Greetings From The Program Director

On behalf of the faculty of the Department of Surgery at Stanford. Thank you for your interest in our General Surgery Training Program.

We strive to provide an unparalleled opportunity for bright and highly motivated individuals to broadly acquire the skills, knowledge, clinical training and additional resources to become future leaders in surgery.  Stanford has a long history of educating outstanding clinical surgeons beginning with our founding chair, Emile Holman, a Halsted-trained surgeon who served as Professor and Chair of the department from 1926 to 1955.  His tradition continues to this day.

Our residents get outstanding clinical training at Stanford Hospital and our affiliated training institutions, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, the Palo Alto VA, Santa Clara County Hospital, and Kaiser Santa Clara.  These institutions provide our residents with a broad and well-balanced exposure to all of the modes of practice that they may choose to practice in during their careers. Not only do our residents gain experience in a wide breadth of general surgery cases, they also participate in the extremely complex cases that are referred to Stanford Hospital.  Often their case logs reveal that they are in the 90th percentile nationwide for case numbers in complex surgical oncology, hepatic, biliary and pancreatic surgery.

 The Surgery Training Program is divided into two parts. The first two years, provide core training in surgical knowledge, care, and technical skills not only for the General Surgery residents, but also for those going on to train in surgical subspecialties such as orthopedics,  otolaryngology and plastic surgery as well as other specialties such as anesthesia or interventional radiology.

 The three years of senior general surgery residency training includes intense experiences in General Surgery, Trauma/Surgical Critical Care, Surgical Oncology, Endocrine Surgery, Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery, Bariatric Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Transplantation, Colorectal Surgery, and Pediatric Surgery. At the completion of the chief resident year, residents have performed well more than 1,000 operations and are well qualified to join an academic faculty in Surgery, enter the practice of General Surgery, or enter a fellowship.

As an integral part of a world-renowned research university, the Training Program provides an opportunities to integrate basic and applied research into our clinical training program in preparation for a career in academic surgery.  Therefore, individuals spend two years in a period of intense research, which we have termed Professional Development.  Beginning in the first year of clinical training discussions occur between categorical trainees and their mentors designed to culminate in the choice of a professional development plan.  The Professional Development time enables residents to distinguish themselves from the other 1200 surgery graduates every years.

 To achieve anything “insanely great” requires hard work, dedication, great teachers, a supportive environment, and perseverance. We in Stanford Surgery strive to provide trainees with the environment and tools to be great surgical leaders. 

On behalf of the entire faculty we appreciate your interest in Stanford and look forward to meeting you.


Marc L. Melcher, MD, PhD
Program Director