Surgery Clerkship
Surgery Clerkship

You will be challenged and rewarded with an invaluable experience regardless of your eventual field of medical practice.

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The surgical curriculum is a combination of didactic and clinical teaching.  However the greatest opportunities for learning surgery take place in the operating room, the clinic and at the bedside. We strongly encourage you to consider these clinical activities a priority.  Important learning opportunities include Morning Report, Resident Teaching Conference, Mortality and Morbidity Conference and Surgery Grand Rounds (on Wednesdays beginning at 6.00 am). There are also many rotation specific conferences and you should obtain a schedule of these from the chief at the beginning of each rotation. The curriculum details are summarized by service-specific rotations in the Student Handbook.


The educational goals of the surgery clerkship are to provide all third year medical students with an exposure to common surgical problems, develop basic clinical decision-making skills in this patient population, provide opportunities for students to demonstrate technical skills appropriate for their level, and provide students an experience that allows them to evaluate surgery as a future career choice.

General Surgery Residency Program

The General Surgery Program at the University of Virginia offers a unique commitment to the residents through rigorous clinical experience, dedicated research and a structured curriculum striving to create the future leaders in academic surgery.  During the five-years of our clinical program, residents gain knowledge of the pre-operative and post-operative patient care with a strong focus on critical care, develop surgical technical skills and most importantly, acquire pre-, intra-, and post-operative decision making skills.

Additionally, all residents spend at least one month of dedicated and protected research time and most residents spend one to three years in the NIH-funded clinical or basic science research laboratories combining academic excellence with clinical expertise.

We have a strong tradition of education.  Faculty are dedicated to resident education at a departmental and individual level.  Residents are dedicated to the education of other residents and of students.  It is a culture and an expectation that residents in our program seek opportunities to educate. Many UVA students cite this as a reason to seek entrance to our program. A grossly disproportionate percentage of teaching awards available in our institution are won by the Department of Surgery.

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Vascular Surgery Residency

lung and vascular system graphicThe Vascular Surgery residency program was established in 1997 by Dr. Irving L. Kron and is recognized as one of the top clinical residency programs in the country. Our current vascular surgery program director is Dr. William Robinson and the associate program director is Dr. Gilbert R Upchurch. The vascular surgery residency program is two continuous years (2) of clinical training in adult vascular and endovascular surgery. All of the vascular surgery training is based at the University of Virginia Medical Center. At the completion of clinical training, residents are eligible for certification by the American Board of Surgery with specialty in Vascular Surgery.

The primary focus of our program is to produce vascular surgery surgeons that are competitive for both academic and private practice positions at the completion of their training. As a tertiary medical center, the vascular surgery service receives a high volume of diverse and complex cases which provides an excellent clinical experience for the residents.

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Thoracic Surgery Programs

thoracic system graphicThe Thoracic Surgery Residency Program at the University of Virginia was established in 1955 by Dr. William H. Muller. Our current Thoracic Surgery Residency Program Director is Dr. John Kern, and the Associate Program Directors are Dr. Chris Lau and Dr. Curt Tribble. There are currently four Thoracic Surgery training paradigms at UVA, which include:

  • The Integrated Thoracic Residency Program (I-6): 1 resident per year
  • The Joint Thoracic Residency Program (4-3): 1 resident per year
  • The Traditional Thoracic Residency (2 years of CT training): 2 per year
  • The General Thoracic Track Residency (2 years of CT training): 1 per year

(Traditional Thoracic Residency and General Thoracic Track Residency have different NRMP Match numbers.)

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Abdominal Transplant Fellowship

transplant research equipmentThe Abdominal Transplant Fellowship is a two year program approved by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.The University of Virginia Health System is a State, Level I Trauma Center, has an ACGME accredited General Surgery Residency program and supports a transplant fellowship.

The training for our abdominal transplant fellows include the following: organ transplant including liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation; organ procurement from deceased and living donors; evaluation of the transplant donor; care of the pre-transplant candidate; backtable organ preparation; inpatient care of peri- and post- transplant recipients; immunosuppression; basic understanding of expected outcomes after transplant; histocompatability and crossmatching; outpatient follow up; ethics; and pathology.

Applicants must be ECFMG certified and a general surgeon to apply. Please submit your CV, universal application and 3 letters of reference to the Division Chief, Transplant Surgery.

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Surgical Critical Care Fellowship

Acute Care and Trauma Surgeons standing in front of pegasusThe University of Virginia Division of Trauma and Emergency General Surgery provides patient care services for traumatic injury in central Virginia.Under the direction of Jeffrey S. Young, M.D. and J. Forrest Calland, M.D., the service is covered by a Chief Surgical Resident, two Critical Care Residents (PGY 2), two Interns (PGY 1), and two Nurse Practitioners.  The service also cares for general surgical and critical care burn patients.

The Adult Trauma Service admits approximately 600 severely injured patients per year.  The Pediatric Trauma Service admits approximately 175 patients between the ages of 0 – 17 per year.  These patients are cared for by the Division of Pediatric Surgery and pediatric intensivists.  There are approximately 1600 injury admissions per year to the medical center.

UVA received a Level I Trauma Center designation by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1983, and undergoes reverification and designation every three years.  The Trauma Program functions as an entity within the Clinical Care Services of the UVA Health System.

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