Department of Surgery Organization of Training


Westchester Medical Center’s residency in general surgery includes both a five-year categorical program and preliminary training available for one, two or three years. The program participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).

The curriculum has been planned to prepare trainees for the American Board of Surgery certifying examination and for successful careers in surgery. The program also offers flexibility enabling individuals to pursue interests in subspecialty areas or research.

Residents in the program are accorded increasing responsibilities for all aspects of the care of surgical patients, as noted in the descriptions of each post-graduate year.

The resident is responsible for the comprehensive initial physical assessment of the patient. He or she will assist in the operating room under the supervision of the attending staff and will begin to perform certain procedures. The resident will work with senior residents and attending staff to care for patients pre- and postoperatively and will also be exposed to the types of decisions made by the surgeon and to the principles under which these decisions are made. Typical rotations include general, vascular, oncologic and thoracic surgery, critical care, burn management, neurosurgery, urology, orthopedics and plastic surgery.

Responsibilities in all areas are increased. The resident gains greater experience in performing surgical procedures and in making decisions about patient care, while under the supervision of the attending staff. The resident also begins to teach medical students and junior residents. Typical rotations include general surgery, pediatric surgery, emergency medicine and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

The trainee will be required to manage patients with more complicated conditions and will begin to participate in more complex surgical procedures. The resident will assume greater responsibilities for making decisions about management of care. The resident will also take on more duties in the teaching of medical students and junior residents. Typical rotations include general, oncologic, cardiothoracic and transplantation.

The resident performs more complex surgery, while under appropriate supervision, assuming an increasingly senior position on the surgical team. Teaching responsibilities are increased. Typical rotations include general, thoracic, vascular and pediatric surgery.

The resident gains significant operative experience in the chief resident year, most frequently acting as senior resident on the team. The resident has primary responsibility for managing patients in his/her service, in consultation with the attending staff. The resident will also gain experience in the most complex, challenging cases. It is expected that the resident will demonstrate competent decision-making, strong judgment and high levels of scientific, clinical and technical knowledge. The resident will assume more responsibilities for teaching junior residents by guidance, supervision and demonstration. Typical rotations include vascular, general, oncologic and thoracic surgery.

Note: Individual rotations may vary in accordance with institutional and personal need.