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General Surgery Residency – Message from the Program Leadership

With all of the surgery residencies available throughout the U.S., why should choose our program at Tufts Medical Center?

What makes Tufts Medical Center (Tufts MC) different from other surgical programs? Culture, programs/facilities, patient population, educational climate, training outcomes and location are among the characteristics you will consider in choosing a program. We believe that Tufts MC offers major strengths in each of these areas. 

Collegiality characterizes the culture of the Department of Surgery at Tufts MC. We are the smallest of the university-based residencies in Boston, and because of this, we can provide individual attention to each of our residents. 

You will never be just another cog in the machine at Tufts MC. Our size promotes closer working relationships between residents and faculty. Our non-hierarchical approach to teamwork and training facilitates communications between residents and faculty, while also improving the timeliness and quality of patient care and education. At Tufts MC, culture is not something we casually talk about. It is the core of who we are.

To ensure a more holistic approach to resident selection, we utilize SurgWise. This innovative platform creates customized structured selection criteria as well as standardized interview questions and interview evaluation techniques. Through this system, we hope to de-emphasize grades and board scores and emphasize character, motivation and "fit" (competency and value alignment) for our program. 

If you pass our minimum application criteria, you will be emailed an assessment survey designed to evaluate alignment with our expectations and values. Those deemed the best potential matches for our program will be invited to interview. To ensure receipt of the assessment, please add to your safe senders and contacts lists. We believe that using the assessment and structured interview will allow us to select those candidates most likely to thrive in the Tufts MC's surgery environment.

Despite our relatively small size, Tufts MC is home to many truly state-of-the-art programs and facilities. We have the busiest heart transplant and ventricular assist device program in New England. We are a Level I Trauma Center. We have innovative oncology programs with one of the largest and best-known peritoneal-based malignancies programs in the country. We have rapidly growing programs in robotic thoracic surgery, in oncoplastic surgery and in other new and rapidly evolving areas. We have state-of-the-art robotic and hybrid operating room facilities. 

The Tufts MC Department of Surgery also oversees a state-of-the-art animal lab. The Surgical and Interventional Research Lab (SIRL) is the home to cutting-edge device and technique development research featuring cooperative efforts among industry leaders and academicians.

At Tufts MC, we serve one of the most diverse patient populations in the country. Since our campus borders Boston's Chinatown neighborhood, we serve many Asian patients. But since we are also in the middle of the city, we see patients from Boston's entire ethnic, racial, socioeconomic and sexual orientation spectrum. Tufts MC's case mix index (a measure of the overall severity of illness of our patients) is the highest in the city, creating a training environment that is challenging and exciting.

Our resident educational curriculum has recently been revamped through resident and faculty-led efforts. We have a robust weekly didactic schedule emphasizing case-based study, encouraging learner engagement and a "flipped classroom" approach. We also incorporate a wide variety of surgical simulations within the curriculum to encourage the development of surgical skills beyond the operating room. 

Finally, we emphasize true formative feedback for our residents, especially around surgical procedures. The small size of our program, emphasis on positive faculty-resident interactions, and formative feedback encourage frequent post-operative debriefings, providing a unique level of coaching and mentorship for our surgical residents.

We are proud of the accomplishments of our residents! Our 2023 graduating chiefs moved on to fellowships in pediatric surgery at Toronto Sick Children's Hospital, as well as plastic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Lahey Health. These fellowships are typical of those pursued by our graduates over the past 20 years.

As you consider your options for training in surgery, we hope you will strongly consider applying to Tufts MC. We are committed to offering our trainees a robust, diverse, exciting, challenging and rewarding experience in a highly collegial environment.

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