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Program Structure

Duke general surgery residents group photo

The General Surgery Residency Training Program at Duke focuses on both clinical and research education, producing competitive graduates who are prepared for careers in academic surgery.

Residents gain broad experience in operative surgery as they learn to evaluate and manage a high number of patients requiring all types of procedures, from vascular to hepato-pancreatic biliary surgery.

Rotations in both community and VA medical centers mean that residents get valuable, unique, and comprehensive training for a career in academic surgery.

The program is broad, but trainees have the opportunity to focus on one or more specialties, such as endocrine surgery or transplantation.

General surgery residents are expected to complete at least two years of focused research, and opportunities for laboratory or other discovery experiences are available within and outside of the department.

Most trainees choose specialization and seek fellowship training upon completion of the residency program, and the research experience is universally cited as a major reason that Duke residents are highly competitive for academic fellowships and faculty positions.

Surgical Skills Training

Surgical Skills Training is an integral part of the resident experience at Duke University. This training is conducted weekly, and residents follow the ACS/APDS-endorsed skills curriculum. The training provides residents with extensive opportunities to hone their skills outside of the operating room.

Skills Training Curriculum

Residents of all years are required to participate in surgical skills training, and all residents must complete the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) certification before graduating to a senior resident. The Surgical Education and Activities Lab is a certified SAGES FLS Test Center. Learn more about our Skills Training Curriculum.


Now Offering: Structured Training for Endovascular Techniques (STENT)

The Duke University Department of Surgery is excited to be the first training program in the country to offer a structured, competency-based endovascular skills curriculum to our various surgical trainees along with multi-disciplinary collaboration with general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, and interventional radiology. Learn more about the STENT program.

Uttara Nag, MD, in the Surgical Education and Activities Lab on the Simbionix ANGIO Mentor Flex II Simulator
Uttara Nag, MD, General Surgery Resident, on the Simbionix ANGIO Mentor Flex II Simulator

Skills Training Facilities

Training is conducted in state-of-the-art, on-campus facilities, including:

Education Training


Surgeons as Educators Symposium

In February 2019, the Duke Department of Surgery will offer a new formal training course for General Surgery Residents to prepare them for their role as educators in surgery. The first of its kind in the United States, this two-day course will focus on education basics, surgical teaching, and team dynamics to prepare surgical residents to become effective teachers in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment. Learn more about the Surgeons as Educators Symposium.

Goals and Objectives

Get details about rotation goals and objectives by year (PDF).