Application Information


The Department of Surgery at the University of Virginia is nationally recognized as a top tier academic training program, attracting the nation’s premier surgical candidates.  This Department has a long and accomplished history in training future leaders of academic surgery. Graduates of our program are consistently accepted into excellent fellowship programs of their choice.  Dedication to excellence in surgery and surgical resident education defines our vision for the future.

Our program’s foundation is deeply rooted in its’ faculty and their commitment to resident training.  We have had only six Chairman of the Department of Surgery in our program’s history, including two previous Presidents of the American College of Surgeons. Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their fields, many of whom also operate NIH funded research labs and serve on the editorial boards of leading surgical journals.  Dedicated to superior resident mentorship, our faculty provides a supportive and stimulating environment from which our residents thrive.

Here at UVA, we are dedicated to continuing our commitment to excellence in clinical surgery, teaching, and surgical research. We hope that you will consider applying to our program and joining us in this mission.

Positions and Codes

Our General Surgery Residency Program offers three training opportunities:

  • Categorical General Surgery (NRMP Code 1737440C0): 5 year training position in General Surgery, leading to board eligibility by the American Board of Surgery. In addition to clinical training, categorical residents in this program traditionally perform two years of dedicated research in either basic and/or clinical sciences.  Dedicated research is usually conducted between the PGY2 and PGY3 clinical years.
  • Surg-Prelim/Int Radiology (NRMP Code 1737440P3): 1 year General Surgery training position. This is a Joint Advanced- Preliminary track between Interventional Radiology-Integrated and General Surgery at the UVA Medical Center. For Interventional Radiology-Integrated Residency applicants who wish to pursue the full course of training at the UVA Medical Center must rank the UVA General Surgery joint preliminary PGY-1 program on the supplemental rank order list.
  • Surgery – Preliminary (NRMP Code 1737440P1):  1 year General Surgery training position intended for individuals who have matched into a specialty that require a preliminary year, as well as non-designated individuals. A limited number of these positions are available and are offered as one-year employment contracts.  Although our residency office will assist with placement following the intern year if needed, it is ultimately the responsibility of each non-designated preliminary surgery resident to make arrangements for continued residency training and education.

Applications to our program are accepted through Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS AAMC).  In addition to a completed application, please include a minimum of two letters of recommendation, USMLE and medical school transcripts, personal statement and a Dean’s letter.  All completed applications and supporting documents must be received no later than October 31.


Interviews will be conducted on select Wednesdays in November, December and January. All candidates selected for interviews will be invited to a social reception with current UVA residents on the Tuesday evening prior to their scheduled interview.

For more information, contact Residency Coordinator, Kristen Dudley, in the General Surgery Residency Office: (434) 924-9307.

Dear Applicant,

photo of Eric Charles, MDThere are many aspects of applying for general surgery residency that can be daunting.  Committing yourself for 5-7 years of rigorous training, moving away from family and friends, asking significant others to move as well or make sacrifices on your behalf, are all potential offenders.  That being said, most surgeons look fondly on their residency years as years of extreme growth and development, both personally and professionally.  Finding the program that is right for you will inevitably lead to a more enjoyable and productive experience.

Most residents will describe a “gut-feeling” during their interview as to whether or not a program seems right for them.  At the University of Virginia, you’ll experience a welcoming, engaging, hard-working group of residents that are poised to become the next group of surgical leaders.  Unrivaled collegiality and support from fellow residents and faculty members offer us the building blocks for success.  Combined with a world-class university and a top-notch medical center, UVa is consistently at the forefront of surgical advancement.

After interviewing across the country from Oregon to New York, there was one program that seemed to offer superior clinical training, endless research opportunities, and an active, thriving community to live in.  Since being at UVa, I have logged significantly more cases than I could have imagined in my first year, as well as presented as first author at a national surgery meeting.  I have made great friends, as well as found many interests outside of the hospital to pursue.

Should UVa seem to offer what you are looking for in a general surgery residency program, I anticipate meeting you at an upcoming interview.


Eric Charles, MD

Chief Resident
University of Virginia Dept. of Surgery

Dear Applicant,

Allison MartinVanderbiltIt’s my pleasure to welcome you to the University of Virginia Department of Surgery. Congratulations on making it to the final stages of medical school when it is finally time to apply for residency! This is such an exciting time, but it can also be daunting as the process of choosing residency programs and embarking on the interview trail can be intimidating. Fortunately, at the end of your journey you will finally begin the challenging, yet rewarding task of training in general surgery.

When I was visiting different residency programs during interview season, UVA felt like a place where I could find fellow residents and faculty members who could serve as my “second family”—residency involves long hours in the hospital and I wanted a program where I would have not only fantastic clinical and research opportunities, but also a supportive and uplifting workplace. I have certainly found that here at UVA. One of the aspects of surgery residency that I worried about the most was whether or not I would get a chance to see the inside of the operating room as a junior resident—I was lucky to find that even early in your training at UVA, opportunities to scrub in both the main operating rooms and the brand-new outpatient Battle building ORs were ample.

Before I started residency, one of the aspects of general surgery training that intimidated me was the huge body of knowledge that a general surgeon must master.  When I was interviewing for residency programs, I was so impressed by the teaching conference that I attended at UVA, which was run by residents. UVA is very focused on resident education and developing residents as teachers, which gives us the opportunity to teach each other, guide medical students during their surgery clerkships, and interact with visiting professors.

At UVA, we are lucky to have senior surgeon scientists who are dedicated to helping us grow our careers as young physician-researchers. Whether you’re interested in pursuing basic science or translational research, there is a mentor for you at UVA. I am lucky enough to pursue my interests in cancer clinical outcomes research and14global health. I feel very supported by multiple faculty mentors and upper level residents who mentored me and helped me obtain an NIH Fogarty Global Health Fellowship that will allow me to spend a year in Rwanda examining gastric cancer epidemiology.

I hope I have the chance to discuss any questions you may have about UVA during your upcoming interview. Welcome to Charlottesville!


Charles Friel, MD
Program Director

Photo of Bruce Shirmer

Bruce Schirmer, MD
Program Director
Vice Chairman of Education

Photo: Philip Smith, MD

Philip Smith, MD
Associate Program Director

Photo:Kristen DudleyKristen Dudley
Residency Program Coordinator