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

What Is a Surgical Resident?

A guide to surgical training and the surgical professionals who will take care of you

Surgeons, surgical residents, and nurse educators, under the leadership of the American College of Surgeons Division of Education, have developed this guide targeted specifically for patients. The Patient Education Workgroup under the Committee on Resident Education sought to help patients learn more about:

What is a surgical resident guide?

  • The surgical team
  • The role of the surgical resident
  • How a patient benefits from a surgical resident’s involvement in his or her care

The guide explains the roles of various members of the surgical team—attending, chief resident, resident, and medical student—and thanks patients for their vital role in the training of future surgeons. For the patient who wishes to gain a deeper understanding, visit our patient page for additional resources (lay publications and scholarly works).

The guide can be downloaded and used in any practice setting in which a patient might encounter a surgical resident.

Download What is a surgical resident?


Contact Kim Echert at or 312-202-5488.