The Department of Surgery at Howard University Hospital with its affiliated hospitals gives our residents a rich and varied experience by exposure to a broad spectrum of patients for resident education. There are excellent inter-disciplinary efforts between the various divisions and sections of the Department. During their residency, the trainees rotate through General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Trauma and Critical Care, Colon and Rectal Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, and Transplant Surgery services. Rotations in these various specialties provide a broad-based education not only in general surgery, but also in all surgical subspecialties. Several teaching conferences are held in all the major participating hospitals throughout the week. Each division also holds a weekly academic conference.

Appointments to the training program are for one year and residents are reevaluated by the Surgical Education Committee on an annual basis to determine whether they should be advanced to the next level of training. Evaluations are based on clinical competence, academic performance on the Resident in-training examination, departmental examinations, technical skill, moral character, and overall professional growth. Residents are given increasing responsibilities with supervisory help being continuously available in the diagnosis and treatment of the surgical patients.

There are two types of first year residency positions which are offered, Categorical Surgery and Transitional Surgery. A person applying for the Categorical Surgery position will be expected to complete 8 to 10 months on the surgery wards and in the surgical specialties, 1 month in the Emergency Room, and 1 month in Internal Medicine. Applicants selecting the Transitional Surgery positions are required to spend 1 month on Internal Medicine, 2 months on Emergency Room, 1 month on OB or GYN, 2 months electives, and 6 months on Surgery.

The program is approved for the training of six chief residents per year. It is our policy to accept a few residents in the first year who are planning to continue in other surgical specialties such as Otolaryngology, Urology, and Orthopedics which require one to two years of General Surgery.