NEW! Interview Guide for Medical Students

Created by the CAGS Resident Committee, this guide offers medical students tips for preparing for their upcoming virtual interview, offers links to selected interview resources and gives students examples of the type of questions that could be asked.

Being a General Surgery Resident

Junior residents (PGY-1, 2) spend their time on a combination of core/on-service general surgery rotations and off-service rotations, which vary widely from program to program (e.g. internal medicine, emergency medicine, endoscopy, intensive care). The main goal of your first 2 years is to build a solid foundation of basic surgical skills and general surgery-related medical knowledge. In senior years (PGY-3, 4, 5), time is divided between core general surgery at the academic centre, community general surgery at external sites, electives, and subspecialty general surgery (e.g., thoracic, hepatobiliary, surgical oncology, colorectal). As a senior, you are now training to become more independent, both in and out of the operating room. This is also the time to develop your interests whether it is in community or subspecialty surgery.

About General Surgery

General surgery – often considered one of the most “medical” surgical disciplines – is a varied specialty, where the activities of a general surgeon involve time in the operating room, office, emergency department and the intensive care unit. The exact profile of a general surgeon’s practice may vary depending on whether the practice is in an academic centre, an urban community or a more rural centre. General surgery residency in Canada is 5 years. Afterwards, residents have the option of starting their practice right away, or continuing to subspecialize through a wide variety of fellowships, such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Acute care surgery
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Breast surgery
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Endocrine surgery
  • Hepatopancreaticobiliary surgery
  • Minimally Invasive surgery
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Trauma surgery
  • Transplant surgery
  • Surgical oncology
  • Vascular surgery
  • Upper gastrointestinal/Foregut Surgery
  • Thoracic surgery

Learn More About Each General Surgery Program

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Social media: n/a

Program Website: https://medicine.dal.ca/departments/department-sites/surgery/divisions/general-surgery/education/residency.html

Program Director: Dr. Lucy Helyer, lhelyer@dal.ca

Program Administrator: Carissa Grimard, Carissa.Grimard@nshealth.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Ashley Robinson, PGY-2 ashley.m.robinson@dal.ca

About Our Program

With a clinical base at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (QEII), Dalhousie’s general surgery program provides experience in surgical care from minor procedures to organ transplant

You will gain exposure to a wide variety of diseases and injuries requiring general surgery by working in the only tertiary adult general hospital in the Halifax peninsula. The QEII provides primary surgical care to residents of Halifax and surrounding areas, and referral care to residents from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The QEII is also the only Level I trauma facility for the Maritimes. You will also work in various clinical centres around the Maritime provinces, including core rotations in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John, NB.

As a resident within the Division of General Surgery, you’ll have a number of opportunities to explore various subspecialities within the general surgery program, including:

  • Acute Care Surgery
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Hernia Surgery
  • Endoscopic Surgery
  • Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Pediatric General Surgery

Research is an important part of our program. Our faculty members are involved in basic science, clinical outcomes and education research activities. Our residents are encouraged to complete at least two research projects during their residency.

For more information on the curriculum, please visit: https://medicine.dal.ca/departments/department-sites/surgery/divisions/general-surgery/education/residency/curriculum.html

Other Information

CIP/SSP: General Surgery residents at Dalhousie University have the opportunity to apply to the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP). The CIP is an accredited postgraduate medical education training program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The goal of the CIP is to provide medical residents with structured and rigorous research training—in the midst of their residency—so that they develop the research skills and experience they require to become clinician investigators upon completing their residency. Because of their high level of both clinical and research involvement and training, clinician investigators (also called clinician scientists) are uniquely positioned to lead the way to substantial improvements in clinical practice, service delivery, health policy and other aspects of health care.

For more information, please visit: https://medicine.dal.ca/research-dal-med/capacity/cip.html

Fellowships offered:

Location: Montreal, Quebec

Social Media:
Instagram: @mcgillgensurg
Twitter: @mcgillgensurg

Program Directors: Dr. Sender Liberman

Program Administrator: Rita Piccioni

Resident Representative for CAGS: Giuseppe Frenda, PGY-3, giuseppe.frenda@mail.mcgill.ca

Abour our Program

The General Surgery Residency Program at McGill University has a long history of excellence in surgical training and research. Graduates of the program are found around the globe, specialists in the field of General Surgery and all subspecialty areas. Our graduates are successful at obtaining highly competitive fellowship positions and are well-prepared to take on all academic and career challenges. Graduates are eligible to be certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Surgery. Our faculty are highly skilled surgeons who are recognized for their contributions to resident education, clinical care and research. The training program is under the dedicated supervision of Dr. Sender Liberman (Program Director), Dr. Paola Fata (Division Director) and Dr. Liane Feldman (Chair of Department of Surgery).

Depending on the interest of individual residents, there is ample opportunity for community surgery rotations, electives in all fields and a robust research program. In the third year of training, some residents can participate in a fully funded research program tailored to their interests. Many residents complete graduate degrees during that time, further enriching their experience.

Other Information

CIP/SSP: The McGill Clinical Investigator Program (CIP) is a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) accredited program that provides 2 years of formal research training to residents who want to pursue a career in clinical or basic science research and academia. CIP is a great opportunity for residents to develop their passion for research. Each research project is unique and tailored to the resident’s interest and their subspecialty program. Residents must select their research supervisor and project prior to applying to CIP. The research goals for each resident are tailored to their research question and hypothesis, which are different for each project. The roles of the research supervisor, the CIP director and the CIP residency committee are to foster this research interest and to provide mentorship and guidance. Compared to the graduate programs, CIP provides residents with a structured curriculum and close supervision that closely monitors the residents’ progress. This is to ensure that the residents complete their objectives during the time they spend in CIP. Residents within CIP also benefit from having protected research time and the necessary resources to acquire all the basic requirements to become a successful clinician scientist.

The Division of General Surgery offers the following fellowship programs (For more information on each fellowship, click here):

  • Advanced Minimally Invasive Training in Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Transplantation, Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery
  • Trauma Surgery Fellowship
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Complex Surgical Oncology

Location: Hamilton, Ontario

Social Media:
Instagram: @macgensurg
Twitter: @macgensurg

Program Website: https://surgery.mcmaster.ca/divisions/general-surgery

Program Directors: Dr. Michael Marcaccio

Program Administrators: Katie Niblock, niblock@mcmaster.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Ramya Kancheria, PGY-3 kancherla@medportal.ca

About the Program

McMaster University’s general surgery program has two locations: Hamilton and Niagara.  In Hamilton, the residents work at three different tertiary hospitals which cover a variety of specialties allowing wide exposure.  McMaster allows for residents to develop skills and positions trainees well for both community practice as well as for fellowship opportunities. McMaster’s early operative exposure, tight knit community and strong training are consistent highlights from trainees. Residency positions at McMaster are highly regarded because of the consistent success in graduation/certification, the generation of clinically competent surgeons, and the ability to place trainees into high quality subspecialty programs. In July of 2012, the residency’s first Community General Surgery Residency position was created in St. Catharines which takes one resident per year.

https://pgme.mcmaster.ca/carms_r1_match_program_information/

Other Information

McMaster has an accredited Royal College Training program – the Clinical Investigator Program which is a two year program in research and research methodology. If residents are interested in this path this must be decided in the PGY 1 year or the first six months of PGY 2. The CIP program can be inserted between 2nd and 3rd year or 3rd and 4th year of general surgery training. There is funding provided on a competitive basis for salary support for 1-2 years of research through the Margaret and Charles Juravinski Surgical Fellowship.

Fellowships offered:

  • Breast
  • MIS
  • TRACS (Trauma and ACS)

Location: St. Catharine, Ontario

Social Media:
Instagram:
Twitter:

Program Website: https://surgery.mcmaster.ca/divisions/general-surgery/education/general-surgery-niagara

Program Directors: Dr. Ryan Fielding

Program Administrators: Sara Poole, sapoole@mcmaster.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Ramya Kancheria, PGY-3 kancherla@medportal.ca

About the Program

The Niagara General Surgery residency program is based at the St. Catharines Site of Niagara Health. The program offers a wide range of clinical activities and experiences within a community setting. The program is home to five residents, one in each year of training with visiting residents throughout the year.  Eight faculty in St Catharines run two surgical teams and there are growing faculty numbers throughout Niagara Health.  The residents and faculty work closely together and get to know each other well throughout the course of the program. The collegial culture is combined with robust clinical exposures through a full range of busy surgical services. The residents are supportive of each other and remain connected to the Hamilton program throughout their training.

Location: St. John’s, Newfoundland

Social Media: n/a

Program Director: Dr. Alex Mathieson, alex.mathieson@med.mun.ca

Program Administrators: Stacy Hicks, stacy.hicks@med.mun.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Cecily Stockley PGY-3, cecilystockley@gmail.com

About the Program

Our program takes four residents each year. Our smaller-sized program allows for early skill development and structured independence in managing patients. There is a high degree of collegiality among residents and staff.

Our program is structured: Junior (R1/R2), Senior (R3/R4) and Chief Year (R5).

There are three main training sites in St. John’s: Health Science Center (tertiary care center for province), St. Clare’s Hospital, and the Janeway Children’s Hospital. To ensure adequate trauma exposure R2s travel to Toronto to do a month at Sunnybrook as a core trauma surgery rotation. R4/R5 do 3-month Community rotations with usual sites being: Carbonear, Grand-Falls, Corner Brook, and Charlottetown, PEI.

Endoscopy program: 3 months of endoscopy (R3) + 1 month endoscopy (R4)

There are six months of elective time allotted to R4s to enable fellowship competitiveness.

Chief year R5 – provides a significant exposure to clinical surgery which will allow for safe and confident practice as an independent consultant. The structure of chief year also allows time for studying and practicing for orals.

Our research curriculum is continuous throughout the five years with the goal for each resident to complete a minimum of two projects.

Historically, after finishing this program ~50% of residents begin working immediately and 50% continue on to do a fellowship (most recent years: bariatrics, MIS, thoracics, pediatrics, foregut, advanced endoscopy, trauma). All residents complete this program equipped with the skills needed to work independently as a general surgeon.

Other Information

CIP/SSP: There is no formal CIP at Memorial. There is flexibility in the program to allow for discussion if a resident was interested in completing a CIP.

Fellowships offered: None

Location: Thunder Bay & Sudbury, Ontario

Social Media: n/a

Program Director: Dr. Eric Davenport

Program Administrator: Cyndy Smith, cysmith@nosm.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Carlos Chan, PGY-1, waichan@nosm.ca

About Our Program

The general surgery program at NOSM is a small program. As such, the ratio of staff to residents is quite unique, with more surgeons interested in teaching than there are residents available to teach. Another unique aspect to the program is the early operative exposure, as there are no other residents to compete with whether you are on a team, ACS, or on call and something weird and wonderful rolls through. In addition, as there are no other surgical specialities beyond orthopedics, one is often welcome in other surgical specialties’ ORs, like urology, vascular surgery, or obstetrics and gynecology. Something which is not fully appreciated by medical students is the longitudinal aspect of learning endoscopy. Scoping is not complete at the end of two months – you will continue to hone your skills in endoscopy long after your rotation is complete, which will make you a more competent surgeon with more tools at your disposal. Finally, as someone applying to general surgery, one would assume that you are interested in taking care of sick patients. The Northern Ontario population is special in the sense that it spans such a large geography, and the comorbidities of the population are so unique given the variable access to healthcare of the population, that at the end of your training, you will feel quite comfortable taking care of sick, sick patients.


Read below to learn why our General Surgery program is second to none:

1-on-1 Learning:
The General Surgery program at NOSM is a small program (usually 2 residents per year). As such, the ratio of staff to residents is unique, with more surgeons interested in teaching than there are residents available to be taught. You will graduate from this program knowing how to operate confidently.

Early Operative Exposure: 
As a PGY1 you will be first assist right away, giving you a heads up on your colleagues in other surgical programs who are doing “scut work” for the first 2 years of residency.  While there is “buddy call” at the start of residency, after a few months, you will be the only resident on call for general surgery. You will have many opportunities to be in the OR as there are multiple general surgery ORs running each day and few residents to compete with, whether you are on an elective team, or on call and something weird and wonderful rolls through.

Subspecialty Training:
At NOSM, we have all surgical subspecialties except Pediatric Surgery and Transplant Surgery. Pediatric Surgery is offered through Ottawa and we supplement our Trauma experience in Ottawa as well. If you have interest in transplant this experience can be gained through electives and by attending organ retrievals when they happen. HPB is only available in Sudbury and Bariatrics in Thunder Bay at this time (A Bariatric Surgery program is set to start in Sudbury in 2021). You will get excellent operative experience on these rotations since there are no fellows!

Exceptional Endoscopy Experience:
Something which is not fully appreciated by medical students is the longitudinal aspect of learning endoscopy. Endoscopy is a challenging skill, thus your scoping time is not complete at the end of your two month rotation – you are expected to take part in electrive scope days at our main sites, community sites, and on call! Our endoscopy is largely surgeon taught, and we cover GI bleeds on call, making our residents uniquely comfortable with urgent and emergent endoscopy for GI bleeds.

Program Flexibility:
Once you have figured out what kind of general surgeon you would like to be, our program can uniquely tailor your learning to the needs of your future job or fellowship. The only other surgical residents at NOSM are in Orthopedic Surgery. Therefore, if you are interested in learning skills in other surgical specialties such as Urology, Plastic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, ENT, or Obstetrics and Gynecology, you are free to explore these during elective time or if there is nothing else going. Some examples of procedures recently graduated residents have mastered include: ERCPs, C-sections, amputations etc. Interested in a fellowship? That same flexibility allows you to plan your rotations to make you a competitive candidate. Our last two cohorts have matched to the following specialties: Thoracics (Ottawa), MIS/Bariatric Surgery (Toronto), Transplant Surgery (Tennessee), and ICU (Dalhousie).

Community Sites!:
We have access to many communities across Northern Ontario. Examples include Sault-Ste-Marie, Huntsville, North Bay, Timmins, and Sioux Lookout. In these places you are typically the only resident around and get to work with all the surgeons at the site. The surgeons at these sites tend to have broader scopes of practices, and you get to learn how to do c-sections, carpal tunnel releases, vasectomies etc. These rotations are usually highlights for our residents! PS Accommodations are provided and all travel expenses are reimbursed.

A Great Place to Live:
If you couldn’t bear not going to the opera on a monthly basis, maybe Northern Ontario isn’t for you. Outside of that, both Sudbury and Thunder Bay offer everything you need outside of residency (except Costco in Thunder Bay!). Additionally, if the outdoors are your thing Northern Ontario can’t be beat. Within minutes of both hospitals you can enjoy activities such as canoeing/kayaking/mountain biking in the summer and endless cross-country skiing in the winter to burn off those 4AM donuts. Both cities are also close to beautiful provincial parks such as Killarney and Sleeping Giant for some epic weekend hikes. Want to get away for vacation? Both cities have major airports and Sudbury is only a few hours drive away from Ottawa and Toronto.

Location: Kingston, Ontario

Social media:
Instagram – @queensgeneralsurgery
Twitter – @queensgensurg

Program Website: https://surgery.queensu.ca/postgraduate/general-surgery

Program director: Dr. David Robertson, David.Robertson@kingstonhsc.ca

Postgraduate Program Coordinator: Nicole de Smidt, Nicole.deSmidt@kingstonhsc.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Jessica MacIntyre, PGY-2, 0jnm@queensu.ca

About Our Program

The General Surgery Residency Program at Queen’s University has all the advantages and opportunities of an academic center with a community center collegiality. Kingston Health Sciences Centre is southeastern Ontario’s leading centre for complex-acute and specialty care, and home to the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario. Outside of Southeastern Ontario, our catchment area includes communities on James Bay in Northern Ontario. We are a smaller residency program in a busy tertiary hospital; this allows for early operative opportunities as a junior resident, as well as graded responsibility. The senior residents benefit from there being minimal fellows which allows for extensive operating experience and smooth transition to practice with the PGY5 ORs and clinics in their final year. The faculty and residents come to know each other well, as the residents rotate through with each staff multiple times during their training. Past residents have been equally successful acquiring fellowships in Canada and the United States, as well as obtaining jobs in the community. Living in beautiful Kingston, ON also provides ample opportunity for great outdoor activities and culinary experiences during time off. The Queen’s Residency Program underwent an early transition to CBME in 2017; by Fall 2021, PGY1 – 5 cohorts will be training under the CBME model.

Other Information

CIP/SSP: https://meds.queensu.ca/academics/cip

Graduate degrees within the Queen’s University Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Education, School of Policy Studies, Schoolc  of Business, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Department of Public Health Sciences and School of Kinesiology and Health Studies are open to CIP trainees. Other programs will be considered at the trainee’s request.

General Surgery residents also have the option of obtaining graduate degrees outside of Queen’s during their residency training. Previous residents have completed graduate work at other institutions including the University of Oxford, John Hopkins University and the University of Dundee.

Fellowships offered:

Location/Lieu: Sherbrooke, Quebec

Social Media/réseaux sociaux: n/a

Program Director/Directeur de programme:

Program Administrator:

Resident Representative for CAGS/Résident représentant au CAGS: Sarah Mansouri, PGY-2, sarah.mansouri@usherbrooke.ca

Location/Lieu: Laval, Quebec

Social Media/réseaux sociaux: n/a

Program Director/Directeur de programme: Dr Mony Chhiv, mony.chhiv.1@ulaval.ca

Program Administrator:

Resident Representative for CAGS/Résident représentant au CAGS: Nicolas Tassé, PGY-2, nicolas.tasse.1@ulaval.ca

About Our Program / À propos de notre programme

La Faculté de médecine de l’université Laval offre un programme de résidence en chirurgie générale qui s’intéresse au diagnostic et au traitement chirurgical d’une gamme importante de maladies ou de traumatismes touchant les cavités abdominale et thoracique. Vous souhaitez vous spécialiser en chirurgie générale dans un programme des plus diversifiés et complets? Alors le programme de l’Université Laval est pour vous! En tant que résident en chirurgie générale à l’Université Laval, vous bénéficierez de milieux de stages variés. Ces milieux vous permettront d’acquérir une expertise incontournable grâce à une exposition clinique importante et ce dès votre première année de R1! L’enseignement théorique du programme de chirurgie générale prend diverses formes, soit les cours de sciences de base donnés pas la Faculté de médecine et les cours donnés dans chaque hôpital affilié. Ces cours ont lieu tous les mercredis après-midi alors que tous les résidents sont libérés de leur milieu clinique pour y assister. Au cours de votre résidence en chirurgie générale, vos attitudes et vos aptitudes seront évaluées sur une base régulière sous forme d’examen oral et écrit. Des activités de recherche obligatoires et optionnelles vous sont offertes dans le programme de chirurgie générale. Ces activités vous permettront de développer votre érudition, une compétence clé du programme. Les activités de recherche vous permettront également de vous familiariser avec la possibilité d’une carrière universitaire.

Other Information / Autres informations

CIP/SSP/Programmes de cliniciens-chercheurs:

Fellowships offered/disponibles:

Location: Edmonton AB

Social media:
Instagram – @uofagensurg

Program Website: https://www.ualberta.ca/surgery/divisions/general-surgery/index.html

Program Directors: Dr. Athena Bennett and Dr. Deng Mapiour

Program Administrators: Valerie Jackson and Raelin Lightfoot, gsurgpg@ualberta.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Kieran Purich, PGY-3, kpurich@ualberta.ca

About our program

The General Surgery program at the University of Alberta provides residents with excellent access to both clinical and research opportunities. The large catchment area and supportive staff provide residents with first-rate surgical exposure. Our graduating classes pursue a variety of careers spanning both community and academic positions. Every year we have residents who go directly into practice, as well as those who match to competitive fellowships in a variety of subspecialties. Beyond clinical exposure, research is well supported and interested residents are able to pursue graduate degrees through the well-established Clinical Investigator Program. The University of Alberta is world renowned in a variety of research fields including transplantation and diabetes. Looking outside of the residency program, the city of Edmonton is a welcoming environment boasting numerous festivals, various sports teams, including the Edmonton Oilers, as well as a river valley with running and biking trails that contest those seen in any other urban Canadian city.

Other Information

CIP/SSP: Beyond clinical exposure, research is well supported and interested residents are able to pursue graduate degrees through the well-established Clinical Investigator Program. The University of Alberta is world renowned in a variety of research fields including transplantation and diabetes.

Fellowships offered:

  • Advanced Mis/Bariatric fellowship
  • Hepatobiliary Surgery (HPB) and Transplantation
  • Acute Care Emergency Surgery

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Social Media:
Instagram – @ubcgeneralsurgery
Twitter – @ubcgensurg

Program Website: https://surgery.med.ubc.ca/

Program Directors: Dr. Tracy Scott and Dr. Ahmer Karimuddin

Program Manager: Luiza Shamkulova, luiza.shamkulova@ubc.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Caroline Huynh, PGY-3, caroline.huynh@alumni.ubc.ca

About Our Program

The caliber and spirit of our residents and faculty, diversity of academic and community rotations, and exceptional simulation and research opportunities are some of the strengths of the program. Every aspect of the program is run with resident input and leadership, and we are proud of the contributions that our diverse, motivated, collegial (and fun!) residents have made.

Other Information

Social and Wellness Committee (SWell)

Community rotations across the province.

CIP/SSP: The UBC CIP for all UBC residents to pursue Master, PhD or postgraduate studies through a RCPSC accredited program. The UBC CIP is a fully funded two-year program.

Fellowships offered:

  • Advanced minimally invasive surgery
  • Bariatric and minimally invasive surgery
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Complex surgical oncology
  • Hepatobiliary and transplant surgery
  • Trauma and acute care surgery
  • Thoracic surgery

Location: Calgary, Alberta

Social Media:
Instagram – @calgarygensurg
Twitter – @calgarygensurg

Email: calgarygensurg@gmail.com

Program Directors: Dr. Ryan Rochon and Dr. Michael Kwan

Program Administrators: Erin Layton, erin.layton@albertahealthservices.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Tamara Gimon, PGY-5 tamara.gimon@mail.utoronto.ca

About Our Program

Calgary is a medium-sized program, with the benefits of both a large and small sized General Surgery residency program. The majority of our core general surgery rotations occur between two main sites (Foothills Medical Centre and Peter Lougheed Centre) promoting close relationships with the staff and fellow residents very well. This helps facilitate mentorship opportunities and support networks. Calgary is a major academic centre with exposure to all general surgery subspecialties with the exception of liver transplant. The Calgary program offers residents opportunities to do community General Surgery rotations within Calgary and peripheral sites such as Lethbridge and Red Deer. Calgary is supportive of research and requires residents to participate in an annual resident research day to highlight their accomplishments. Residents are eligible to apply for formal research programs such as the Clinical Investigator Program and the Surgeon Scientist Program. Graduates of the Calgary program have been successful in obtaining community General Surgery positions directly after residency, as well as in obtaining highly competitive fellowships both within Canada and internationally.

Resident wellness is a priority. Happy and healthy residents are the cornerstone of a successful residency program. The Calgary General Surgery residency training program is a “family” that will support you in becoming a competent and confident General Surgeon!

Other Information

CIP/SSP:

Office of Surgical Research (OSR):
The Office of Surgical Research provides members of the Department of Surgery with resources and supports to enhance research initiatives within the department. They offer various operational and salary support grants such as the Calgary Surgical Research Development Fund (CSRDF) as well as the Surgeon Scientist Program (SSP). They can assist with grant writing, ethics submissions, navigating policies, creating research goals, networking within the institution and statistical support. More information can be found at: https://www.ucalgary.ca/osr

Clinical Investigator Program (CIP):
The Clinical Investigator Program is a two-year accredited research program through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. The program gives residents and fellows the opportunity to pursue a MSc, PhD or Postdoctoral training as part of their training. In addition to salary support, the program offers weekly seminars and an annual research day as well as many added benefits such as software licenses, networking opportunities, peer review and so on. More information can be found at:https://cumming.ucalgary.ca/cip

Surgeon Scientist Program (SSP):
The Surgeon Scientist Program supports residents within the Department of Surgery to pursue a Masters or PhD while enrolled in surgical training. Funding of $60,000.00/yr is available on a competitive renewal system. Residents interested in pursuing advanced degrees at another institution often benefit from this funding as there is no requirement to pursue their degree at the University of Calgary. More information can be found at: https://ucalgary.ca/osr/node/51

Informal Mentorship:
Many residents have completed a Master’s degree or PhD during General Surgery Training. If you have current and specific questions regarding research support and planning please feel free to reach out to Dr. Alysha Keehn who is currently a PGY-3 and PhD student in our program (arkeehn@ucalgary.ca).

Fellowships offered:

  • Hepatobiliary
  • Upper GI and Bariatirics
  • Colorectal
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Endocrine
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Thoracics Surgery

Other Highlights

Every year the program hosts a “wellness weekend” usually held in Banff, Alberta. The residents meet and engage in a series of sessions on topics of residents’ choice (i.e. family life, leadership, finances as a surgeon, mindfulness, sleep) as well as take part in lots of fun activities such as skiing, skating, and the hotel hot tub!

Calgary is the home of the Calgary Stampede, as well as the Calgary Flames and Stampeders. Downtown is full of restaurants and entertainment for those that want to stay in the city on weekends, and the mountains with all their wonders are a short drive away.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Social Media:
Instagram – @uofmgeneralsurgery

Program Director: Dr. Andrew McKay

Program Administrator: Melissa Stamm, mstamm@hsc.mb.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Pam McIntosh, PGY-1, mcintosp@myumanitoba.ca

About Our Program

The University of Manitoba has many advantages. It is a medium-sized program with 1:1 staff to resident ratio and is situated in Winnipeg, the only large urban centre in the province. Winnipeg is the central hub for specialized and general surgical care for the whole province, along with communities in Northern Ontario and Nunavut resulting in high operative volumes. The program offers early operative exposure, and a smaller tight-knit resident cohort means you do not have to fight to get hands-on experience in the OR. The cases we see are varied in complexity and acuity, and we are known for our high trauma volumes. The program is responsive to resident feedback, with many recent positive changes including more on-service blocks in first year, call schedules being released up to two months in advance, and dedicated endoscopy blocks. Academic highlights include the CFLS simulation lab, live animal labs in first and second year, re-vamped academic half day with surgeon and non-surgeon led teaching, and a longitudinal peer review course with journal club. Come for the trauma laparotomies, stay for the best and reasonably priced food scene, and be prepared to cheer for the Jets!

Other Information

CIP/SSP: Master’s of Science in Surgery: This one-year training period is salary-funded designed to grant surgical residents a year to complete a research project of their own design under the mentorship of a senior investigator. Didactic courses in research methodology and statistics as per the Master’s program are completed during this academic year. Residents are required to perform minimal call duties in order to retain clinical skills.

CIP: The Clinician Investigator Program is an option typically available to residents after completing their Master’s of Science in Surgery. This research training program is offered through the Faculty of Medicine and consists of further research training over the course of one year with the ability to further research projects over this time period. Similar to the Master’s year, residents are free of clinical duties except for a minimal amount of call coverage to retain clinical skills. Applications are required and are granted by the CIP program based upon merit. Further information on the CIP program is available at

Fellowships offered:

  • Complex Cardiac
  • Head and Neck Surgical Oncology
  • Minimally Invasive Bariatric
  • Pediatric
  • Colorectal
  • Thorasic

Location/Lieu: Montreal, Quebec

Social Media/réseaux sociaux: n/a

Program Director/Directeur de programme: Dr. Pierre Dubé, assistant PD: Dr. Franck Vandenbroucke

Program Administrator: Yamina Bachi, ybachi.hmr@ssss.gouv.qc.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS/Résident représentant au CAGS: Vera Pravong, PGY-3, pravong@gmail.com

About Our Program / À propos de notre programme

Le programme comporte 4 principaux milieux de formation: le CHUM, le CIUSSS-del’est-de-l’ile-de-Montréal, le CIUSSS-du-nord-de-l’ile-de-Montréal et la Cité de la Santé à Laval. Des stages sont aussi offerts en milieu communautaire ainsi que des stages à options variés.

Le programme de chirurgie générale veut former les résidents pour qu’ils deviennent des chirurgiens compétents, autonomes, prêts à travailler dans le système de santé québecois et canadien.

Les forces du programme de chirurgie générale de l’Université de Montréal résident dans le réseau d’unités de chirurgie spécialisées réparties dans différents milieux. Ainsi, le programme de l’Université de Montréal expose les résidents à la chirurgie pédiatrique, la traumatologie, la chirurgie hépato-biliaire – dont la transplantation hépatique-, la chirurgie colorectale et la chirurgie oncologique. Le résident est exposé à un fort débit clinique afin de lui permettre d’acquérir une formation complète.

De plus, une emphase est mise sur le développement de la recherche. Les résidents doivent réaliser un stage obligatoire et peuvent s’ils le désirent poursuivre un programme de maîtrise de sciences de la santé.

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Social Media:
Instagram – @uottawagensurg
Twitter – @uottawagensurg

Program Website: https://www.uottawagensurg.com/

Program Director: Dr. Lara Williams

Program Administrator: Danielle Doan, ddoan@toh.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Nadia Khan, PGY-4, nadkhan@toh.ca

About Our Program

This is a mid-sized 5-year General Surgery residency program set in the nation’s capital. We take 6 residents per year. Junior years are R1-2, senior years are R3-5. We have rotations in every subspecialty of General Surgery (except transplant. If you want exposure to this, you can arrange electives at transplant centres during your residency).

Other Information

CIP/SSP: 1-2 residents per year are accepted, this is a 2-year master’s degree that you start at the end of 2nd year of residency, generally done at UOttawa (is competitive and residents must be in good standing when they apply).  PhD option is also available.

Fellowships offered:

  • Thoracics
  • Vascular
  • Bariatrics
  • Colorectal
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Trauma
  • ICU
  • Breast

Medical student Info Sessions

Recordings available on the UofO website for past sessions

Upcoming sessions (subject to change, please visit website)

  • Thursday, January 7, 2021 – Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery
  • Thursday, January 21, 2021 – Everything you’ve always wanted to ask an R1 Resident
  • Thursday, February 4, 2021 – Acute Care Surgery
  • Thursday, February 18, 2021 – Wellness and Resilience at uOttawa

Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Social Media: n/a

Program Website: https://medicine.usask.ca/department/clinical/surgery-divisions/general.php#Welcome

Program Director: Dr. Gavin Beck

Program Co-Director: Dr. Dillip Gill

Program Administrator: Karen Bader, Karen.bader@usask.ca

Resident representative for CAGS: Nicole Labine, PGY-2, nkl871@usask.ca

About Our Program

The University of Saskatchewan provides residents with an excellent combination of community and urban surgical exposure. Our residents have exposure to trauma and pediatric surgery from the beginning of their residency. In addition, our residents spend time in Regina, which broadens surgical exposure. As senior residents there is a dedicated series of blocks in endoscopy, which is unique amongst surgical programs. Our program offers early operative exposure and in an environment with supportive staff and co-residents. We have a yearly resident weekend retreat for team bonding as well as smaller events throughout the year. Saskatoon is the city of bridges, come for the hikes and food scene, stay warm in the winter.

Other Information

CIP/SSP: The Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) is a RCPSC certified program, and is available to residents that have demonstrated interest and potential for a career as a clinical investigator. Two CIP training streams are offered. The Graduate Stream in which applicants enroll in graduate (MSc and PhD) programs at the University of Saskatchewan, and the Postdoctoral Stream designed for residents who already hold a PhD.

Fellowships offered:

  • Acute Care Surgery

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Social Media:
Instagram – @uoftgsx
Twitter – @uoftgsx

Program Director: Dr. Savtaj Brar

Program Administrator: Madeline Ng, gensurg.residency@utoronto.ca

Resident representative for CAGS: Adom Bondzi-Simpson, PGY-2, nabondzi@ucalgary.ca

About Our Program

Welcome to the University of Toronto’s General Surgery Residency Training Program. The residency training program in General Surgery at the University of Toronto is the largest and perhaps most diverse of its kind in Canada.  Our vision is to ensure excellence in clinical and academic training of our Residents.  We know that we are preparing tomorrow’s leaders in General Surgery.

Our training Program is home to approximately 100 faculty members, over 6 Fully Affiliated Academic Health Centres, and 5 Affiliated Community Hospitals.  In addition, the Program provides rural training opportunities through the Rural Ontario Medicine Training Program.  We offer outstanding opportunities to engage in research activities; via longitudinal research electives or through the Clinical Investigator Program.  Our faculty members are highly invested in Residency Training and many are opinion leaders in their own subspecialty area of General Surgery.

The program at University of Toronto provides a rich environment for learning and enquiry. The teaching hospitals provide surgical care for a large urban population as well as patients from a vast catchment area and referral network. This arrangement provides outstanding learning opportunities and a breadth of clinical volume that is unsurpassed almost anywhere in North America.   We warmly invite you to be part of our Program.

Other highlights: The Department of Surgery has approximately 260 full-time faculty, 50 part-time faculty, 140 adjunct faculty and 40 research scientists located both on campus and at our six fully affiliated teaching hospitals and two partially affiliated teaching hospitals. Our large faculty contributes extensively to our three core missions: excellent clinical care, outstanding research productivity and the delivery of state of the art educational programs. Our Department receives approximately over $46 million annually of external peer-reviewed funding. We have a Surgeon Scientist Program aimed at providing master’s or doctoral level training for our surgical trainees. There are 35 trainees registered in this research stream. We train approximately 200 residents and 175 fellows per year.

The University of Toronto has a large program in educational scholarship and a vibrant Surgical Skills Centre.  With this strong platform for future success, the University of Toronto Department of Surgery aspires to continue to be a leading Department in academic surgery nationally and internationally.

Other Information

Surgical Scientist Training Program: The purpose of the Surgeon Scientist Training Program (SSTP) at the Department of Surgery is to provide excellent research training for surgical residents who wish to pursue a career in academic surgery. The research program at the University of Toronto continues to do extremely well and thrive averaging $60 M of external funding over the last five years. Our Surgeon Scientist Training Program (SSTP) is a unique element of our research enterprise. This program, which offers our residents the opportunity for graduate training to the masters or doctorate levels, has a yearly enrolment of between 40 and 50 residents. The range of scholarly work has been wide; including formal training in fundamental biology, clinical epidemiology, medical education, business administration and ethics.

Fellowships offered: Colorectal, HBP Surgical Oncology, Transplant, Surgical Oncology, Pediatrics, Breast Surgical Oncology, (UHN), Breast Surgical Oncology (St. Michaels Hospital), Trauma and Acute Care, Minimal Invasive Surgery (UHN), Minimal Invasive Surgery (St. Michaels Hospital), Endocrine Surgery

Location: London, Ontario

Social Media:
Instagram – @western_general_surgery

Program Website: https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/generalsurgery/education/postgraduate/index.html

Medical Student Info Website: https://sites.google.com/view/western-general-surgery-carms/home

Program Director: Dr. Michael Ott, Michael.ott@lhsc.on.ca

Residency Program Administrator: Rachel Liston, PGEgensurg@lhsc.on.ca

Division Administrator: Christine Bruckschwaiger, christine.bruckschwaiger@lhsc.on.ca

Resident Representative for CAGS: Linda Chang Qu, PGY-3 chang.qu@gmail.com

About Our Program

The General Surgery program at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, is unique in that it has the combination of a relatively small program with a high case volume due to the large patient catchment area. General surgery residents here are a tight knit group, both amongst their cohort year and with the rest of the program. We get to know our faculty early on in training, which helps build a close and collegial relationship as we progress through the program. Residents have early operative exposure as juniors, and are given a significant amount of autonomy as seniors, which makes each resident well-prepared to enter practise as soon as they graduate. Overall, our program structure is sufficiently flexible such that it gives each resident the ability to direct training towards their own career objectives, whether that may be academic or community based surgery.

Other Information

CIP/SSP: Master of Surgery – 1 year

Fellowships offered:

  • Transplant
  • MIS & Robotics
  • Breast

Medical Student Info Sessions

More Information: https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/generalsurgery/about_us/events.html

General Surgery Interest Nights

Presented by: CAGS Resident Committee

Sessions for: Western Canada, Eastern Canada, Ontario and Quebec