Preliminary Surgery

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Program Overview

 

UW Department of Surgery Seal image“Our mission is to train leaders in surgery and to train physicians who can operate in a community environment that holds to the highest ethical and professional standards and espouses the core surgical values of duty, honor and responsibility to patients.”

Welcome to the Preliminary Surgery Residency Program at the University of Washington! In the webpages to follow we hope to show you who we are in both the incredible depth and breadth of our program. The University of Washington provides extraordinary training in the robust intellectual environment of one of the top universities in the world. Like most university-based surgical programs, the University of Washington program provides a comprehensive experience that is designed to produce the highest caliber physician.  We also have great pride in our collegial, collaborative and supportive training environment with great resident morale. During your year(s) with us you will be a surgeon.

All of our preliminary residents are an important part of our community and are treated as equals in the residency program. Our philosophy is that all residents care for the same patients and we have the same expectations for excellent care regardless of their ultimate destination in medicine/surgery. We enjoy maximizing the educational experience and career potential for each of our residents.

Our educational mission is to create exceptional physicians who are clinically and technically superb while emphasizing continued learning, ethical principles, service, interpersonal relationships, and compassionate patient care. Our program is intellectually challenging, with a pursuit of excellence. One of the ways we distinguish ourselves from the handful of other elite programs is the incredible combination of a few things:

  • The five states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI), comprising 27% of the U.S. land mass, serve as our geographic catchment area of tertiary and quaternary referrals for everything ranging from elective surgery to surgical complications and Level I trauma care. This provides an unmatched range of pathology.
  • A top 10 U.S. Cancer Center which provides world-class surgical oncology.
  • One of the leaders in trauma/critical care/burn care in the world in partnership with the renowned Life Flight Northwest.
  • The six hospitals of UW Medicine, all university hospitals, each with a different care focus.
  • We are proud to have an ACS Level 1 Simulation Center with a curriculum for all of our residents.
  • A unique spirit of collegiality and collaboration which fosters a sense of camaraderie and community that defines our region.

All set in the extraordinary spectacular beauty of our environs of the Pacific NW—with green trees and flowers year around, and mountain peaks and water ways in every direction.

As the Program Director, my goal is to create an exciting, positive, supportive and progressive environment that fosters self-directed learning. The Pacific NW is the perfect setting for this in terms of shared goals of a community where everyone is pulling in the same direction and our flatter cultural hierarchies.

Thank you for your interest in our program! We all look forward to meeting you.

 

 

Rebecca P. Petersen, MD, MSc
Associate Professor of Surgery
Interim Program Director, General and Preliminary Surgery

 


Quick Facts

 

Our residents:

  • 50% are female
  • 30% are URiM

Our program:

  • Has been training surgeons since 1947
  • Offers experience in robotic surgery (even as an R1).
  • Provides a hybrid training model: typical university resident team structure and apprenticeship model training both used on different rotations.
  • All of the faculty are full-time teaching faculty in the University of Washington School of Medicine, committed to surgical education. The majority are national and international leaders.

Our department community:

  • Our Wellness Committee includes an equal number of faculty, residents and staff
  • Our Diversity Council also includes faculty, residents and staff
  • We focus on the development of the whole surgeon, emphasizing intellect, surgical skill, and humanity.

 

Program Leadership

Portrait photo of Dr. Jeffrey Friedrich

Jeffrey B. Friedrich, MD, MC

Interim Associate Chair, Education
Chief, Division of Education

Dr. Rebecca Peterson

Rebecca P. Petersen, MD, MSc

Interim Program Director, General and Preliminary Surgery

Practice: General Surgery, Complex Hernias and Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Surgery

Program Directors

Portrait photo of Dr. Judy Chen-Meekin

Judy Y. Chen-Meekin, MD

Director, Resident Education in Quality & Patient Safety

Practice: Bariatrics, MIS General Surgery

Portrait photo of Dr. Grant O'Keefe

Grant E. O'Keefe MD, MPH

Director, Resident Research

Practice: Trauma, Critical Care, HPB Surgery

Portrait photo of Dr. James Park

James O. Park, MD

Director, Robotic Training

Practice: HPB Surgery

Portrait photo of Dr. Andrew Wright

Andrew S. Wright, MD

Director, Technical Skills Education

Practice: Foregut, Complex Hernia Surgery, MIS

Associate Program Directors

Portrait photo of Dr. Nick Cetrulo

Lawrence N. Cetrulo, MD

Interim Associate Program Director, UW Medical Center-Northwest

Practice: General Surgery, Complex Hernia Surgery

Dr. Saurabh Khandelwal

Saurabh Khandelwal, MD

Interim Associate Program Director, UW Medical Center-Montlake

Practice: Bariatric Surgery, General Surgery, Metabolic, and Diabetic Surgery

Portrait photo of Dr. Rebecca Maine

Rebecca Maine, MD, MPH

Associate Program Director: Harborview Medical Center

Practice: Trauma/Critical Care Surgery

Portrait photo of Dr. Deborah Marquardt

Deborah L. Marquardt, MD

Associate Program Director: VA-Puget Sound Health Care System

Practice: General Surgery, Critical Care Surgery

Portrait photo of Dr. Lisa Mcintyre

Lisa K. McIntyre MD

Associate Program Director: Harborview Medical Center

Practice: Trauma/Critical Care Surgery

Portrait photo of Dr. Caitlin Smith

Caitlin A. Smith, MD

Associate Program Director: Seattle Children’s Hospital

Practice: Pediatric Surgery

Clinical Experience

The clinical training at the University of Washington can be matched at a handful of programs, but not exceeded! The ‘UW surgical product’ even after just one training year is well known and highly regarded around the country. Our Preliminary Surgery graduates are routinely leaders in their residency programs.

We provide graduated responsibility with appropriate supervision in a collegial and supportive environment, designed to produce the highest caliber physician. Our environment is intellectually challenging and stimulating. We span excellence in all aspects of surgical care from multi-disciplinary clinical evaluation, in-patient care, operative technique and decision making, management of post-op complications and team leadership.

The ingredients that comprise this elite training include:

  • WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) catchment area for tertiary referrals. Our residents manage the most complex surgical patients available anywhere on a routine basis so the straightforward patients become easy
  • World class Level I trauma/critical care and burn experience
  • Multi-disciplinary surgical oncology experience at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, one of the top 10 cancer centers in the U.S.
  • Pediatric surgery experience at Seattle Children’s Hospital, a quaternary referral center
  • High acuity surgery which includes learning from some of the top faculty in the country in: foregut surgery, colorectal, emergency general surgery, thoracic, transplant, complex hernia and abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Minimally invasive and robotic surgery presence at all hospitals
  • A university level VA hospital
  • Large volume, bread and butter general surgery experience in an apprenticeship, community practice model

Some statistics:

  • Approximately 150 cases and procedures done in the R1 year
  • Over 350 cases completed by the end of the R2 year (far exceeding the 250 requirement) 

 

Training Sites

Five major hospitals along with the clinics of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) are integrated into the Preliminary Surgery teaching program: UW Medical Center-Montlake, UW Medical Center-Northwest, Harborview Medical Center, Puget Sound Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. All hospitals are ~20 minutes apart around the Seattle urban area. Each hospital’s services are staffed by full-time, world-renowned faculty members of the University of Washington School of Medicine. At UW 100% of faculty at all of our hospitals are teaching faculty. Residents work closely with faculty in and out of the OR. Medical students rotate at each training site, giving our residents plenty of teaching opportunities.

 

UW Medical Center MontlakeUW Medical Center-Montlake

As the No. 1 hospital in Seattle and Washington State (U.S. News & World Report), UW Medical Center-Montlake is one of the world's foremost tertiary referral academic health centers, delivering exceptional, multidisciplinary care to patients who come to us from across the globe. Residents rotate at Montlake onto the following services: CT, Colorectal, Emergency General Surgery, Foregut, Hernia, Plastic, SICU, Surgical Oncology (Breast, Endocrine, HPB, Melanoma, Sarcoma) and Transplant Surgery. Services are typical university hospital team-based, academic services. Explore UW Medical Center-Montlake

 

Valley Medical CenterUW Medical Center-Northwest

One hospital, 2 campuses; UW Medical Center-Northwest is a community-based center about 20 minutes north of Montlake. Our residents rotate here during the R2 year where they do high volume, bread and butter general surgery cases in a 1:1 apprenticeship model. The UW Medicine Hernia Center is based at the Northwest campus where it attracts both routine hernia patients and those requiring complex abdominal wall reconstruction. Explore UW Medical Center-Northwest

 

Seattle Cancer Care AllianceSeattle Cancer Care Alliance

The SCCA is listed as one of the top 10 cancer centers in the U.S. (U.S. News and World Report). It is the No. 1 cancer hospital in the Pacific Northwest and Washington state's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. The SCCA and the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center provide world-class cutting-edge approaches to cancer treatment and prevention. Their goal is to lead the world in translating scientific discovery into the prevention, treatment, and cure of cancer. Our residents assume a leadership role in the multi-disciplinary cancer clinics and Tumor Boards at the SCCA even as PGY1’s. Explore Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

 

Harborview Medical CenterHarborview Medical Center

As the only designated Level I adult and pediatric trauma and regional burn center in the state of Washington, Harborview serves as the regional trauma and burn referral center for Alaska, Montana and Idaho and the disaster preparedness and disaster control hospital for Seattle and King County. This 413-bed world-class teaching and research hospital is owned by the county and managed by the University of Washington. It is the home of Airlift Northwest. Harborview provides specialized care for a broad spectrum of patients from throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the most vulnerable residents of King County. Residents rotate at Harborview Medical Center onto typical university hospital surgical teams and work side by side with some of the most renowned traumatologists in the world. Rotations include: Burn, ED, Plastic Surgery, Thoracic, Trauma, Trauma SICU, and Vascular. Explore Harborview Medical Center

 

Seattle Children's HospitalSeattle Children’s Hospital

Seattle Children’s is the only regional pediatric referral center devoted to the needs of children ages birth to 21 in the four-state area of Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest referral region of any children’s hospital in the country. Resident rotations at Seattle Children’s occur in the R1 and R3 years. Residents work closely with faculty on a typical university hospital team at the main campus. During the week, a resident may travel to the Seattle Children’s Bellevue or Everett surgical clinics working 1:1 with an attending for a full day of routine pediatric surgery cases. Explore Seattle Children’s Hospital

 

VA Puget Sound Health Care SystemVA Puget Sound Health Care System

Since 1923, VA Puget Sound Health Care System has distinguished itself as a leader in teaching, research and patient care while earning prestigious recognition in serving the health care needs of more than 112,000 Veterans living in 14 counties around the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest. With a reputation for excellence, innovation and extraordinary care of our Nation’s heroes, the VA Puget Sound is a university level VA and a regional referral site for VA's northwest region, VA Puget Sound provides care for Veteran populations encompassing Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. Our VA receives the second highest level of funding in the US. Residents rotate at the VA at each year of residency onto typical university hospital surgical teams. Explore VA Puget Sound Health Care System

 

surgical photoRotations

The University of Washington program provides a comprehensive experience with graduated responsibilities designed to produce the highest caliber resident. It is intellectually stimulating with high expectations and standards for all of its trainees, in a supportive environment. You will be challenged and will emerge from your 1 or 2 Preliminary years exceptionally well-trained for your next program.

 

 

surgical photo

Our curriculum encompasses both didactics provided through a wealth of teaching conferences and focused technical instruction provided through simulation labs. We developed the innovative EVATS rotation for our surgical residents and published this in 2003. The EVATS rotation provides time for Emergency coverage, Vacation time, Academic time, and Technical Skills training.

 

Each rotation is 4 weeks in length and no two interns have the exact same rotation schedule. While we do not have electives, we do provide opportunities for sub-specialty rotations for our In-Process Residents on an ‘as available’ basis. On all of these services, the R1 assists in operations and performs procedures. Our R1’s perform approximately 150 cases and procedures.

 

surgical photo

If you stay with us for a second Preliminary year, you will concentrate on the fundamentals of critical care, with primary responsibility in the CTICU and the Harborview Trauma ICU. Rotations on other services, such as transplant surgery, surgical oncology, acute care surgery, and vascular surgery and the general surgery service at Northwest Hospital broaden this experience. The R2 performs operative procedures that build on the skills learned in the first year. By the end of the R2 year our residents have performed over 350 cases, far exceeding the 250 minimum requirement.

 

Training Tracks

Preliminary Surgery Tracks for Matched Residents

The majority of our Preliminary Surgery residents have matched into the following subspecialty areas at UW: Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Urology. If you match into one of these UW programs, a separate application for your preliminary year is NOT required. Your primary Program Director assigns your rotations.

We are very pleased to train Preliminary residents who are headed into different areas of medicine: Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional Radiology, Emergency Medicine, Interventional Radiology, Ophthalmology, PM&R, and Radiation Oncology. A year as a surgeon at UW will give you special insights that will influence the rest of your career. As such we’ve developed special Preliminary Program Tracks that were designed to maximize the educational value of your preliminary year as it pertains to your future specialty. We can even customize it to special interests you have within that specialty. A separate application for our preliminary year IS REQUIRED through ERAS.

Past residents have come from all over the U.S. and head back to programs throughout the country. The strength of our preliminary program resides in our outstanding training in surgery combined with the wonderful esprit d ‘corps between the residents and faculty at the University of Washington. Most residents state that they were drawn to the idea of an ‘adventure’ in a world-class institution located in the beautiful region of the Pacific Northwest before settling down into their categorical program. Many return back to UW for fellowships, having developed relationships with UW faculty and others. Most people who have experienced living in Seattle want to return!

Please be sure to check out what former Preliminary Program residents have to say about their experience – in the Alumni section below.

 

Preliminary Surgery Track for Matched Anesthesiologists

As Anesthesiology as broadened its focus into the area of ‘Perioperative Medicine’ an increasing number of applicants pursuing a career in Anesthesiology are interested in a Preliminary Surgery year at the University of Washington. This heightened interest makes perfect sense given: (a) the congruent interests of the surgical patient present in our two fields, (b) the opportunity as a surgical resident to see the surgical patient from the other side of the curtain – to include the pre and post-operative management, (c) the ability for an internship in general surgery to provide the future anesthesiologist with a broad-based foundation in the many surgical sub-specialties, (d) outstanding experience in trauma/critical care and burn, (e) an opportunity to refine your procedural skills, and (f) the close working relationship and team approach required by anesthesiologists and surgeons every day for the excellent care of their patients. A preliminary year in surgery is a great choice for an aspiring anesthesiologist. With this in mind, we developed a Preliminary Program designed specifically for future Anesthesiologists.

We are proud of our training program as being one of the top in the U.S. and at the same time valuing an atmosphere of camaraderie and high resident morale. We take pride in training residents with diverse interests and future goals and in treating all of our residents equally – whether categorical or preliminary. Our mentorship program will provide you with individualized attention.

Rotations

Rotations for this program are chosen with a focus on meeting the Anesthesiology RRC requirements required for your R1 year to include: Emergency Medicine and at least one ICU rotation. After this, our focus is to provide a broad based experience in some general surgery specialties (GI, Vascular/Endovascular, CT, Breast, Surgical Oncology) and some of the sub-specialties of Orthopedics and Neurosurgery in both the elective and trauma settings. The Program Director is open to accept limited special rotation requests within the pool of options. Most of the time we are able to accommodate them. You will have a strong ward and clinic experience with opportunities to assess patients independently. You will also have the opportunity to do procedures.

For Residents Matching into Virginia Mason Anesthesiology

Many VM Anesthesiology residents have chosen to do their preliminary surgery year at UW. Given the high acuity of our patients, you’ll enter your Anesthesiology residency exceedingly well-trained and ready to handle anything that comes your day. At UW you’ll experience firsthand what a tertiary care university hospital setting is like which can help inform your choice of fellowship or future practice. Also, since the VM residents rotate back through UW as more senior residents, you’ll already know our system and our people.

 

Preliminary Surgery Track for Matched Dermatologist

Future Dermatologists find that doing a Preliminary Surgery year at UW prepares them well for their Dermatology residency. With this in mind, we developed a Preliminary Surgery Track designed specifically for future Dermatologists. Our program will give you the opportunity, as a surgical resident, and to understand the patient as a proceduralist. We will also give you foundational skills in burns, melanoma and Moh’s surgery.
We are proud of our training program as being one of the top in the U.S. and at the same time valuing an atmosphere of camaraderie and high resident morale. We take pride in training residents with diverse interests and future goals and in treating all of our residents equally – whether categorical or preliminary. Our mentorship program will provide you with individualized attention.

Rotations

Residents are given rotations in Plastic Surgery, Surgical Oncology/Melanoma, Vascular Surgery, Trauma Surgery, ICU and Burns. After this, our focus is to provide a broad based experience in some of the general surgery specialties and the sub-specialties. The Program Director is open to accept limited special rotation requests within the pool of options. Most of the time we are able to accommodate them. You will have a strong ward and clinic experience with opportunities to assess patients independently. You will also have the opportunity to do procedures.

 

Preliminary Surgery Track for Matched Diagnostic Radiologists

Applicants pursuing a career in Diagnostic Radiology have been increasingly interested in pursuing a Preliminary Surgery year. This heightened interest in a preliminary year in Surgery makes perfect sense given: (a) the congruent interests in human anatomy present in our two fields, (b) the opportunity as a surgical resident to see 3-D anatomy in its normal and pathologic states in the OR and correlate this with peri-operative imaging, (c) the ability for a surgery internship to provide the future radiologist with a broad-based foundation in the surgical specialties, (d) the close working relationship and team approach required by Radiologists and Surgeons every day for the excellent care of their patients. Also, for those residents considering a potential career in IR, doing a preliminary surgery year provides critical peri-procedural experience. With this in mind, we developed a Preliminary Surgery Track designed specifically for future Diagnostic Radiologists.

We are proud of our training program as being one of the top in the U.S. and at the same time valuing an atmosphere of camaraderie and high resident morale. We take pride in training residents with diverse interests and future goals and in treating all of our residents equally – whether categorical or preliminary. Our mentorship program will provide you with individualized attention.

Rotations

Rotations are chosen with a focus on providing a broad based experience in some of the general surgery specialties (GI/Colorectal, Vascular/Endovascular, CT, ICU, Trauma, Breast, Surgical Oncology, and EM) and the surgical sub-specialties. The Program Director is open to accept limited special rotation requests within the pool of options. Most of the time we are able to accommodate them. You will have a strong ward and clinic experience with opportunities to assess patients independently. You will also have the opportunity to do procedures.

 

Preliminary Surgery Track for Matched Emergency Medicine Physicians

Future EM physicians find that doing preliminary year in General Surgery at the University of Washington prepares them well for their EM residency. The opportunity to rotate in the surgical ED at the world-renowned Level I Trauma Center: Harborview, provides a world-class experience in initial triage and management of surgical patients. Harborview is also known for its evidence-based and highly protocol-driven care of all kinds of acute care surgical patients. Our program will give you the opportunity, as a surgical resident, to see the surgical patient from the other side of the ED – to include the pre and post-operative management. This experience will help to foster an understanding for the view of the surgical patient that will help you to provide better care for your future patients and build strong professional relationships with surgical colleagues later. A surgery internship is also the best place to develop comfort with your procedural skills and gain ample experience prior to entering your EM residency. With this in mind, we developed a Preliminary Program designed specifically for future EM residents.

We are proud of our training program as being one of the top in the U.S. and at the same time valuing an atmosphere of camaraderie and high resident morale. We take pride in training residents with diverse interests and future goals and in treating all of our residents equally – whether categorical or preliminary. Our mentorship program will provide you with individualized attention.

Rotations

Rotations for this program are chosen with a focus on meeting the Emergency Medicine RRC requirements required for your R1 year. After this, our focus is to provide a broad based experience in some of the general surgery specialties (GI/Colorectal, Vascular, ICU, CT, Breast, Surgical Oncology, Acute Care Surgery) and some of the sub-specialties of Orthopedics and Neurosurgery in both the elective and trauma settings. This track includes at least one ICU rotation. The Program Director is open to accept limited special rotation requests within the pool of options. Most of the time we are able to accommodate them. You will have a strong ward and clinic experience with opportunities to assess patients independently. You will also have the opportunity to do procedures.

 

Preliminary Surgery Track for Matched Interventional Radiology

Applicants pursuing a career in IR have been increasingly interested in a Preliminary Surgery year at the University of Washington. This heightened interest makes perfect sense given that proceduralists, whether surgeons or interventional radiologists, approach patients in the same way. In addition, we share: (a) the congruent interests in human anatomy present in our two fields, (b) the opportunity as a surgical resident to see 3-D anatomy in its normal and pathologic states in the OR and correlate this with peri-operative imaging, (c) the ability for an internship in general surgery to provide the future Interventional Radiologist with a broad-based foundation in the surgical specialties and in peri-procedural care, (d) the close working relationship and team approach required by Interventional Radiologists and Surgeons every day for the excellent care of their patients, and (e) development of technical procedural skills. With this in mind, we developed a Preliminary Surgery track designed specifically for future Interventional Radiologists in consultation with our IR Program Director.

We are proud of our training program as being one of the top in the U.S. and at the same time valuing an atmosphere of camaraderie and high resident morale. We take pride in training residents with diverse interests and future goals and in treating all of our residents equally – whether categorical or preliminary. Our mentorship program will provide you with individualized attention.

Rotations

Rotations are chosen with a focus on providing an experience in ICU, Trauma, and Vascular/Endovascular. We then build a broad-based experience in some of the general surgery specialties (GI/Colorectal, CT, Breast, Surgical Oncology, and EM) and the sub-specialties (Orthopedic and Neurosurgery) in both the elective and trauma settings. The Program Director is open to accept limited special rotation requests within the pool of options. Most of the time we are able to accommodate them. You will have a strong ward and clinic experience with opportunities to assess patients independently. You will also have the opportunity to do procedures.

Information for applicants to UW Interventional Radiology Program

Although not a requirement, the UW IR Program Director strongly recommends that those applicants applying to the UW IR Residency fulfill their internship requirement in Surgery. Many UW IR residents have done their year with us. Residents coming from other areas of the country often want to move to Seattle and get familiar with our hospital system and start developing important relationships at the UW which are extremely beneficial and will carry over into IR training. A separate application for your preliminary year IS REQUIRED through ERAS.

 

Preliminary Surgery Track for Matched Ophthalmologists

We have developed a Preliminary Surgery Program designed specifically for future Ophthalmologists. This program provides exposure to a wide range of general surgery operations and help you to start refining your technical operative skills.

We are proud of our training program as being one of the top in the U.S. and at the same time valuing an atmosphere of camaraderie and high resident morale. We take pride in training residents with diverse interests and future goals and in treating all of our residents equally – whether categorical or preliminary. Our mentorship program will provide you with individualized attention.

Rotation

Rotations for this program are chosen with a focus on meeting the Ophthalmology RRC requirements for your R1 year. Residents are given rotations in Plastic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Trauma Surgery, ICU and Burns. After this, our focus is to provide a broad based experience in some of the general surgery specialties and the sub-specialties. We have a microsurgery module in our WISH simulation center is that is of particular interest to our future ophthalmologists. The Program Director is open to accept limited special rotation requests within the pool of options. Most of the time we are able to accommodate them. You will have a strong ward and clinic experience with opportunities to assess patients independently. You will also have the opportunity to do procedures.

 

Preliminary Surgery Track for Matched Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physicians

Future PM&R physicians find that doing a Preliminary Surgery year at UW prepares them well for their PM&R residency. With this in mind, we developed a Preliminary Surgery Track designed specifically for future PM&R residents. Our program will give you the opportunity, as a surgical resident, to understand the surgical patient from earlier periods of an acute illness that lead to the need for rehabilitation. We will also give you foundational skills in vascular surgery, stoma management, amputees, trauma, burns, bariatric, orthopedic and paralyzed patients.

We are proud of our training program as being one of the top in the U.S. and at the same time valuing an atmosphere of camaraderie and high resident morale. We take pride in training residents with diverse interests and future goals and in treating all of our residents equally – whether categorical or preliminary. Our mentorship program will provide you with individualized attention.

Rotations

Rotations for this program are chosen with a focus on meeting the PM&R RRC requirements required for your R1 year. After this, our focus is to provide a broad based experience in some of the general surgery specialties (GI, Vascular/Endovascular, Burns, ICU, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the VA system, CT, Breast, ER) and the sub-specialties of Orthopedics and Neurosurgery in both the elective and trauma settings. The Program Director is open to accept limited special rotation requests within the pool of options. Most of the time we are able to accommodate them. You will have a strong ward and clinic experience with opportunities to assess patients independently. You will also have the opportunity to do procedures.

 

Preliminary Surgery Track for Matched Radiation Oncologists

Future Radiation Oncologists find that doing a Preliminary Surgery year at UW prepares them well for their residency. With this in mind, we developed a Preliminary Surgery Track designed specifically for future Radiation Oncologists. Our program will give you the opportunity, as a surgical resident, to understand the surgical oncology patient from different aspects of their treatment. We will also give you foundational skills in stoma management, bariatric, and thoracic patients.

We are proud of our training program as being one of the top in the U.S. and at the same time valuing an atmosphere of camaraderie and high resident morale. We take pride in training residents with diverse interests and future goals and in treating all of our residents equally – whether categorical or preliminary. Our mentorship program will provide you with individualized attention.

Rotations

Rotations are chosen with a heavy focus on surgical oncology and multi-disciplinary cancer care. Many rotations will have out-patient clinics at the world-class Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Our residents will present patients at Tumor Board and work side-by-side with future Radiation Oncology colleagues. We will also provide a broad based experience in some of the general surgery specialties (GI/Colorectal, CT, ICU, Trauma, and Burn) where residents will become comfortable with complex wounds. The Program Director is open to accept limited special rotation requests within the pool of options. Most of the time we are able to accommodate them. You will have a strong ward and clinic experience with opportunities to assess patients independently. You will also have the opportunity to do procedures.

 

Preliminary Surgery Tracks for In-Process Residents

Some of our preliminary residents do not yet have a future categorical program home. We’ve found that for many residents this year becomes a blessing in disguise. During the 1 or 2 years in our program you will apply for categorical positions in various specialties. Because of our strong national reputation for outstanding training and our world-class institution, we are proud to have a near 100% categorical placement rate for our non-designated preliminary (NDP) residents. This track record does not come easily and we work hard to maintain it and personally help each resident achieve their goals with a lot of sweat equity. But you can also work hard to ensure your own success as an In-Process Preliminary resident. How? By investing time now – BEFORE you start your internship. The single most important factor for success are strong faculty letters of recommendation from your Preliminary program (not research!). A strong fund of knowledge in General Surgery coming in the door can help you significantly. One way to boost this is getting mostly through a major surgical textbook in the next few months (any one of them will do). Another option is to complete an on-line content-based (not question based) General Surgery Board Review Course before you start residency. This will help you to excel as a resident – make your job more interesting and fun - get strong letters of recommendation – jumpstart your preparation for the ABSITE exam (last week of January each year) – and essentially just invest a little earlier than you expected into your own professional development as a surgeon (which you want to do anyway since you’re planning to spend your life doing it)!

Past residents have obtained categorical positions in the following specialties where they have been very successful: anesthesiology, integrated cardiothoracic surgery, dermatology, diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine, general surgery, neurosurgery, nuclear medicine, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, pathology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, preventive medicine, integrated plastic surgery, psychiatry, radiation oncology, urology and integrated vascular surgery. About half of our non-designated preliminary residents stay in general surgery.

We have both 1-year (NDP1) and 2-year (NDP2) positions available. Depending on future interests, ERAS ranking for the 1-year and 2-year preliminary positions should be made after consulting with our Program Director at the time of your interview. Regardless of your choice for the NDP1 or NDP2 position, you will always be a part of our UW family! We believe it’s our job to give you the best surgical education available and to help you be successful in your career. We work with you to get you to the next phase of your life, whether that is here at UW or somewhere else.

We are proud of our training program as being one of the top in the U.S. and at the same time valuing an atmosphere of camaraderie and high resident morale. We take pride in training residents with diverse interests and future goals and in treating all of our residents equally – whether categorical or preliminary. Our mentorship program will provide you with individualized attention. You will have a strong ward and clinic experience with opportunities to assess patients independently. You will also have the opportunity to do cases and procedures.

International medical graduates must successfully complete our Certificate Program to be considered for a preliminary position.

 

NDP1 Track

This is a one year position. It is a good option for residents who have strong applications but who may have decided late in the process to make a career switch. It is also a good option for residents who expect to reapply for categorical R1 positions through ERAS and the match. One of the downsides to a P1 position is that you will only be in Seattle for about 2 months before getting your ERAS application together again. Program Directors are always more interested in letters of recommendation from your residency program to see how you’ve done in the trenches and it’s not as easy to get letters that accurately reflect your best performance after just 2 months than it is after 14 months (with the P2 position). However, the flipside is that it is only a one year NRMP commitment.

 

NDP2 Track

This is a two year position. It is a two year commitment.

In our opinion it is the best option for those residents who plan to stay in General Surgery. In addition, some of our strongest non-designated preliminary residents who transitioned into advanced positions in EM, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology and Urology were in the NDP2 program. Regardless of where you might be headed, success is directly related to investment. Committing to two years in a program lets you sit back and relax during your internship and just concentrate on being the best resident you can be. You can get to know the other residents and faculty and experience Seattle. You can experience your life a little bit more prior to looking for a job again and you won’t need to worry during your intern year about applications, letters, ERAS, looking for open positions, moving, interviewing, etc. You will also fully participate in the PGY2 year with its intensive critical care and trauma experience so that by the time you move onto your next program you have gained experience and some maturity as a surgical resident and function at a much higher level in your new program. Also, the NDP2 program gives you the opportunity to significantly strengthen your application.

The second training year also gives you additional flexibility: you can look for open spots at various PGY levels which increases your options. Finally, by the time the faculty write your letters of recommendation, they know you well and can support you in a different and deeper way because you are a ‘proven commodity’. This has been a very successful path for many residents.

 

Conferences

surgical conference audience

 

The UW Department of Surgery focuses on the development of the total surgeon in the three areas of intellect, skills and humanity. In addition to the usual bedside, clinic, and operating room teaching activities, more formal teaching conferences occur on two levels: department-wide and hospital-based.


Department-Wide

Grand Rounds
Department of Surgery Grand Rounds is held once per month at the University hospital. Speakers include national and international leaders in surgery as well as some of our own UW faculty. Residents have the opportunity to engage all visiting professors in roundtable discussions specifically designed for resident education.

Hospital-Based
Each of our teaching hospitals has a weekly QI Conference (aka ‘M&M’). We strongly believe that review of surgical outcomes and problem-based learning and improvement should be an ongoing pursuit that is woven into the fabric of a surgeon’s daily practice. For this reason, we incorporate review of NSQIP and Washington State SCOAP data into our weekly QI conferences. We also have a large selection of conferences at each hospital based on the clinical emphasis of its services. Some examples are listed below:

UW Medical Center-Montlake

  • QA/QI Conference (aka ‘M&M’)
  • Team Building and Mentorship Conference – Wednesday. The Program Director meets with each class monthly on a rotating basis (each week a different class). Variety of topics discussed. (Lunch provided)
  • How-I- Do-It (HIDI) Conference – Thursday AM. Faculty present their approach to unique surgical problems along with clinical pearls. (Breakfast provided)
  • Surgery Team Midday Care Conference (SToMaCh) – Thursday.  Joint conference for faculty and residents. Variety of topics discussed. (Lunch provided)
  • Chairman’s Conference – Thursday afternoon. Focused on topic selected by Chairman and Chief resident.  Informal setting, generally focused on leadership, ethics and an informal curriculum.
  • Transplant
  • CT

UW Medical Center-Northwest

  • QA/QI Conference (aka ‘M&M’)

Harborview Medical Center

  • QA/QI Conference (aka ‘M&M’)
  • Trauma Conference – Monday. Presentations by faculty, fellows, residents on a variety of topics. (Lunch provided)
  • Vascular Surgery Morning Conference – Tuesday. (Breakfast provided)
  • Trauma ICU Didactics – Tuesday AMs. Unofficially termed ‘Maier Rounds’ for Dr. Maier, overnight admissions presented to the Trauma service.
  • Trauma Journal Club – Monthly. (Lunch provided)
  • Chest Conference – Thursday. Case presentations in ICU and Pulmonary medicine. (Lunch provided)

VA Hospital

  • QA/QI Conference (aka ‘M&M’)
  • GI Radiology conference
  • Surgery – Pathology conference
  • Angiography conference (Vascular Surgery service)

Seattle Children’s Hospital

  • QA/QI Conference (aka ‘M&M’)
  • Weekly didactic teaching conference
  • Pathology conference

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

  • Multidisciplinary Cancer Conferences – specific to Breast, Colorectal, Endocrine, Foregut, Liver, Lung, Pancreatic, and Sarcoma services. (Lunch provided)

 

Program-Led

Surgical Science Series

Wednesday morning is a time to enjoy the company of fellow residents and faculty from around the system, to catch up on the latest advances and help foster the camaraderie, fellowship and community that make residency a positive experience. Our weekly didactic conference occurs in a 4 hour, bi-monthly block of time on Wednesday mornings known as the Surgical Science Series. The junior resident sessions occur twice a month and focus on building a foundation in basic general surgical principles. The senior resident sessions occur twice a month on alternate Wednesdays and focus on classical reviews of the surgical literature and evidence-based approaches to specific topics. Some highlights:

  • Curriculum: American Board of Surgery’s SCORE curriculum
  • Held at a central location. (Breakfast provided)
  • Zoom option is available (and recorded for later viewing)
  • The flipped classroom format is used. The topic is assigned in advance with an interactive, discussion-based format headed by a faculty member expert in that area.
  • Each 4-hour session is divided
    • 2-hour didactic portion (roundtable discussion and mock-oral board questions)
    • 2-hour second session for technical skills/simulation or our expanded curriculum in leadership, quality, coding & billing, academic mentoring, palliative care, residents as teachers, professionalism, global surgery, surgical ethics, and practice management-related topics.

Journal Club
Our residents moved our monthly Journal Club from a restaurant to a faculty home in order to further develop our community. (Dinner provided)

ABSITE Prep
Our Director of ABSITE and Board Review hosts a monthly ABSITE Prep Conference in the fall months preceding the ABSITE.

 

Simulation Training

Residency Simulation Residency Simulation
Residency Simulation Residency Simulation

The WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare (WISH) is University of Washington’s state-of-the-art simulation center for health education. Our center was one of the first Level 1 ACS accredited simulation labs in the United States. WISH was spearheaded by leaders in the Department of Surgery in 2007, and under the influence of our multidisciplinary faculty has expanded to include a 2000 sq. ft. facility at UW Medical Center and an 8000 sq. ft. facility at Harborview. WISH is a unique resource for our residents that embodies the Department of Surgery’s commitment to innovation in medical education.

Our residents have 24/7 access to surgical equipment, suture material, laparoscopic trainers, and virtual reality modules. This ease-of-access has led our surgical residents to heavily utilize the simulation facilities for independent practice. Every year of training, surgical residents have protected time during their EVATS rotation to advance their technical skills as part of a structured curriculum at each training level that includes modules in robotic and laparoscopic surgery, ultrasound imaging, endoscopy, central line and chest tube placement, surgical airway procedures and advanced trauma life support. These modules eventually lead to certification in Robotics, Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS), and Fundamentals of Endoscopy Surgery (FES). Very popular with our residents, is our annual Laparoscopic Rodeo and Robotic Olympics competitions, with prizes for the top performers.