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Program overview

Curriculum

Overall programmatic goals and objectives

The curriculum of the Northeast General Surgery Residency is based on the core competencies of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME): patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism and systems-based practice. These are taught through clinical rotations, a SCORE-based academic curriculum, use of simulation and scholarly activity. Goals of the program include:

  • Create a modern residency program that provides the foundation for contemporary surgical training that reflects the practice of general surgery in the 21st century.
  • Provide a supportive educational environment that fosters the development of professionalism along with personal growth and commitment to compassionate care.
  • Train medical students to become competent, confident and compassionate surgeons who will deliver quality care in a cost-efficient manner in the community or an academic setting.
  • Provide research opportunities to better interpret and apply current medical literature and offer learning opportunities for surgical residents and students interested in pursuing further specialty training, in becoming independent investigators or in becoming academic surgeons.
  • Train surgeons who’ve passed the qualifying and certifying examinations of the American Board of Surgery and the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery to become lifelong learners, teachers and leaders in a constantly changing environment.
  • Train surgeons who have passed Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery and Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery with additional experience and qualifications to perform robotic surgery.

Lectures

While you are a resident, your academics alternate on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m. Attendance is mandatory. The academic general surgery curriculum is based on the This Week in SCORE (TWIS) curriculum. The academic schedule incorporates the following components:

  • Lectures
  • Oral board review
  • American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE®) review
  • Resident research presentations and project reviews
  • Simulation
  • Wellness lectures/sessions
  • Wednesday mornings from 7 to 8 a.m. will be morbidity and mortality (M&M)
  • Trauma systemwide M&Ms will be held quarterly on Thursday mornings from 7 to 8 a.m.

Resident rotation schedules

Our surgery residents in the Northeast have a robust clinical experience in rotations spread out over 13 blocks occurring each four weeks. Below is a sample of rotations.

 
PGY1

Surgical oncology & cardiothoracic — Two blocks

General surgery & colorectal surgery — Two blocks

Trauma/emergency general surgery (EGS) — Four blocks

General surgery — Three blocks

Surgical ICU — One block

Medical ICU — One block

 
PGY2

Trauma/EGS — Three blocks

Medically invasive surgery — Three blocks

Endoscopy — One block

Vascular surgery — Two blocks

General surgery — One block

Night float — One block

General surgery & colorectal surgery — One block

Surgical ICU — One block

 
PGY3

Trauma/EGS — Three blocks

General surgery — Two blocks

Night float — Two blocks

General surgery & colorectal — Two block

Surgical oncology & cardiothoracic — One block

Surgical ICU — One block

Pediatric surgery — One block

Transplant — One block

 
PGY4

Trauma/EGS — Three blocks

General surgery — Two blocks

General surgery & colorectal surgery — Two blocks

Surgical oncology & cardiothoracic — Two blocks

Vascular surgery — Two blocks

Night float — Two blocks

 
PGY5

Trauma/EGS — Four blocks

General surgery — Three blocks

General surgery & colorectal — Three blocks

Surgical oncology & cardiothoracic — Two blocks

Night float — One block

 
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Simulation 

Geisinger Northeast General Surgery Residency has a robust simulation program. Training starts during orientation of PGY1 year in which you’re required to complete the following by year’s end: Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS) and intern boot camp. Intern boot camp includes basic suturing, central line insertion and introduction to our online simulation portal.

The simulation curriculum is further divided into Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS), Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES), Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery (FRS) and Technical Skills. It is tracked within an online portal accessible by all residents and faculty, which contains up-to-date simulation schedules, assignments, evaluations, credentialing and resources for you to supplement your training.

Physical simulation space is distributed among all rotation campuses to allow equal opportunity for you to hone your skills regardless of your rotation schedule. It consists of two FLS simulators at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center (GWV), robotic simulators at both Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre (GSWB) and Geisinger Community Medical Center (GCMC), and FLS & FES simulators at the Geisinger Education & Medical Simulation (GEMS) Center. The GEMS Center in Danville, Pa., allows resident access on a scheduled monthly basis, built into the education block time. 

Small groups of three residents rotate between FES, FLS and central line simulators for 20 to 30 minutes with guidance from faculty and chief residents. FES simulation is carried out on the Simbionix GI Mentor, where you can perform common tasks seen in practice and on your exam. FLS simulation is practiced on the Simbionix Lap Mentor, allowing you to perform various crucial parts of procedures such as cholecystectomy, hernia repair and sigmoidectomy. Technical skills drills include ultrasound-guided central line insertion, focused assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST) exam and arterial line insertion, among others.

In addition to practice opportunities on various simulators, you’ll be individually scheduled for the following required training:

  1. FLS testing session simulating the FLS exam every four months, including faculty evaluation/scoring
  2. Robotic in-service annually (four sessions per year available) to teach and refresh you on bedside assist, docking, instrument exchange, troubleshooting, emergency undocking and practicing common skills (e.g., suturing, clutching, port placement) on plastic models
  3. Endoscopy inanimate porcine lab annually to familiarize residents with endoscopy equipment and practice various endoscopy procedures on porcine stomach and intestine
  4. Additional practice on the FES simulator(s) in preparation for your FES exam at GEMS Center
  5. Principles of energy, suturing and stapling porcine lab annually. You can practice various open and minimally invasive energy and stapling devices on porcine stomach/intestine, culminating in simulated porcine hand-sewn anastomotic techniques
  6. Vascular simulation lab annually, where you can handle and experience cryopreserved tissue while practicing suturing and anastomotic techniques

Additional simulation labs in partnership with industry include a live trauma porcine lab focusing on damage control surgery and hemostatic products, and a fresh cadaver robotics lab that lets you perform select procedures (cholecystectomy, inguinal hernia repair, right hemicolectomy, sigmoidectomy).

You and your fellow residents will benefit from a rich learning environment, easily accessible and convenient resources and faculty guidance. We also plan to develop a simulated patient curriculum with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

 
an image of a simulation robot
Simulation is a crucial part of the Geisinger General Surgery – Northeast Residency training curriculum. We provide our residents with the most up-to-date training resources, including a robotic training console simulator solely used for resident training and accessible 24/7.