Department of Surgery
Residency Program - Description
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers a classical five-year clinical
program in general surgery. The program accepts six first-year surgical residents;
three are accepted for one or two years prior to entering a surgical specialty residency
program. Three applicants are accepted for the entire five-year categorical program
in general surgery.
The philosophy of the program is increased surgical responsibility during the residency.
The program is under the supervision of the Chairman of the Department, the full-time
and clinical faculty. The clinical material is broadly based with a mixture of primary,
secondary and tertiary care. The program encompasses a broad spectrum of general surgery,
with the majority of the training at University Medical Center. There are rotations
in the Regional Burn Center, Wound Care Center and Level I Trauma Center at University
Medical Center as well as rotations in the major surgical specialties including Urology,
Neurosurgery, Pediatric surgery, Cardiothoracic surgery, Vascular surgery and Transplantation.
In addition to the clinical opportunities presented by Texas Tech University Health
Sciences Center, its presence adjacent to the University Medical Center facilities
provides opportunities for those interested in research. All of our residents are
encouraged to participate in at least one research project during their residency
experience. Thus, the main thrust of the five-year clinical residency program is broad
training with appropriate supervision, teaching and operative experience.
First Residency Year
The first training year is divided between six months of General Surgery and Trauma
and six months subspecialties such as ENT, Urology, Neurosurgery, Emergency Room,
and Transplant Surgery. During the first year a foundation is laid for the resident
to enter the mid-level years, with increased operative and patient care responsibilities.
During the first year the residents are introduced to a comprehensive curriculum in
the TTUHSC Surgical Skills Center providing the necessary prerequisite for early "hands
on" operative training resulting in most interns completing the year with 100-150
cases as primary surgeon.
Second Residency Year
During the second year, responsibilities increase both operatively and perioperative.
The residents rotate through Burns, Trauma, SICU, and Pediatric Surgery acquiring
the necessary knowledge and skills to become team leaders and competent first responders
in the case of severely injured or ill patients. They assume primary responsibility
for the care of burn patients under the supervision of a chief resident and a burn
teaching faculty member. In Pediatric Surgery Service, they perform many of the less
complicated operations under the direct supervision of the pediatric surgery faculty
and provide perioperative care with a fourth- year resident.
Third Residency Year
During the third year the residents rotate through General Surgery, Trauma, Cardiothoracic
Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and Transplant Surgery. During this year the residents
are team leaders on some of their services and their surgical skills knowledge and
experience makes them qualified to perform complex surgery under direct supervision.
This is a challenging year as the residents ascend significantly in operative and
perioperative responsibilities. Learning supervision of more junior members of the
team, delegating tasks and monitoring their completion become key focal points during
this crucial year. Since third year residents perform most of the operations, there
is heavy emphasis on operative judgment and clinical skills.
Fourth Residency Year
During the fourth year the residents rotate through General Surgery, Trauma, Surgical
Oncology, Weight Loss Surgery, and Minimally Invasive Surgery. At this level the residents
are very comfortable and competent performing most major surgery within our specialties
under direct supervision, leading a team and being the highest level resident on call.
Fifth Residency Year
During the cumulative fifth year the residents rotate through the General Surgery
services running the team, organizing and staffing the Chief Resident Clinic, attending
to administrative duties, teaching, performing on the average 200-250 major cases,
and preparing to pass the American Board of Surgery written and oral exams.