As a General Surgery resident at UW, you will receive a rich and diverse clinical and operative experience in a variety of hospital settings. Approximately 60 percent of your residency will take place at UW Hospital; the remaining 40 percent is divided between the VA Hospital and Meriter Hospital. Each year, six categorical general surgery residents are selected through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and six chief residents graduate. Full-time faculty in the Division of General Surgery staff the UW Hospital and VA Hospital. The faculty’s academic and clinical interests are concentrated in the following general surgery subspecialties: breast surgery, hepatobiliary/pancreatic/gastrointestinal surgery, surgical oncology, colorectal surgery, bariatric surgery, trauma/critical care/burn surgery, and pediatric surgery. Additionally, faculty from the Divisions of Transplantation and Vascular Surgery play a major role in the Division of General Surgery’s educational programs.
The subspecialty interests at the UW Hospital are grouped into four general surgery services along with vascular, cardio-thoracic and transplant surgery services. At the VA Hospital, there is a combined general surgery/vascular service. Residents at Meriter Hospital primarily train on the general surgery service but have opportunities for clinical exposure in pediatric, vascular and thoracic surgery. Meriter Hospital is staffed by excellent general surgeons, some of whom once were UW General Surgery residents. Each resident performs more than 1000 operations during his or her residency; about 300 complex cases are performed during the chief year. On all services, we emphasize the longitudinal care of patients, from pre-hospital evaluation, through in-hospital management, to post-hospital care. You will be exposed to the various subspecialties of surgery mainly during your PGY-1 and PGY-2 years. In addition to specialty-specific general surgery rotations, we offer rotations in pediatric surgery, cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, endoscopy, transplantation, critical care, and anesthesia. A senior-level rotation on our busy transplant service (more than 400 solid organ transplants per year) is shared with a Transplantation fellow. This robust clinical training is augmented by a rigorous didactic curriculum and a simulation curriculum that takes full advantage of the resources of the UW Health Clinical Simulation Program.
Generally, four of the six categorical residents elect to participate in two years of dedicated research, which takes place between the PGY-2 and PGY-3 clinical years. We have funded training opportunities in basic science and translational research, health services/outcomes research, and surgical education research. In addition to working with a faculty research mentor (usually within the Department of Surgery), you will be trained in experimental design, manuscript writing, grant writing, biostatistics, and many other pertinent topics. The two research years are a well-organized and rigorous learning experience, nearly always resulting in publication of several manuscripts and presentations at national meetings. Each year our residents average approximately 40 first-authored publications in peered-review journals.
In recent years, approximately 80 percent of our chief residents have gone on to additional fellowship training, with several subsequently pursuing academic careers. We are also proud of the outstanding general surgery and specialty surgeons we have trained that serve communities throughout the country.
Whether you wish to undertake a fellowship after your general surgery residency, go directly into a community general surgery practice, or pursue an academic surgical career, the University of Wisconsin General Surgery residency will give you the experience you need to succeed.