General Surgery Residency Training Program

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Our Mission

The mission of the Duke General Surgery Residency Training Program is to foster the continuation of scientific and clinical experiences that support the educational, administrative, and professional needs of the surgical trainee while maintaining the

Duke Department of Surgery’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and leadership in preparing the academic surgeon for a career in a modern academic surgical environment.

Our general surgery residency provides an experience like no other. At Duke, we believe a broad experience in operative surgery is essential for the properly trained surgeon.

Clinical Training

Our residents learn to evaluate and manage a large number of patients with disorders that span the entire field of general surgery.

Residents rotate not only through Duke University Hospital but also Durham Regional Hospital, the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Asheville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, providing unique experiences in community and VA-based care, which are central to the complete development of surgeons interested in academic careers.

Although the clinical emphasis is on a broad general surgical training experience, each resident has the opportunity to gain depth in more specific areas. On completion of the program, the resident has been trained not only as a general surgeon but also has particular skills in areas of choice that may include one or more of the following:

  • Vascular surgery
  • Endocrine surgery
  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Biliary and pancreatic surgery
  • Transplantation
  • Trauma
  • Pediatric surgery

Research Training

In keeping with our central academic mission, all matriculating residents are expected to complete two years of focused research, typically between the second and third clinical years.

Although these activities usually involve basic laboratory research, recent graduates have pursued alternative opportunities including advanced clinical research design.

Laboratory experiences draw from the vast array of laboratories within and outside of the Duke Department of Surgery. Residents are fully supported by the department during these years.

Residents with advanced degrees or significant research experiences prior to entering the residency may forego this experience if a clinical position becomes available and is approved by the program director.

Whereas Duke has historically positioned its graduates directly into the most competitive academic appointments, the current emphasis on specialization has led many recent graduates to seek fellowship training upon completion of the residency.

Our graduates are highly competitive and routinely place into the most attractive fellowships in the country, including the finest surgical oncology, transplantation, cardiothoracic, trauma, plastic surgery, vascular, and minimally invasive surgery programs.

I hope your visit to the general surgery residency Web site inspires you to want to learn more about our program offerings, our institution, and what gives general surgery residency education at Duke its sense of purpose and mission.  

John Migaly, MD
Program Director
General Surgery Residency Program
Duke University Medical Center