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The General Surgery Residency Program is under the direction of Jacob A. Greenberg, MD, EdM. The residency program consists of an academic general surgery track, which matches six residents each year, and a community general surgery track, which matches one resident each year.

As a General Surgery resident at UW, you will receive a rich and diverse clinical, operative and academic experience. Most of the residents’ training is spent at UW Hospital. In addition, residents train at William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital and Meriter Hospital.

The academic residency track emphasizes the importance of scholarship to the resident’s clinical training. We, therefore, expect residents to be involved in two years of academic development between their second and third clinical years. Exceptions may be allowed for individuals who already have advanced degrees.


Seven categorical general surgery residents are selected each year through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and seven chief residents graduate. Residents receive training under the supervision of 32 full-time, specialty-trained faculty in the Division of General Surgery and another 30 full-time faculty in the Divisions of Pediatric Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery and Transplantation. The General Surgery faculty’s academic and clinical interests are concentrated in: breast surgery, hepatobiliary, pancreatic, gastrointestinal surgery, surgical oncology, colorectal surgery, bariatric surgery, and acute care surgery (trauma, critical care, burn surgery). In addition to this, the community general surgery resident receives training and mentorship at participating community hospitals.

Over the course of our five-year clinical curriculum, a resident performs more than 1,000 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, vascular surgery, cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, endoscopy, transplantation, and anesthesia. In the fourth and fifth clinical years, the resident is the “chief” of the service. Since the UW Department of Surgery does not have fellowship programs in most General Surgery subspecialties, the fourth and fifth year resident is the most senior resident on the service. 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.


We expect residents in the academic track to take advantage of the University of Wisconsin’s and Department of Surgery’s world-class research opportunities by doing two years of dedicated research between their second and third clinical training years. The Department and University have a diverse portfolio of funded research opportunities for surgical research, including basic science and translational, health services/outcomes, biomedical engineering, and surgical education. During your research time you will complete an individualized research training curriculum designed to develop the knowledge, skills and credentials for your future scholarly pursuits. 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. Each year our residents average approximately 40 first-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals and present at most major national conferences.

The UW Department of Surgery prides itself on training the next generation of academic surgeons. Nearly all of our graduating residents pursue additional fellowship training and a significant number pursue academic careers. As a graduate of the UW General Surgery you will be well prepared to become one of tomorrow’s surgical innovators and leaders. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System