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About Us - General Surgery Residency at St. Joseph Hospital

Mission, vision and education goals

From the Program Director: Overall Educational Goals for the Program

The General Surgery Residency at St. Joseph Hospital provides the highest quality of care to our patients and community, while simultaneously training our residents in the principles of general surgery. We believe the most important attribute of physicians is selfless care and dedication to their patients. Secondly, we believe general surgery residents should be well trained across a broad spectrum of surgical disciplines to provide comprehensive care to the patient with surgical disorders of the abdomen and its contents; the alimentary tract; skin, soft tissues and breast; endocrine organs; and trauma. Comprehensive care includes (but is not limited to) the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment (both operative and non-operative) of surgical disorders, as well as the appropriate disposition and follow up of the patients with those disorders. To provide optimal comprehensive care, the surgeon must effectively function in interprofessional and often multidisciplinary teams, frequently in a leadership role. Therefore, we have designed a program which places emphasis on the relationship between physicians and their patients while spending more in-depth time in various surgical subspecialties. Residents are involved in all phases of surgical treatment to include preoperative evaluations, operative interventions and postoperative care on each of the service rotations. Rotations are typically scheduled for two to four months on a single discipline to allow for improved continuity of care between residents and patients. Rotations include Surgical Oncology, Colorectal Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Gynecologic Oncology, Urologic Oncology, Bariatric Surgery, Breast Surgery, Neurosurgery, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Transplant, Pediatric Surgery and opportunity for electives in other subspecialties. All procedures are performed under the supervision and guidance of the faculty.

The overall objectives include the following:

Patient care

Residents must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

Medical knowledge

Residents must demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care.

Practice-based learning and improvement

Residents must demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate their care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and to continuously improve patient care based on constant self-evaluation and life-long learning.

Interpersonal and communication Skills

Residents must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families and health professionals.


Residents must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles.

Systems-based practice

Residents must demonstrate an awareness of, and responsiveness to, the larger context and system of health care, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care.

The overall goal of the surgical residency program is two-fold, to prepare the resident to:

  1. Perform the role of a surgeon at the advanced level expected of a board-certified specialist, and
  2. Direct interprofessional and multispecialty teams necessary for the care of surgical patients.

We will work to produce surgeons who are fully capable as general surgeons, and who are confident across the spectrum of surgical procedures including thoracic, head and neck, abdominal and pelvic procedures. Our graduates should be comfortable operating in any part of the body and therefore be fully competent to practice in the most rural of environments or in a busy tertiary care setting. Along the way, we expect our trainees to perform well on the yearly general surgery in-training examination, pass oral examinations, present or publish an original scientific work at a national meeting or in a peer-reviewed journal, serve as an administrative chief resident, and, most importantly, diligently and compassionately care for all patients with whom they have the privilege to be charged.

The St. Joseph Medical Center program will prepare residents for a wide variety of career opportunities ranging from private practice, to university and academic medicine, to a career as a sole missionary surgeon in a remote area of the world. As physicians, we have been given a gift of being allowed to care for people on an intimate level during the most trying times in their lives. We have all worked diligently with great sacrifice to hone our skills. Our hope and mission is in whatever career path you choose, we will have prepared you well to give abundantly back to those you serve.

Tommy Brown, MD, FACS
Program Director, General Surgery Residency
St. Joseph Hospital