sutures newsletter


Mark Your Calendar

Surgery Grand Rounds

Click the "read more" to see information about upcoming Surgery Grand Rounds.

Grand Rounds

Click here to view a schedule of all upcoming grand rounds.

Education Schedule

Click the PDF link below to see the Department of Surgery's education schedule for April.

Education Calendar - April (PDF)

Surgery Scheduling - New Hours as of May 1

Click the "read more" for hours and contact information for surgery scheduling. As of May 1, hours of operation will be Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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Excellent Residency Programs Raise Important Questions

Message From the Chair

Two weeks ago, the Department of Surgery completed its recruitment of residents in our primary certificate residency programs. All three residencies (General Surgery, Orthopedics and Urology) matched high on our lists with outstanding medical students from some of the best medical schools in the country.

The applicants to the three programs have much in common. For one, they represent all regions of the United States; Cedars-Sinai educational programs are certainly not regional recruiters. The number of applications for each program maintained the remarkable volume we have seen over the last three years.

Somewhere between 25 percent and 35 percent of all U.S. medical students interested in the three disciplines apply to our programs; each program received more than 600 applications for the two (Urology) or four slots (General Surgery and Orthopedics).

Related story in this issue

Match Program Brings 11 New Residents to Surgery

Finally, and most importantly, the quality of the applicants continues to improve. Virtually all have achieved honors in their clinical rotations, and a sizable number are inductees into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor societies at the schools. Most have done substantial and original academic work with a record of publication in major medical journals. It is now a cliché when our physician interviewers conclude (perhaps inaccurately) that "I would never have matched here now!"

While our residency programs remain very strong, there are a number of key decisions we need to make in the coming years. It is our responsibility to ensure that our trainees, many interested in academic careers, will have access to a sufficiently broad and challenging case load as well as the clinical or basic research opportunities they desire. Some of the issues we will need to consider are:

  • How will we provide off-site rotations, when needed, to enrich their clinical experience (such as the current affiliation in both General Surgery and Orthopedics with Children's Hospital of Los Angeles)?
  • Where will we obtain consistent funding for up to two research years (both on-site and off-site) for some residents?
  • What are the correct sizes for our related fellowship programs, which are essential to our care delivery and national reputation but have the potential to compete for resources with our primary certificate programs?
  • How can we adapt to the new paradigms of real-time competency-based evaluation of each trainee, which requires extensive attending engagement?

As is often said, these represent the classic "good problems to have" since they reflect the growing stature and numerical strength of our training programs, which are a continuing source of pride for all physicians in the department.

When the department listed its goals across the divisions in an Ojai conference of all types of attendings in 2006, the first was establishing the best training programs in the region with strong national reputations. In our long-standing General Surgery program and in the remarkable and successful startups in Urology and Orthopedics, it would appear we have met our goal. I am personally quite confident we can likewise figure out a way to sustain the mission.

Bruce L. Gewertz, MD
H and S Nichols Distinguished Chair in Surgery
Chair, Department of Surgery
Vice President, Interventional Services
Vice Dean, Academic Affairs