University of California San Francisco

General Surgery Residency Program

General Surgery Residency Program

Eligibility Recruitment and Selection PolicyHow to ApplyRotation Details | Graduate PlacementSurgical Skills Center

The UCSF General Surgery residency program consists of 84 clinical residents and 16 research residents. We offer approximately 41 positions in the first year.  Eight positions are for physicians entering the Categorical General Surgery program and are expected to complete the program as chief residents. Approximately 23 positions (designated preliminary physicians) are in combination with postdoctoral training in orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, oral surgery, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery and urology to serve as a base for these specialties.  The remaining 10 positions are for non-designated preliminary residents who are provided 12 months of basic general surgery training based on their specialty field of interest.


The goals of our surgical residency program are two-fold. The first is to prepare residents to become safe, qualified, board-certified surgical practitioners. The second is to train residents to be future teachers and leaders in surgery. A review of graduates from the past 30 years indicates that greater than 80% continue in fellowship programs and almost half become surgical academicians associated with university departments of surgery. We prepare residents for any career they may choose, teaching them on services from all of the general surgery specialties (Gastrointestinal, Hepatobiliary, Colorectal, Vascular, Pediatric, Transplantation, Cardiothoracic, Plastic, Trauma and Endocrine Surgery) Residents are also exposed to other surgical specialties (ENT, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Urology) as well as Critical Care and Anesthesia. The first two years of surgical training are devoted to the acquisition of knowledge and skill in the pre-operative and post-operative management of patients. In the last three years the development of operative skill, surgical judgment, decision-making and leadership is emphasized. The learning experience is based primarily on direct patient care. The experience is rounded out with formal teaching exercises that include service rounds, surgical technique workshops, research seminars, basic science conference, morbidity and mortality conference, and departmental grand rounds.

Clinical Rotations

Residents rotate to a variety of hospitals, allowing residents to take care of patients in many different practice settings. Residents rotate through our flagship hospital Moffitt/Long - a quaternary care center and major university research hospital, the San Francisco General Hospital - the city's municipal hospital and only Level 1 trauma center, the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center - a referral center for other regional VA hospitals, the UCSF/Mt. Zion Hospital - a regional cancer center, the San Francisco Kaiser/Permanente Hospital - a large HMO, and the California/Pacific Medical Center - a private-practice clinical setting where our residents train with private community-based surgeons. This combination of hospitals gives residents broader exposure to clinical surgery than any program in the country.

See rotation details


As an academic center, we emphasize research and provide the opportunity for residents to engage in research activities for 2-3 years. Research begins after the third clinical year. We expect our residents will want to pursue academic careers and research time is a requirement for academic success. Surgical residents can choose to perform basic science, clinical research, outcomes research, MPH, MBA, global health, or translational research. There are opportunities to work in the laboratories of leading basic science researchers throughout the university. We have equally strong clinical and translational research opportunities in gastrointestinal surgery, trauma, sepsis, vascular disease, surgical oncology, fetal surgery and wound healing.


Our faculty includes outstanding clinicians and researchers whose skills and expertise cover all disciplines of surgery and many fields of scientific investigation. Even though many are on the cutting edge of research or clinical surgery our faculty are accessible to the residents on ward rounds, in the clinics and in the operating room. Our faculty enjoy teaching and closely supervise residents in the treatment of patients. Residents work with a faculty advisor of their choice through all years of training and thus have at least one individual to turn to for guidance and support.

We live in one of the most beautiful and ethnically diverse cities in the United States and our faculty and residency program reflect this diversity. The bay area offers some of the best dining in the country and has a vast array of cultural activities, major sporting events and endless opportunity for outdoor adventure.

Our surgical residency training program is rigorous and demanding but at the completion of training you will be a highly competent practitioner of surgery.

Application information

Thank you for your interest in our training program.

Surgery Education Office
513 Parnassus Avenue, Room S-321
San Francisco, CA 94143-0470
Phone: (415) 476-1239
Fax: (415) 502-1259
Email: [email protected]