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Building a Foundation (PGY 1 and 2)

The transition from medical student to surgical resident happens quickly under the guidance of senior residents and attendings. Learning to become proficient with floor work and basic procedures in the first few months allows our junior trainees to get to the operating room early and often during their intern year. The first 8 weeks of residency, interns attend “Intern Bootcamp” where they will master basic didactics and technical skills. During the PGY 1 year, interns will rotate for one month on each of the subspecialty rotations in order to build a strong foundation for the coming years. 

In the PGY 2 year, residents take on more of a leadership role, serving as the senior resident in the ICU. During these months, residents gain invaluable experience taking care of critically ill patients and becoming confident with intubation and ventilator management, invasive hemodynamic monitoring and vasopressors, microbiology and antibiotic stewardship, parenteral and enteral nutrition, and management of multisystem organ failure. Second year residents also spend dedicated time at our VA and community hospitals on general surgery services gaining early exposure to advanced laparoscopy as well as bariatric, breast, thoracic, colorectal, and hernia surgery. 

Simulation  Lab


Interview with Dr. Dennis Vaysburg (Lab)

PGY 1 Rotations:

Cincinnati Children’s
Surgical Oncology
Plastics and Burns
Acute Care Surgery
Surgical ICU
VA General Surgery
Night Float

PGY 2 Rotations:

Surgical ICU
VA General Surgery
Community General Surgery
Night Float


Resident research award

Interview with Dr. Whitney Zingg

Becoming a Scholar (PGY 3 and 4)

All surgery residents at the University of Cincinnati complete two years of professional development and research training during the PGY 3 and 4 years. With multiple NIH funded labs, T32 research training grants, and opportunities at Cincinnati Children’s, residents are exposed to a wide variety of research tracks ranging from translational and basic science research to work in health services, surgical education, and clinical outcomes. Residents submit abstracts, travel to and present at national conferences, and network with prominent leaders in surgery at society meetings.

Our emphasis on developing competency in the design and development of research, as well as the infrastructure to facilitate its execution with support from PhDs and biostatisticians, allows our residents to be productive during the research years, well-positioned to match in competitive subspecialty fellowships, and well-prepared for future careers in academic surgery. 

Additionally, the lab years offer residents a time to earn supplemental income through moonlighting opportunities at Shriner’s Hospital and University Hospital. 


Operate. Operate. Operate (PGY 5 and 6)

Upon completion of the lab years, residents return to clinical duties in their PGY 5 year ready to refine their technical and operative skills. On the Acute Care Surgery service, PGY 5 residents work closely with the Chief resident managing both routine and complex cases at our quaternary referral university hospital. During the Vascular surgery rotation, residents develop fine motor skills performing dissections and vascular anastomoses during a number of open bypass operations for peripheral arterial disease, carotid endarterectomies for cerebrovascular disease, and dialysis access cases for end-stage renal disease. During the Transplant surgery rotation, residents will learn the fundamentals of liver, kidney, and pancreas transplantation as well as transplant immunology. Traveling for procurements, assisting with recipient hepatectomies, and performing both vascular and biliary anastomoses shape our PGY 5 residents into confident and competent technical surgeons. PGY 5 residents also spend two months during our Rural Surgery rotation at Holzer Clinic in Gallipolis, Ohio. Serving as the only surgical resident in the hospital, residents have an in-depth experience with bread and butter general surgery cases including ventral and inguinal hernias, cholecystectomies, appendectomies, surgical management of ulcer disease, small bowel and colon resections, and endoscopy. 

‚ÄčIn the PGY 6 year, our residents continue to hone their operative skills while taking on more leadership roles on rotation. Acting as the team leader on the Trauma service, PGY 6 residents rotate at our high-volume Level 1 Trauma center and become adept at managing resuscitations for both blunt and penetrating traumas while becoming proficient performing trauma sternotomies, thoracotomies, and laparotomies. Residents also work closely with the Chief resident on the Surgical Oncology service learning the nuances of managing patients with esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, pancreatic and periampullary cancer, biliary cancer, melanoma, sarcoma, and peritoneal carcinomatosis. Without fellows, our residents serve as the primary surgeons on a high volume of complex hepatopancreatobiliary cases including Whipples, distal pancreatectomies and splenectomies, total pancreatectomies with islet cell auto transplantation, and HIPECs. At our UC affiliated Westchester Hospital, residents have a robust experience in Bariatric and Foregut surgery, refining their advanced laparoscopy skills. For residents interested in Global Surgery, two months are spent at Mzuzu Hospital in Malawai, Africa. 

Residents in surgery


Interview with Dr. Alex Cortez


Interview with Dr. Kasi Pulliam

PGY 5 Rotations:

Cincinnati Children’s
Acute Care Surgery
Vascular Surgery
Transplant Surgery
Night Float
Rural Surgery in Gallipolis, Ohio

PGY 6 Rotations:

Surgical Oncology
Head & Neck / Endocrine
Community General Surgery
Bariatric and Foregut Surgery
Global Surgery in Mzuzu, Africa



Interview with Dr. Vikrom Dhar (Chief)

Time to Lead (PGY 7)

To whom much is given, much is expected. Our chief residents take care of our most complicated patients both inside and outside of the operating room. During the chief year, residents are treated as junior partners and are expected to direct the clinical and surgical decision making on each of the subspecialty rotations. Supervising medical students, collaborating with midlevel providers, and guiding junior residents are key components of our chief residents' professional and personal development. By the end of the year, our chief residents are well prepared for the next level, whether it be fellowship or moving on to attending practice.


PGY 7 Rotations:

Surgical Oncology
Colorectal Surgery
General Surgery
Bariatric and Foregut Surgery
VA General Surgery
Acute Care Surgery


Jeffrey J. Sussman, MD
General Surgery Residency Director

Gilda B. Young
General Surgery Residency Coordinator
Phone: 513-558-4206

Debbie Browne
General Surgery Residency Assistant Coordinator
Phone: 513-558-5862

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Contact Us

Department of

University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0558

Mail Location: 0558
Education: 513-558-4206