Program Description

The Surgery Residency Program is a five-year program with five categorical residents per year. Residents have the option of pursuing a research fellowship during their residency training. The clinical training program is a hands-on experience with residents performing operations beginning in their intern year. The program graduates caring, capable physicians who are highly competent technicians. The majority of our residents pursue additional fellowship training.


Junior Years

The first two years of the program are a time of broad exposure to a variety of surgical settings. During these years, a mix of general surgical rotations and surgical subspecialty rotations occur.

The old surgical amphiteater

Dr. Charles T. Howard in the surgical amphitheater (circa 1930).

Subspecialty experience includes rotations in urology, orthopaedics, cardiothoracic surgery, plastic surgery, otolaryngology and pediatric surgery. Rotations during the intern year are four weeks in duration. The second year includes rotations in the surgical intensive care units and rotations at the Boston VA Medical Center and Cape Cod Hospital.

Senior Years

The R-3 Year

In the third year, categorical residents begin to accept more decision-making responsibility and participate in the surgical management of more complex cases.

Rotations include:

1) Smithwick Service

This is a vascular surgery rotation. This service is run by the vascular fellow and includes two interns.

2) Mozden Service

This is a surgical oncology rotation. This service manages complex surgical oncology and endocrine surgery patients. This service is led by a chief resident.

3) Acute Care & Trauma Surgery

This resident responds to all trauma team activations and emergency department consultations. This resident is an important part of the trauma team taking primary responsibility for the work-up of all trauma admissions. This resident also participates in the general surgery operative workload.

4) Cape Cod Hospital (Description Below)

On this rotation the resident works with PGY-2 and PGY-4 residents and is responsible for patient care and performanceof operations.

5) Pediatric Surgery - Boston Children’s Hospital

On this rotation the resident gets exposure to complex emergency and elective pediatric surgery cases.

The R-4 Year

During the fourth postgraduate year residents are exposed to more complex surgical material and function as the chief surgical resident at a large community hospital.

Rotations include:

1) Cape Cod Hospital

On this rotation, the resident is the chief of a surgery service of junior residents and medical students. This resident is responsible for patient care, performance of more complex operations, assignment of operative cases and instruction of junior residents and students.

2) Acute Care & Trauma Surgery

The resident, working under a chief resident, manages trauma cases at the Level-I trauma center, and is responsible for all facets of the care of the emergency and elective general surgery patients. This resident works alongside a chief resident who also covers a second clinical service. 

3) Mozden Service

This is a surgical oncology rotation. This service manages complex surgical oncology and endocrine surgery patients. This service is led by a chief resident.

4) Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)/Thoracic Surgery 

This is a minimally invasive rotation precepted by both MIS and thoracic surgeons. There is a wide exposure to esophageal, bariatric, thoracic and general surgical cases done laparoscopically or thoracoscopically. There is further emphasis on upper endoscopy and bronchoscopy.

BMC-BUSM-ENCThe Chief Year

The chief residency year is the pinnacle of the residency experience. Each chief is responsible for a defined service and is responsible, under the guidance of the faculty, for all patient care occurring on that service. The chief resident performs more complex and demanding operations, assigns all operative cases and provides instruction to the junior residents.

Each resident rotates on the Mozden Service (Oncology), Acute Care & Trauma Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery/Thoracic Surgery and at the Boston VA Medical Center (General/Vascular/Thoracic Surgery).