The PGY 1 & 2 Years

The emphasis during the junior surgical residency is the primary care of the surgical patient. The junior surgical residents are directly responsible for preoperative and postoperative care, with progressive operative responsibilities.

Patient care is supervised by the more senior resident staff and the attending staff, which allows the junior surgical resident to take on the responsibilities of primary patient care in an atmosphere that fosters constant learning from more experienced surgical personnel. The junior resident becomes familiar with physiological and metabolic problems that face each surgical patient Significant operative experience is obtained under the direct supervision of senior residents and attending surgeons.

During the first year of training, resident rotations are 2-6 weeks long. The rotations include general surgery, surgical oncology, trauma surgery, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and care of the burned patient. Sample Rotation Schedule

During the second year, the resident continues preoperative and postoperative care, and in addition, takes on even more operative responsibilities. Additional exposure to plastics, orthopedics, urology, otolaryngology and neurosurgery is obtained while rotating at Jamaica Hospital.

Rotations as the general surgery consult resident provide the junior resident with the opportunity to evaluate surgical patients de novo and gain further experience with acute care surgery.

The hallmark of the junior surgical residents training is a command of basic and intensive care of the surgical patient. Residents in the preliminary track are integrated fully into the junior surgical residency, with variations in their rotation schedules to complement their area of concentration.

The PGY 3 Year

The focus of experiences gained during this year is on the development of advanced surgical judgment in and out of the operating room. The transition from junior resident to chief resident is developed during this year, as the senior resident assumes major responsibility for the day-to-day activities of the surgical inpatients, directly supervising the junior resident staff. Advanced elective and emergency surgery are performed by the third-year resident on the general and trauma service. 

The PGY 4 & 5 Years

The chief resident hones his/her surgical judgment and skill during these years but also assumes many other primary responsibilities. These include the supervision of junior and senior surgical residents in the overall care of surgical patients and the direct instruction of medical students and physician assistants assigned to their services.

In the operating room, the Chief Resident becomes skilled with most general surgical procedures, gaining experience in the more complex surgical procedures and is involved in the operative teaching of junior residents.

The fourth-year resident serves as the Chief Resident on the pediatric and transplantation service at NewYork-Presbyterian, as well as the general and trauma services at Jamaica Hospital. The fourth-year resident also serves as the primary operating fellow on the breast, head and neck, and thoracic surgical services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Learn more about our training hospitals.

During the fifth year, the Chief Resident role continues on the general, vascular, and trauma services at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The fifth-year resident also serves as the primary operating fellow on the gastric, mixed tumor, and colorectal surgical services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 

Advanced elective time is available during the fourth year in gastrointestinal endoscopy, plastic surgery, and cardiac surgery.

The Chair of the Department of Surgery designates two Administrative Chief Residents from the group of fifth year Chief Residents. The Administrative Chief Residents are responsible for assisting the Chair and the Program Director in the overall administration of the division relative to the surgical residency and medical student clerkships.

Find a Physician

Surgical Services
Weill Cornell Medicine Surgery

Visit our Surgery YouTube channel to view our video library.