Surgical Residency

Surgical Residency

If you are looking for an excellent residency experience that allows you to develop individually and professionally, consider our program. Our unusually busy medical center provides broad, varied surgical experiences including general surgery and transplantation; trauma and critical care; pediatric surgery; vascular surgery; plastic and reconstructive surgery; and thoracic surgery. Our academic program is housed at Vidant Medical Center, an outstanding 900-plus-bed tertiary hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center. As the central medical location for the region, we are the referral center for more than 1.4 million people in a 29-county area.

As a surgical resident, you have the opportunity to gain skills you need for private or academic practice, or to further your surgical preparation with fellowship training. Our class of 28 residents has close contact with our faculty, in one location with engaged mentoring. Our faculty have received grants in several key surgical areas including endovascular aortic grafting, minimally invasive coronary surgery, robotic surgery, and linkage of Type II diabetes and obesity. Our distinctive program offers a research year (PGY III).

The surgical residency is sponsored by Vidant Medical Center, which includes the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University as its educational component. Founded to meet the extensive health care needs of coastal North Carolina, the School has grown rapidly in size and stature and enjoys sustained public, private, and governmental support. The hospital serves over 100,000 local citizens in addition to being the only tertiary referral center in eastern North Carolina, serving more than 1.2 million residents. In contrast to many centers with a diminishing patient load, the hospital is expanding its capacity in response to a growing demand for its services and has a total of 745 beds and 22 operating rooms. Over 18,000 major operations and 1,500 open heart procedures are performed at the hospital, while another 7,500 outpatient operations are managed in the nearby SurgiCenter. Clinical and research facilities already in place include centers for heart, cancer, diabetes and obesity, children’s health, rehabilitation, wellness, and surgical robotics. A Level I regional trauma center has been in place since 1985.

Surgery residents actively participate in a variety of sites where surgical care is provided. These include inpatient services, hospital operating rooms, surgical clinics, private offices, and the SurgiCenter, which has eight operating rooms with 23-hour recovery facilities. Rotations that provide in-depth knowledge of general surgery and exposure to surgical specialties include trauma surgery, vascular surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, surgical oncology, pediatric surgery, thoracic surgery, and transplantation surgery. Housestaff are given increasing responsibilities according to their knowledge and demonstrated clinical and surgical skills.

The uniqueness of the ECU Surgical Residency Program is derived from the following factors:

  • The residency produces "toti-potential" general surgeons. Our graduates are competitively prepared for fellowships, academic positions, and private practice.
  • The residency is conducted in one institution. There are no rotations to scattered hospitals. Residents receive their training at one site and under one facility for an integrated curriculum.
  • One year of the residency is devoted to research. The research year sharpens technical skills, provides rigorous training in research methodology, ensures an academically competitive curriculum vitae, fosters national research networking opportunities, and provides time for reflection and creativity. In cooperation with the ECU School of Business we have implemented a program to allow the optional use of the surgery research year to obtain the MBA degree.
  • The Department is recognized for its leadership is surgical education. Our Robotic Surgery Center is a national and international education site to train surgical teams in the use of robotics in the operating room. In addition, the Surgical Resident Curriculum is a model developed in our department for the Association of Program Directors in Surgery and surgical educators across the United States.
  • The Department is dedicated to a high quality of life for faculty and residents. Our residents work hard, but there is also time for outside activities. The overall environment is courteous, friendly, and most of all, supportive.

The surgery faculty is composed of full-time academic surgeons, scientists, and educators. The department also hosts an active schedule of visiting professors. Many nationally acclaimed academic surgeons have participated in our programs.

Surgical rotations at the hospital are unusually busy with a varied and large practice. Vidant Medical Center is a private, nonprofit institution where academic and private practice faculty work side by side. The hospital was nationally accredited in May, 2000, earning 98 out of 100 points for the second consecutive inspection.

Complementing the abundant clinical experience is a well-organized, didactic schedule of clinical and teaching rounds, conferences, seminars, journal club meetings, and professional interchanges through visiting professors. Residents are recognized as important, and often award-winning, teachers for the third-year medical student surgical clerkship and the fourth-year acting internship.

Five categorical positions are available in each of the six years of the residency program. In addition, there are three preliminary positions that are available for residents interested in pursuing careers in the surgical specialties. Our program is not pyramidal. Each resident's progress is evaluated at regular intervals to provide constructive feedback, and although all appointments are on a one-year basis, if a categorical resident performs and progresses satisfactorily, he or she can expect to finish the program.