Curriculum and Operative Experience

The Curriculum and Operative Experience

Didactic Curriculum

The program provides the opportunity for residents to learn, in depth, the fundamentals of basic and clinical sciences as applied to clinical surgery. The basic science curriculum structure is based on the Surgical Council on Resident Education (SCORE) curriculum as well as a major textbook in surgery. The resident is expected to read materials prior to conferences and actively participate in discussions. Preparation of the resident towards successful completion of American Board of Surgery (ABS) qualifying (written) and certifying (oral) examinations is a major goal of the academic curriculum. Mock oral preparation is an integral part of the academic process in the senior and chief years.

Clinical Curriculum

The program provides experience in preoperative, operative, and postoperative care for patients in all areas that constitute the principal components of general surgery. These areas include diseases of the head and neck, breast, skin and soft tissues, alimentary tract, abdomen, vascular system, endocrine system, the comprehensive management of trauma and emergency operations, and surgical critical care. Additional components encompassed in the teaching program are cardiothoracic surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, burn management, transplant surgery, endoscopy, urology, orthopedics, emerging technologies, advanced laparoscopy, and anesthesiology.

Outpatient activities constitute an essential component of adequate experience in continuity of patient care. The surgical resident has an opportunity to examine patients preoperatively, consult with the attending surgeon regarding operative care, participate in the operation and in the immediate postoperative care, as well as see patients personally in an outpatient setting. Outpatient experiences are provided through rotations to the Saint Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center, the clinics at Lincoln Medical Center, and the private offices of the Saint Barnabas attending staff.

Operative Experience

While the overall number of major operations to be performed by each resident is not specified, an acceptable range established by the ABS is from 750 to 1500 major cases over all 5 years, with from 150-300 major cases in the chief year. The clinical operative experience is structured to exceed all minimum requirements for defined category (index) cases and total operative cases as mandated by the Residency Review Committee and the American Board of Surgery. The table below is an example of recent resident clinical experiences:

Total Major Cases
Total Chief
Resident Cases
Minimum Numbers
Resident 1
Resident 2
Resident 3
Resident 4
Mean Total Cases

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