General Surgery Program Overview - Cottage Health

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General Surgery

Program Overview

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For more information about the General Surgery Residency Program, contact Cynthia Stoddard, Surgery Residency Coordinator.

Year One (R1)

The entire first year of training is based at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH). Emphasis is placed on pre- and post-operative care and the performance of operative procedures. R1 residents rotate through the general surgical services, and later in the year are exposed to surgical critical care. R1 residents gain substantial operative experience with most R1 residents completing approximately 250 cases by the end of the year.

Year Two (R2)

Second-year residents are assigned either to the general surgical services, Trauma/ICU service or vascular surgery. Emphasis is placed on increasing operative experience and caring for more critically ill and injured patients. One month is spent at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in transplantation.

Year Three (R3)

Third-year residents spend 10 months at SBCH, concentrating on general surgery, trauma, and surgical critical care, with increasing operative experience on more complex cases. Two months are spent at LA County-USC Hospital on the trauma service.

Year Four (R4)

The fourth year is spent on the general surgical, vascular, and specialty services at SBCH. Emphasis is on technical and cognitive proficiency and increasingly independent patient and operating responsibility. R4 residents have one elective month that may be done at SBCH or, if they choose, another institution.

Year Five (R5)

The entire fifth year of training is based at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH). The R5 or Chief Residency year is one of great responsibility. Chief residents assume overall clinical responsibility for pre-, intra-, and post-operative care in the surgical services at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Chief residents also have major administrative and teaching roles, in collaboration with the Director of Surgical Education. Leadership skills are also emphasized.

Program Details

About Cottage

Cottage is a tertiary referral center and major trauma center for the Central Coast of California. Surgical patients may be admitted to SBCH through the Santa Barbara County Health Care Centers Surgical Clinic, which is primarily run by the Cottage surgical residents. Patients are also admitted by surgeons on the SBCH teaching staff, who are either in private practice or come from one of the multi-specialty clinics in the area.

In addition, patients are admitted through the SBCH Level II Trauma Center and the emergency departments at all three Cottage Health hospitals. Approximately 14,000 operations are performed annually in the 14 inpatient operating rooms at SBCH, and 4,500 are performed in the outpatient surgical center. Cottage is noted for its outstanding patient care, superb support services, state-of-the-art technology, and excellent teaching environment.

County Clinics

Cottage maintains a close affiliation with the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health, which operates a network of clinics. The County surgery and surgical specialty clinics are staffed by residents from the program with the supervision of attending physicians. All County patients requiring hospitalization are admitted to SBCH, providing continuity of resident care.


Teaching Conferences and Rounds

Monday – Friday
0800 -- ICU Rounds (10:00 on Wednesday) for the Red Service
Every morning, the ICU resident presents all ICU patients. Attendance is mandatory unless in operating room or clinic.

Resident-run, County Surgery Clinic

0700-0800 -- Morbidity & Mortality Conference
The M&Ms for each week are presented.

0800-0900 -- Surgical Grand Rounds

First Wednesday of the month: Tumor Board
A multidisciplinary conference involving Surgery, Radiology, and Pathology. The assigned residents will present a case and discussion.

Last Wednesday of the month: GI Conference
An up-to-date evidence-based lecture on a topic involving the gastrointestinal system. The assigned residents will present a case and discussion.

0900-1000 -- Educational Lecture
Wednesday mornings are protected teaching times. The curriculum is a comprehensive review of basic and clinical surgical science. Lectures are given by surgical attendings, guest physicians and residents.

0700-0900 -- Basic Science Conference
Protected teaching time. Curriculum includes assigned readings from Greenfield, Cameron, and Mastery of Surgery. Lectures presented by resident, with oversight from surgical attendings.

Participatory and interactive resident education is emphasized throughout the program. Residents gain extensive experience in teaching, research, and group presentation. Residents completing this program have an exceptional record of achieving board certification. Upon completion of the program, a number of graduates have entered general surgical practice directly. The majority of the past decade’s graduates have elected to obtain further specialty training, and have successfully completed outstanding programs in trauma and critical care, thoracic, colorectal, plastic, and vascular surgery.