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Clinical Experience

Yale Department of Surgery prides itself on providing residents with unparalleled breadth and depth of hands-on surgical experience. Residents rotate through four training hospitals. Each of these hospitals provides a unique educational experience. After spending time at our community and VA hospitals, our residents become proficient in a wide variety of surgical procedures needed to practice independently after graduation. At the same time, the experience in our tertiary referral hospitals provides a depth of experience needed to perform complex operations.

YNHH York Street Campus

  • High-volume tertiary referral center
  • Level 1 trauma center
    • Exposure to operative blunt and penetrating trauma
  • Smilow Cancer Hospital
    • Complex hepatobiliary oncology, melanoma, soft tissue sarcoma, endocrine neoplasia, thoracic oncology
    • Use of robotic surgery for cancer operations
  • Yale New Haven Transplantation Center
    • Liver, Kidney, Pancreas transplants
    • Pediatric liver transplantation center
  • Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital
    • Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center
    • Complex pediatric surgical oncology
    • Regional Neonatal Center for Southern Connecticut- 55 bed neonatal intensive care unit
    • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program
  • Heart and Vascular Center
    • Wide range of open and endovascular experiences
      • Artis Zeego hybrid operating room for combined open and endovascular operations

YNHH Chapel Street Campus

  • Yale Bariatric Surgery Center
  • Robotic Colorectal Surgery
  • Complex Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
  • Comprehensive Endoscopy Center

Veterans Administration Medical Center

  • General Surgery
  • Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
  • Robotic Thoracic Surgery
  • Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Bridgeport Hospital

  • Connecticut Burn Center and Burn Critical Care Unit
    • Burn surgery, complex burn reconstruction, burn trauma, burn-related critical care
  • Level 2 Trauma Center
    • Exposure to blunt and penetrating trauma
  • Dedicated Outpatient Surgical Center
  • General Pediatric Surgery
  • Complex Surgical Oncology
  • Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery
  • The Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine

Resident Rotations

Residents rotate through three hospitals which offer a wide variety of clinical experience. Rotations are organized to provide residents with early on exposure to a plethora of specialties as they hone in on their surgical interests. As the years progress, graded autonomy with respect to patient care and operative experience takes place. This leads to the final years of surgical training where our Chief Residents (PGY-5) take ownership of the services while also integrating elective time to ensure interests outside the core rotation are accommodated.


  • Colorectal
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Endocrine
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Transplant
  • Vascular
  • General Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • SICU
  • Burn Surgery


  • Colorectal
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Vascular
  • General Surgery
  • SICU
  • CT Surgery (VA)


  • Surgical Oncology
  • Endocrine
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Transplant
  • General Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery


  • Surgical Oncology
  • Endocrine
  • Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Transplant
  • Vascular
  • General Surgery
  • Electives


  • Colorectal
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Endocrine
  • Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric
  • Trauma Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Electives

Surgical Simulation

  • Newly renovated state of the art haptic simulation lab
    • FLS exam box trainers
    • Haptic feedback laparoscopic simulators
    • Endosopic and bronchoscopic simuator
    • Three DaVinci simulators (Xi and SI)
    • Endovascular simulator
  • Additional FLS box trainers available in the General Surgery Resident's Library at the YNHH York Street Campus
  • Additional FLS box trainers and DaVinci robot simulator available in the simulation lab at YNHH Chapel Street Campus
  • Central line placement credentialing is performed each year during intern orientation
  • Yale Center for Medical Simulation:
    • Simulation Center used by each section for surgical simulation exercises pertaining to the specialty (ie. Surgical Oncology, Trauma, Vascular Surgery, etc._
  • Monthly trauma simulation scenarios at are conducted using the state of the art simulation mannequin for the trauma teams rotating at both the York Street and Bridgeport Campuses.

Educational Conferences

Protected Time

We are dedicated to giving our residents protected time and ample resources to prepare them for their boards and the careers beyond.

Surgery School

This is a weekly conference where faculty are selected to give a lecture to cover the weekly curriculum topic. The curriculum covers all the material designated by the ABS over the course of two years. Additional topics include areas of professional development including leadership, healthcare and personal finances, wellness, and others.

Junior Conference

Junior conference is a weekly conference where juniors are dismissed from clinical duties in order to focus on education. The junior conference focuses on ABSITE and board preparation by reviewing questions salient to that weeks’ learning topic. They also spend one conference per month in technical skills preparation; this is guided by the ACS/APDS surgical skills curriculum.

Senior Conference

The senior conference focuses on the technical and clinical aspects of the weekly topic. Time is spent reviewing steps of the operations that pertain to the weekly topic. Faculty from the respective fields are present to share pearls and pitfalls of the operations as well as cases demonstrating important clinical points. Some conferences are reserved to cover leadership skills, wellness, and career preparation.

Quality Improvement Conference

Monthly quality improvement conferences are a cornerstone of quality improvement in surgery. Deaths and complications are presented by the residents. Open discussion among residents and faculty is intended not to find fault, but to seek a better understanding of the events, to educate, and to suggest changes in management or departmental protocols with the goal of reducing the risk of future complications.

While rotating on specialty surgical services (Vascular Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, etc.) residents will attend weekly educational and quality improvement conferences specific to each rotation.


Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds are held on Friday mornings. The entire department is invited to join and hear from national and international leaders who visit Yale to present on areas of their expertise, ranging from diversity and inclusion to clinical topics to basic science research.

Visit our Grand Rounds page for a complete list of our exciting guest speakers.

Seminars in Surgical Research

A bi-weekly conference bringing together researchers across the department surgery. Speakers range from residents and post-doctoral fellows presenting research in progress to grant writing seminars given by leaders in surgical research.

ABSITE Written Board Preparation

Residents prepare for the ABSITE utilizing the new Decker ACS online resource. This innovative new site offers a continuously updated curriculum covering the basic principles of surgery and highlighting new information and high-yield ABSITE topics. The residents follow a hand-picked 2-year curriculum which will covers all the defined category and core topics in general surgery. Topics are coordinated with the Surgery School topic as well as the Junior/Senior conference enabling the resident to gain an in-depth knowledge of the topic at the weeks end. Furthermore, the residents enjoy a subscription to TrueLearn, a mobile friendly question bank covering high-yield ABSITE topics.

Oral Board Preparation

Preparation for the oral boards includes multiple dedicated teaching sessions focusing on format and presentation skills for Oral board examinations. This culminates with annual Mock Orals exams given by faculty, which simulate the Oral boards well and guides the residents in their preparation for this difficult exam.

Quality and Safety Seminar

The surgical residency is sponsoring a year-long course for residents in their professional development years. This course is modeled after the institute for healthcare improvement’s series, and provides trainees with a structured approach to process improvement. It is the goal of this series to prepare leaders in hospital based quality improvement.

Degree Programs

Masters in Health Science (M.H.Sc.) Program

Surgical residents are afforded the opportunity to obtain the Master’s in Health Science degree at Yale School of Medicine, with half of the tuition expenses paid by the Surgery Department. This 12-month program, geared towards those interested in a research career, awards this degree upon successful completion of 4 courses and a master’s thesis.
Yale Surgery Resident M.H.S candidates:
Name Year
James Farrelly 2017
Timothy Murtha 2017
Swathi Reddy 2017
Brian Arnold 2018
Raymond Jean 2018
Danielle Heller 2019
Vladim Kurbatov 2019
Shirley Liu 2019
Norman Nicholson 2019
Vanessa Baratta 2020
Sarah Ullrich 2020
Matthew Shaughnessy 2020
Jolanta Gorecka 2020

Doctor of Philosophy in Investigative Medicine (Ph.D.) Program

The Investigative Medicine Program is a training program in clinical investigation for physicians that leads to a Ph.D. degree in Investigative Medicine awarded from the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Its aim is to provide the training required to develop a broad knowledge base, analytical skill, creative thinking and the hands-on experience demanded of clinical researchers devoted to either laboratory-based or clinically-based patient-oriented investigation. Admission to the Investigative Medicine Program occurs across multiple clinical subspecialties, with a choice of focus on either patient-oriented research, disease-oriented research, or basic “translational” laboratory research. Students are provided with individualized training encompassing both formal coursework and practical experience, under the supervision and mentorship of a senior faculty member. Requirements for the Ph.D. degree are the completion of a didactic curriculum of required and elective courses, a comprehensive examination, and a research project resulting in a dissertation – under the guidance of a Qualifying and Thesis Committee. Most students will be able to obtain a Ph.D. degree in a 3-4 year timeframe.

Yale Surgery Resident Ph.D. candidates:
Name Year
Clinton Protack 2015
Gabriella Grisotti 2018
Jonathan Merola 2018
Vladim Kurbatov Current
Holly Blackburn Current
Katie O'Neil Current

Master of Education (M.Ed) Degree

Master of Education (M.Ed) Degree:
Name Year
Samantha Ahle 2019
Mollie Freedman-Weiss 2020
Erin White 2021
Andrew Esposito 2022