PGY 1-5

surgery photo

All surgical services at the University of Kansas, the VA medical center, and the integrated community hospitals associated with KU, have dedicated attending surgeons that devote their full-time practices to the education and training of our general surgery residents.

With the changes in surgical training called for by the Residency Review Committee (RRC), the University of Kansas General Surgery Residency has adopted strict policies concerning work hours, days off, and didactic education.  We have also adopted a "night-float" system for handling in-house call in an effort to better comply with the new guidelines.

PGY -1 (categorical)

The first year of general surgical residency, is comprised of one-month rotations on the general, vascular, acute care/trauma, oncology, breast, transplant surgery services.  One PGY-1 per month will be assigned to the "float" team to cover in-house call during the week. (Float coverage is Sunday - Friday.) 

The primary responsibilities of the PGY-1 are the pre- and post-operative care of the surgical patients located on the hospital wards along with assisting and performing simple surgical procedures under the guidance of senior-level residents and attending surgeons.

Non-categorical PGY-1s will assume the same basic responsibilities as categorical PGY-1s, although they will have other rotations in their sub-specialties including, orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery, ENT, and urology.


The second year of residency is composed of approximately five two-and-a-half month rotations.  Second year residents will rotate on transplant, acute care/trauma,breast and two rotations on surgical oncology.

The second year is highlighted by increased operative and clinical opportunity.


The third year residents develop more expertise in diagnosis and treatment of surgical diseases as well as increasing confidence in the care of complex patients.  Serving as the "Chief" Resident at the Leavenworth VA solidifies their experience. 

The duties of the third year also include an increased role in the teaching and training of both junior residents and medical students.

A third year resident serves as the mid-level person on the "float" team and also rotates with cardiothoracic surgery, pediatric/general surgery, and research/elective rotation..


During the fourth year of residency, "the circuit", residents rotate outside of KUMC for five of the twelve months at two Kansas community hospitals in Topeka and Hays. This year of training is greatly anticipated by all residents and the learning experience is second to none.  When residents return from their circuit year they feel confident in handling most surgical problems and their operative skills have increased significantly.  In addition, fourth year residents are the "float chief" and rotate with acute care surgery and colorectal surgery services.

PGY-5: Chief Resident

The chief year is the culmination of a resident's training.  This year is primarily devoted to clinical practice.  The chief resident assumes the responsibility of directing a surgical service under the supervision of the attending surgeon.  As chiefs, residents rotate with the oncology/colorectal surgery, acute care/trauma surgery, general surgery, and hepatobiliary surgery.

In addition, the chief resident trains both junior residents and medical students. 

Chief residents are held in high regard by nursing services, medical students, junior residents and the attending surgeons. 

They have significant administrative as well as clinical responsibility and are relied on by the attending surgeons to provide leadership for each surgical service.


Last modified: Aug 20, 2015