General Surgery

Our General Surgery Residency Program has proudly trained residents since 1942. In 1958, the program was accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We prepare a diverse group of motivated physicians to become confident and competent in general surgery.

Extraordinary preparation with the focus on collaboration

Residents are primarily located at Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center, which is one of the largest and most advanced hospitals in the state. It is part of Wellstar Health System, a not-for-profit organization that operates multiple hospitals and healthcare facilities in the Atlanta metropolitan area. General surgery residents receive early operative experience and finish with 1,000-1,200 cases. This intimate program is distinguished by the close connection between residents and attending staff, and the strong esprit de corps among residents.

Variety of Clinical Settings and Cases
Wellstar surgery residents pursue a variety of clinical rotations at six teaching sites. The teaching staff includes esteemed academic and private volunteer faculty. Residents are exposed to the gamut of experiences—urban and rural/suburban communities, insured and uninsured patients, and both “bread and butter” and complex cases.
Hands-on Experience Starts Early
The focus on experiential, hands-on learning starts early. Beginning in year one, residents gain operating room experience and are involved in trauma and surgical critical care. There’s a strong focus on building confidence in bedside procedures in the first year.
Connection and Camaraderie
Wellstar surgery residents are a spirited group of men and women who form close bonds over the course of their training. Social and academic highlights include the annual intern welcome party, Monthly Journal Club, outing to Topgolf, and the much-anticipated annual graduation dinner. Aside from these formal opportunities are the daily interactions that build camaraderie among residents and attending physicians.

Hands-on, experiential learning starts in the first year and continues throughout the residency. The teaching faculty are deeply committed to providing the best in surgical education. Faculty members are always available and fully integrate their clinical practices into the training program. The robotics curriculum is longitudinal over multiple rotations throughout all five years of training. All residents are expected to graduate with an equivalency certificate to be credentialed in robotic surgery. We partner closely with Intuitive to provide learning experiences for the residents. We also have clinical faculty who act as Luminary Faculty for Intuitive in the specialties of general surgery, bariatrics and colorectal surgery.

Clinical rotations include General Surgery—both emergent and elective, Trauma Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, Vascular Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Burn Surgery, Hepatobiliary Surgery, Thoracic Surgery and Breast Surgery.

Research Wellstar surgery residents are strongly encouraged to participate in research projects that lead to publication and/or presentation at regional and national scientific meetings. Travel involved with publications and presentations is financed by the Graduate Medical Education program. Residents have presented at conferences such as the local chapter of the ACS, the national ACS meeting, the Southeastern Surgical Conference, the American Association of Endocrine Surgery and others.

Conferences All rising PGY4 residents are encouraged to attend a leadership conference sponsored by the American College of Surgeons. The chief residents are encouraged to attend the national American College of Surgeons conference.

Additional Courses All Wellstar residents become certified in Advanced Trauma Life Support, the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery and the Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery; those interested may become ATLS instructors. Chief Residents are provided with funds to take a board preparation course.

Didactics Educational experiences include lectures based on the SCORE curriculum, monthly journal clubs, weekly morbidity and mortality conferences, and semi-annual mock oral exams. We provide hands on learning experiences with the FLS and FES trainers, surgical energy labs, and anastomotic labs. We also partner with Intuitive to get time on the robotic simulator at our site and at the lab in Norcross, GA.

Medical Students

Wellstar offers qualified third and fourth-year medical students the opportunity to pursue a core or elective clerkship in General Surgery. The focus is on hands-on training in an exciting urban healthcare environment with diverse and often complex patient conditions.

Wellstar offers qualified fourth-year medical students the opportunity to pursue an elective/sub-internship clerkship in Acute Care General Surgery or Trauma Surgery.
Students interested in applying should email our Undergraduate Medical Coordinator, Samantha Dance at [email protected] with the required application materials below.

Students provide their own housing during the clerkship, often staying with friends or relatives in the Atlanta area or in nearby housing. Participants give the program high marks and benefit greatly from the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to real world healthcare.

Requirements include
• Letter of Good Standing
• Rotation approval from the medical school
• Medical school transcript
• USMLE Step 1 score report
• Two Letters of Recommendation
• Curriculum Vitae
• Proposed Dates

*Please note a current affiliation agreement between Wellstar Health System and your institution is necessary for the rotation to be considered (check with your institution coordinator).

Leadership & House Staff

How to Apply

All applications are accepted through the electronic residency application service. We closely follow the recommendations by the APDS task force for general surgery applications and interviews.

Questions? Contact Program Coordinator Kathy Fayne.

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