The general surgery residency at Vidant Medical Center/ECU is a strong program with a focus on producing general surgeons who are equipped to go into private practice, obtain a fellowship or consider a career in academic surgery. Since the inception of the program education has been a major focus with Dr. Pories, the first chairman, producing the first curriculum in general surgery for all general surgical residencies in the country. Vidant Medical Center has no residencies in surgical subspecialties except OB/GYN. The Department of Surgery has fellowships in mitral valve surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and trauma. None of these fellowships compromise resident training in any way and the goal of the department is to make these fellowships enhance resident training.
Residents obtain a broad exposure to all aspects of general surgery. Residents who have completed fellowships in other programs have found that their surgical experience, knowledge base and skills are comparable to other larger programs in the country. Presently all rotations are within Vidant Medical Center, so no resident has to travel to another hospital or city to complete his residency.
The residency requires a year of research which may be completed in trauma, cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery or transplantation. Residents are also encouraged to consider work with investigators in the basic science departments. Residents are expected to complete a minimum of 4 papers prior to graduation. Some residents have published as many as 15 papers during their time in the residency.
The strength of the program is the size of the program. The residency is small and therefore allows an esprit de corps which is unusual in any surgical program. The attendings know each resident well. The program has instituted a mentoring program to support the residents in adjusting to the rigors of the residency and also to help them with future career choices.
Overall the general surgery program focuses on training a general surgeon who can do what he or she desires when he has completed the program. It does this in a setting of a small community in which the residents are supportive of one another and the attendings have an interest in the quality training for the individual resident.
Carl E. Haisch, MD