American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

What to Expect in a Surgical Residency Program

The American College of Surgeons has published a Statement that addresses issues related to the working conditions for surgical residents. The Statement on Surgical Residencies and the Educational Environment is available for viewing online at the College's Web site.

Although the day-in-day-out grind of a surgical resident's life can vary depending on which specialty and which program you enter, there are some common features inherent in all surgical residents' daily schedules. One surgical resident at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, reports that a typical three-day schedule looks like this:


6:30 am Early morning rounds
7:30 am - 12:00 noon Surgery
12:00 noon Vascular Conference with lunch
1:30 - 3:30 pm Surgical Clinic
3:30 - 4:30 pm Trauma Conference
4:30 - Until finished Evening rounds: check out to on-call team (if not on call)


5:30 am Early morning rounds
6:30 am Tumor Conference (Head and Neck or Soft Tissue Sarcoma); breakfast provided
7:30 am - 4:30 pm Surgery
4:30 pm Until finished -Evening rounds: check out to on-call team (if not on call)


6:00 am Early morning rounds
6:30 am - 8:00 am Department Chairman's conference
8:00 am Surgery Grand Rounds
9:00 am - 12:00 noon Surgery
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Clinic or private office hours