The hallmark of the surgical training program is individual instruction by the attending surgeons augmented by regular resident education sessions in the form of seminars and didactic sessions in the protected time. Other educational activities include departmental sessions, teaching rounds and self-education. Resident’s responsibilities include teaching within the training program, teaching of medical students, physician assistants and physician assistant students. Our new surgical skills laboratory along with a skilled on site evaluator gives us the capability of having each surgical resident certified in the new requirement of the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery developed by the ACS/SAGES.
Surgical research is not mandatory, however it is strongly encouraged and the majority of the surgical residents are becoming involved in research projects and are encouraged to submit posters or podium presentations for regional and national meetings and also to submit work for publication in peer reviewed journals. Recent additions to the staff including a Director of Graduate Education and Research in the Department of Surgery whose mission is to facilitate simulation laboratory training and research for the residents and faculty.
The academic progress of the residents is assessed by the American Board of Surgery In-service Training Examination (ABSITE). Additionally, evaluations throughout the year with feedback are performed to detect any areas of deficiency in surgical skill or knowledge so that timely remediation can be done. We have initiated the Resident Portfolio as the first step in the surgeons’ development of the documentation of “maintenance of competency” as is now becoming a requirement for practicing surgeons by the American Board of Surgery.
Department funds are available for residents to attend one annual away conference as well as, in their chief year, the New York General Surgery Board Review Course, of which our Program Director is a course director.
On a social note, our residents attend the informal dinners with our grand rounds speakers, a journal club which meets at local restaurants in the evening, as well as sponsored parties for sports, seasonal holidays, and graduation ceremonies. We are concerned about the well-being of our residents as demonstrated by scheduling the workweek at less than the “allowed” 80 hours and by responsiveness to residents’ concerns both personal and professional while assuring the ready availability of the hospital’s Employee’s Assistance Program. Informal mentoring is encouraged and we look upon our residents as part of a departmental and hospital family. We stay in touch with our graduates and aid in their achieving fellowships or jobs upon graduation. We will be flexible regarding the 6 year program for residents who desire to spread the five year program over 6 years.