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Surgical Rotation

The categorical residency is five clinical years in length. All residents rotate through the general surgical sections and the surgical intensive care units in addition to the surgical sub-specialties. Rotations are designed to provide each resident with the maximum responsibility appropriate for his or her level of training with increasing responsibility as proficiency is gained. The curriculum is a robust one, with adjustments made to suit the educational needs of trainees. Throughout the five clinical years, a primary resident responsibility is the education of the students and more junior residents. Residents are also responsible for covering cases in the operating room, clinical supervision of more junior trainees, and preparation of material for service and teaching conferences.

First Year

Residents in the first year of training are offered some exposure to operative procedures although the majority of the first year is in patient care and evaluation.  There is significant exposure to operative cases during the intern year with most interns logging more than 100 cases. 

PGY-1 rotations include:


  • Surgery: Eight months (St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital)
  • ICU: Two months 
  • Trauma: One month (Massachusetts General Hospital)
  • Pediatrics: One month (Boston Children's Hospital)


  • General surgery: Nine – ten months (St. Elizabeth's Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital)
  • ICU: One - Two months
  • ER: One month if needed or possible elective

Second Year

The second year provides continuing experience and exposure to the surgical disciplines, as well as increased experience in critical care with progressively more operative exposure.

PGY-2 rotations include:

  • General surgery: Nine months (St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital)
  • ICU: Two – three months

Third Year

Residents assume senior responsibilities in their third year of training with more complex operative cases along with increased responsibility in the care of patients, as well as supervision and education of junior residents.

PGY-3 rotations include:

  • General surgery: Nine months (St. Elizabeth's Medical Center)
  • Endoscopy: One month (St. Elizabeth's Medical Center)
  • Transplant: One month (Massachusetts General Hospital) 
  • Pediatrics: One month (Boston Children's Hospital

Fourth Year

The fourth-year residents get involved in more advanced surgical procedures and further increased responsibilities, preparing them for their chief residency year.

PGY-4 rotations include:

  • General surgery: Ten months (St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center )
  • Trauma: Two months (Massachusetts General Hospital)

Fifth Year (Chief)

The fifth year is dedicated to the principal components of general surgery. Residents perform the full spectrum of complex general surgical operations and assume independent yet supervised responsibility for patients. Chief residents are responsible for patient evaluation, as well as preoperative and postoperative care. The chief residents assume much of the responsibility for team management and should function as junior attendings at this point in their training.

PGY-5 rotations include:

  • General surgery: Twelve months (St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Holy Family Hospital)