Curriculum & Conferences


The first year

  • General Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Anesthesia

The second year

  • Otolaryngology
  • Urological Surgery
  • Burn Rotation at The University of Wisconsin
  • General Surgery
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery

The third year

  • General Surgery
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Endoscopy
  • Transplant Rotation at the University of Wisconsin
  • Electives such as Rural Surgery, Third World Rotation, Research, Plastic Surgery

The fourth year

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Endoscopy
  • General Surgery
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Electives such as Rural Surgery, Third World Rotation & Research

The fifth year

  • General Surgery

Specialty Services

Anesthesiology - Residents work individually with one of the department’s anesthesiologists to learn airway management, support of the anesthetized patient, regional anesthesia, respiratory care, and care of ICU patients. Challenging cases are discussed at monthly conferences.

Cardiothoracic Surgery - Residents work closely with cardiovascular surgeons on diagnostic evaluation of patients, interpreting results, and assisting at major operations. Residents gain maximum experience in cardiac surgery, thoracic and thoracoscopic surgery.

Endoscopy - Residents work with the gastroenterologists to learn the indications, complications, and techniques of colonoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy, percutaneous endoscopic gastrectomy. The resident is also exposed to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and associated techniques.

Obstetrics and Gynecology - This busy service has more than 1,500 deliveries a year, offering residents opportunities to work with board certified obstetricians/gynecologists on a wide range of gynecological experiences.

Orthopedic Surgery - Residents learn pre/post operative care of orthopedic patients in the hospital/clinic and assist in surgery. Learning opportunities include working with orthopedic surgeons in the management of fracture cases and non-traumatic conditions involving the musculoskeletal system.

Plastic Surgery - Attendings teach the essentials of reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

Urology - Through this service, residents work with board certified urologists; learn diagnosis and treatment of urological conditions; and gain an understanding of how urology works with other specialties.



  • Surgical Residency Physiology Rounds
  • Anatomic Dissection Lab
  • Grand Rounds
  • Basic Science Lecture (five-year curriculum)
  • Morbidity/Mortality
  • Breast Cancer Conference


  • Journal Club
  • Medical Ethics Conference
  • Trauma Conference
  • Surgical Skills Lab Training
  • SESAP Review Conference

Other Conferences

In addition to mandatory surgery conferences, surgical residents are encouraged to attend as many of the daily conferences at the medical center involving other specialties as their schedules permit.

Operative Experience

Experiences are wide ranging, but vary according to the needs of patients at the time each resident is on service. Over the course of five years, a resident typically performs more than 1,200 operative procedures, including 350 major procedures during the fifth year. The following are an average of the major procedures for our graduating residents.

CategoryAvg at GHSRRC Requirements
Head and Neck 36 24
Skin, Soft Tissue, Breast 66 25
GI 145 72
Abdomen 161 65
Liver 9 4
Pancreas 8 3
Vascular 97 44
Aorta 26 0
Endocrine 18 8
Trauma 23 10
Thoracic 38 15
Pediatrics 35 20
Plastics 11 5
Endoscopy 176 85
Laparoscopic, Basic 128 60
Laparoscopic, Complex 43 25
Total as Chief Resident 329 150
Total major operations 1,247 750

Residents are exposed to a wide variety and a large number of laparoscopic procedures

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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