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The Division of General and Thoracic Surgery offers a two-year residency (fellowship) in pediatric surgery. One new resident is chosen each year through the National Resident Matching Program. The applicant must have completed a general surgical training program and must be eligible to take the qualifying examination given by the American Board of Surgery. To date, more than 40 pediatric surgery residents have been trained in the division.
With faculty performing close to 5,000 operations annually, the pediatric surgical trainee gains extensive experience in managing a wide spectrum of common and complex pediatric surgical problems in neonates to young adults. This experience includes training in:
The two-year curriculum combines structured rotations, didactic lectures and weekly and monthly educational conferences, comprising:
The resident is also expected to engage in independent study and self-directed learning. He or she is given access to computerized databases, library materials and journals, and given the opportunity to participate in a variety of clinical and basic science research projects.
Pediatric surgery faculty members closely mentor the resident throughout training.
During the first year of the program, the resident receives comprehensive clinical experience in pediatric surgical problems and acquires a broad base of knowledge in:
Through a mandatory rotation in neonatology, residents gain experience in the management of neonates requiring intensive respiratory and supportive care. Similarly, rotations in pediatric otolaryngology and urology increase the knowledge base and experience in these respective areas.
The resident participates in weekly outpatient clinics staffed by pediatric surgical faculty and is responsible for evaluating and developing patient care management plans, as well as providing follow-up for patients who have received surgical care. Residents participate in the long-term management of patients who have complex and chronic problems or anomalies and are followed by the surgical service. Working closely with a faculty mentor, the first-year trainee has the opportunity to develop a clinical research project that will result in scientific presentation and publication.
Faculty members in the division formally evaluate the resident every three months. If the trainee has achieved sufficient mastery of clinical, educational and administrative skills, he or she is promoted to chief resident.
The chief resident functions as the clinical team leader and coordinator for the pediatric surgical service and the trauma program. Also, in collaboration with the training program director (Daniel von Allmen, MD), the chief resident coordinates all educational programs of the division.
He or she is expected to perform more independently, making important decisions regarding preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative management of patients. Progression of responsibility that leads to independent practice upon completion of training is strongly fostered by the pediatric surgery faculty. The resident’s knowledge base is formally evaluated with the American Board of Surgery In-Training Exam for pediatric surgery.
The division offers residents the opportunity to pursue intensive training in laboratory and clinical research upon completion of the two-year residency curriculum. This program is designed to provide the scientific skills required to become an independent investigator. Once accepted into this program, a resident is considered junior faculty. An additional three years of training and close supervision are required.
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