General Surgery

General Surgery Residency Externships

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital offers 4-week externships in general surgery.

Application Process

  1. E-mail Kim Geller, at Do not contact your school for any documentation until you are actually approved for a rotation.
  2. Once e-mail is submitted, you can anticipate a response regarding whether or not you have been accepted for a surgery rotation within 10-15 working days.


  1. The surgery rotations are only available to students in their fourth year of medical school who are anticipating a career in surgery.
  2. A letter from the dean’s office of the medical school verifying that the student is currently in good standing and that the school covers the student with liability insurance while the student is doing an outside/away rotation.


Externs in General Surgery are assigned to the teaching service and work closely with the resident staff, particularly on inpatient care activities in the academic program. The Chief Resident in Surgery runs the teaching service under the supervision of the Director of Surgical Education.

  • Patient work-ups as assigned by the chief resident.
  • Scrubbing in on patients for whom work-ups have been done as well as other interesting operative procedures.
  • There are five teaching conferences with required attendance:
    • Wednesday morning: M & M, Surgical Grand Rounds, Resident Teaching Conference
    • Friday morning: Basic Science
  • The outpatient general surgical clinic is held twice weekly on Tuesdays. Externs attend these clinics and may also attend the gynecology and orthopedic clinics.
  • The emergency room is staffed full-time and is busy. Students see these patients with the residents.
  • Externs participate in morning and afternoon work rounds with the staff.


Housing is available free of charge, but is subject to availability. If housing is not available for the rotation dates requested, the extern must secure his or her own housing.


The SAGE Medical Library is an excellent medical library with free copying and computer privileges for residents and students.


Performance will be submitted to the dean of the extern's medical school following completion of the externship.