Seven residents are chosen each year for categorical positions in the General Surgery Residency Program. The program is a broad-based program and prepares residents for one of three tracks:
- Community practice as a general surgeon;
- An academic career with a research focus;
- Advanced fellowship training.
During the first two years, the resident will manage patients and gain preliminary operative experience through rotations in general surgery, trauma surgery, transplant surgery, the surgical intensive care unit, cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery and pediatric surgery. While on these services, the resident attends the teaching and work conferences of these specialty services.
A laboratory experience is offered on an optional basis for 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 interested in a career in academic surgery may enroll in a Masters of Science program with both clinical and basic science mentors.
Third-year clinical residents gain experience in burn care, critical care and gastrointestinal endoscopy.
Further experiences are gained on general surgery, pediatric surgery and vascular surgery services. Senior responsibility begins in the fourth clinical year with rotations on thoracic surgery, transplant surgery and trauma surgery. Independence increases as the resident's operative judgment and surgical capabilities increase.
In the final year, the Chief Resident matures and perfects clinical judgment with expanded responsibility for patient management and a supervisory and educational role with junior residents and medical students. Operative experience is gained in complicated trauma, gastrointestinal, hepatic, pancreatobiliary, endocrine, laparoscopic surgery, vascular disorders and a variety of malignant conditions.
Successful completion of a year as Chief Resident qualifies the resident for examination by the American Board of Surgery.
A number of early specialization options are under discussion by the American Board of Surgery and the Department intends to participate in these programs promptly when they become available.
In response to the ACGME's 2003 work hours mandate, the Department of Surgery's Residency Program is in compliance with the new requirements.
Through the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals (MCWAH), the College and affiliated institutions combine their extensive and varied resources to offer 72 separate accredited residencies and fellowships.