The Columbia General Surgery Residency is a traditional five-year clinical training program. Clinical experience occurs primarily at three sites: Milstein Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center, Allen Hospital, and Overlook Hospital. This variety provides diverse clinical and operative experience ranging from a suburban private-practice community hospital to a large, specialized, urban, quaternary care center. Through a variety of rotations on general surgery as well as many sub-specialty services, Columbia graduates are well versed in all areas of surgical pathology.
The core of the educational program at Columbia is this robust clinical experience, however a number of academic and didactic conferences supplement this. Residents engage in a wide range of "pre-training" activities designed to develop relevant knowledge and technical skills necessary prior to residents interacting with patients. These include an invaluable online resource for the program, the COACH website, as well as a number of inanimate and animate surgical simulators. With the recent allocation of more than $50 million dollars to build a multi-disciplinary simulation center at the CUMC campus, Columbia residents will be at the forefront of this national trend in surgical training.
Additionally, over the past 5 years, our department of surgery has developed a fully funded research position for surgical education. To date 5 residents have spent at least one year of their academic time working in a full-time role dedicated to developing and coordinating surgical curricula for medical students and residents. This not only offers our residents a fantastic chance to focus on improving educational initiatives in our institution, but also allows them an important career development opportunity in a field that is rapidly gaining momentum.