General Surgery Program

The General Surgery Residency at Yale is an academic program, accredited by the ACGME. The basic surgical residency is a five-year or seven-year program providing broad experience for general surgery categorical residents and preliminary residents who are headed toward other surgical specialties. The Preliminary Residency Program is a two-year program. Emphasis during the first two years is on diagnosis, preoperative and postoperative care, and acquisition of basic surgical skills and operative experience.

Emphasis during the first two years is on:

  • Diagnosis
  • Preoperative and postoperative care
  • Acquisition of basic surgical skills and operative experience

Scholarly research is strongly encouraged, and almost all of Yale residents spend two years studying in laboratories in the Department, in other Yale departments, at the NIH, or at other universities in this country. This typically occurs for two years following the second year of clinical training.

Yale’s core general surgery program during the three senior years of residency is a time of increasing responsibility as residents acquire greater knowledge, clinical experience and technical skills. In addition to acquiring advanced surgical skills, senior residents are expected to play a larger role as teachers, coordinators, and advisors to the junior residents and medical students on their services. The Chief Resident experience is among the finest in a young surgeon's life. By the end of the Chief Year, Yale residents have sophisticated skills in all areas of general surgery including gastroenterology, surgical oncology, trauma, and vascular surgery, as well as substantial experience in pediatric surgery, cardiac and thoracic surgery, and transplantation. Residents have extensive simulator training and operative experience with minimally invasive surgery in most of these fields.

Considerations if you are applying to the Yale General Surgery Program:

  • It is academically oriented
  • The program favors students who have had excellent records in medical school
  • It favors a strong performance on the Surgical clerkship
  • It requires supportive letters from the Dean and at least three other faculty mentors
  • The program encourages a personal interview, because it is an important opportunity for students to emphasize their motivation and enthusiasm toward a career in surgery and to learn first hand the particular strengths and atmosphere of the institution
  • The program does not require a minimum USMLE score
  • Research experience is desirable but not required
  • The program does not take students outside of the match
  • All applications must be made through the ERAS program, which is conducted by the American Association of Medical Colleges

Over the past 25 years, our graduate pool has included over 20 percent women and 6 percent under-represented minorities. International medical graduates are welcome to apply. Residents who have completed the residency at Yale have been very successful. About 90% pursue additional fellowship training and most go to their first or second choice program. Two–thirds then continue in an academic career. General Surgery residency offers comprehensive training in a challenging but supportive environment, preparing the resident for a highly successful career in surgery.