The Senior General Surgery Training Program

The Senior General Surgery Training Program is a three year program of intense in-depth experience in General Surgery, Trauma/Surgical Critical Care, Vascular Surgery, Transplantation Surgery and Pediatric Surgery. The training experience has been improved with the recent robust recruitment in the Division of General Surgery. The Division has grown substantially with the recruitment of Dr. Ralph Greco and Dr. Irene Wapnir, Chief of Breast Surgery. Dr. Mark Welton, an internationally renowned surgeon was recruited as Chief of Colorectal Surgery and was joined by Dr. Andrew Shelton, a colorectal surgeon from the University of Minnesota and Dr. Kim Rhoads who recently completed a colorectal fellowship at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Myriam Curet has just taken the position of Associate Professor and Chief of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Center and has been joined by Dr. John Morton who heads our Bariatric Surgery Program. Dr. David Spain of the University of Louisville, a nationally prominent Trauma/Surgical Critical Care specialist assumed the position of Chief of that program and is dramatically changing Trauma/Surgical Critical Care at Stanford. He will be assisted in this effort with the recruitment of Dr. Susan Brundage from Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Paul Maggio who recently completed a trauma fellowship at the University of Michigan. The latest hire is Dr. Jeffrey Norton, a nationally and internationally prominent surgical oncologist, recently at the University of California, San Francisco. It is our expectation that he will bring together all of the oncology programs in the Division of General Surgery, including those in breast cancer, melanoma, gastrointestinal, and pancreatic cancer. Finally, Dr. George Yang, a graduate of the Stanford Program, joined the faculty in May 2003. Dr. Yang will be at the VAPAHCS and is expected to develop a premier laboratory program in tissue engineering.

These new recruits join an outstanding group of surgeons who came to Stanford in the 1990's. Dr. Denise Johnson is a Surgical Oncologist and Chief of the Melanoma Program at Stanford. Dr. Samuel So is a liver surgeon who heads the Asian Liver Center, one of the premier programs of its sort in the world. Dr. Frederick Dirbas is a Breast Oncologist who heads a program investigating the use of intraoperative radiation therapy in the treatment of breast cancer. Dr. Stefanie Jeffrey, Director of Surgical Oncology Research, is an internationally renowned breast cancer researcher with a highly regarded program in the genomics of breast cancer. Dr. Sherry Wren is Chief of General Surgery at the VA Hospital and Site Program Director of the training program.

These new faculty recruitments provide a huge infusion of new ideas and perspectives, which will broaden the experience of the residents during their senior years. It is also expected they will have an equal impact on the junior residents. As you will see from the following description of the rotations, these three years culminate in the chief residency and are devoted almost exclusively to the primary components of General Surgery. The chief residency at Stanford is a special position, one that is equivalent to that of an attending in most respects in which the chief resident leads a team of residents in the care of complex quaternary care patients and performs highly complicated operations at all hospital sites.

Chief Resident

The final year of training - the "Chief Year" - is designed to build upon the first four clinical years of the program. The goal is to provide an opportunity for the chief resident to be the operating surgeon on the most complex vascular and general surgery cases. This year offers high-end operative exposure and intense technical training. By the completion of the chief year, residents will have performed more than 1,000 major cases. In addition, it is a year to develop confidence, assume greater responsibility for surgical judgment and patient management and to mature in independence and leadership. While the goals are high, they are established to provide each of our trainees with the confidence and skills necessary to compete for the best surgical opportunities in the country and the world.