Division of Surgical Education
MESSAGE FROM THE GENERAL SURGERY RESIDENCY PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Paula M. Termuhlen, MD
The surgical faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin is proud of its residency training program and the accomplishments of its graduates. Our program has a number of strengths and resources which you should consider in your selection of a surgical residency program including:
A broad-based clinical program at multiple teaching sites
Research laboratories with established and funded investigators
A growing medical complex surrounded by a beautiful residential neighborhood
A philosophy of surgical education in which significant responsibility is delegated and experience is gained early in the training program.
Seven residents are chosen each year for categorical positions in the General Surgery Residency Program. The program is broad-based and prepares residents for one of three tracks:
Community practice as a general surgeon;
An academic career with a research focus;
Advanced fellowship training.
Our innovative educational program encompasses protected core curriculum segments using the latest in instructional strategies and simulations, providing a strong scientific and procedural foundation across surgical diseases and conditions integrated with intensive hands-on pre-, intra- and post-operative experiences. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition and development of patient management, procedural, operative, and critical thinking skills.
Our five-year residency is framed by ACGME Core Competencies of patient care, medical knowledge, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal communication skills, systems-based practice, and the achievement of operative expertise a surgeon needs in order to make a difference in the lives of their patients and families. The Medical College of Wisconsin’s affiliated hospitals provide a breadth of patient diversity and surgical conditions that enriches each resident’s learning and patient management experience within community-based, university-based, and Veteran Administration hospital systems.
The expertise of each resident develops progressively throughout the program. A PGY 1 and PGY 2 resident begins training as a member of an interdisciplinary team that is committed to comprehensive patient care of commonly presenting surgical conditions. Progressing through the PGY 3 and PGY 4 years the resident assumes a principal role with the team managing patients on the clinical services, before culminating as a chief resident competent to lead teams and manage the pre-, post- and intra-operative care of complex patient conditions.
As a team member, each resident develops the vital communication skills necessary to work and/or lead others as members of the professional surgical community through patient care and scholarship. As the training years progress, a successively more prominent role is assumed by the resident in the education of medical students, junior residents, and other health care professionals. As members of the surgical profession, each and every resident demonstrates the highest standards of professionalism and communication skills, while increasing the advocacy skills necessary to effectively navigate the varied health care systems and settings for the patients being served. Throughout the education and training process, each resident is mentored to reflect on individual experiences in order to develop the ability to independently identify gaps and create individualized learning plans.
To understand our profession and contribute knowledge to it, each resident is guided through a research and/or other scholarly project. Preparation begins with the introduction of critical thinking and planning related to investigation of surgical problems during PGY1-2 curricular time along with identification of areas for further study. During the later years of the training, the residents implement the project with an identified mentor.
A dedicated laboratory experience is offered to those residents interested in performing research under the guidance of an established investigator. The program will be flexible for residents to best meet their individual needs, both in selection and timing of a laboratory experience.
Residents training in the General Surgery Training Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin are employed by the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals. The Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals (MCWAH) is a consortium that was established in 1980 to facilitate the administration of Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs conducted jointly by the Medical College of Wisconsin in conjunction with 10 health care institutions in the greater Milwaukee area. MCWAH oversees housestaff benefits and institutional policies. Information about the terms, conditions and benefits of employment can be found at http://www.mcw.edu/GME/BenefitsMainPage.htm.
In summary, our graduates join the surgical profession competent and confident that they are ready to provide the extraordinary care to their patients be it as actively practicing board certified surgeons or fellows in competitive subspecialty programs.
Paula M. Termuhlen, MD
General Surgery Residency Program Director
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