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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Surgery


Didactic programs are department-wide. Campus-wide Morbidity and Mortality Conference, Grand Rounds and the Surgical Basic Science Conference, are held at Downstate on Friday mornings. Each site has its own individual conference schedule, and resident-initiated basic science course. Residents and faculty participate in the Brooklyn Surgical conferences monthly, and the annual Samuel Kountz Lecture of the Tribourough Surgical Association. During this academic event, a professor of national stature visits for two days, lectures, and meets the resident and attending staff. Residents and faculty alike welcome these academic endeavors with great enthusiasm.

Library Facilities:

Our new Health Science Education Building (HSEB) Medical Library houses one of the largest serial collections in the country, with over 250,000 volumes and 1,200 periodical titles. There are computer systems allowing for free internet access, on-line access to periodical catalogs, and other enhancements such as MEDLINE, MDConsult, and online journal availability.

In addition, the Department of Surgery has a new departmental library with current issues of the most commonly read Medical/Surgical books and journals, and computer workstations.


For our residents, there is opportunity to spend at least 2 years in the laboratory. The research interests of our faculty are diversified and span the spectrum of surgical problems; consequently, the investigational opportunities are substantial.


Sample Rotations

First Year:

Five months are devoted to general surgery, one month each to vascular surgery, trauma, transplant, pediatric surgery, cardiac surgery and elective (ENT, neurosurgery or urology).

Second Year:

Residents spend half of their time on general surgery, acting as assistant residents on various services. The remaining time is spent rotating through trauma, general surgical, and cardiothoracic intensive care units, and more surgical sub-specialties such as vascular and pediatric surgery.

Third Year:

This year provides the bridge between junior and senior residency rotations. Usually, six months are spent as senior assistant resident on one of the larger general surgery services.

At one of our affiliate hospitals, the PGY3 serves as the senior resident, and scrubs on all the major cases. There are also two-month rotations on vascular surgery, trauma, burn and general surgery.

Fourth and Fifth Years:

The fourth and fifth years are devoted to developing surgical decision-making capability, as well as perfecting the technical ability acquired during the first three years. During the fourth year, residents spend one month on the endoscopic/laparoscopic unit and two months supervising junior residents in the SICU. Major emphasis is placed on the teaching of surgical skills, both technical and didactic, to junior residents and students. PGY4 residents also rotate as the senior resident on the transplant and pediatric surgical services.

The fifth year is devoted to rotations through services of the core curriculum, such as general, vascular and trauma services.