending and resident staff, the more basic surgical procedures, such as herniorrhaphy, hemorrhoidectomy, appendectomy and cholecystectomy in General Surgery, and operations of similar magnitude while on other services.

Research experience is optional in the residency program, however it is strongly encouraged. The research experience is planned individually for each resident and is depended on career goals and previous experience. Research time must be spent at The University of Michigan. In recent years, some residents have also acquired advanced degrees such as a PhD, MPH, or MBA from the University of Michigan during their research time.

For detailed program information please go to the General Surgery website.