Resident Education & Curriculum

Protected Time Policy

Tuesday morning Protected Time Policy for all sites

Just a reminder, the goal is to provide the residents with protected time to focus on their learning. 

Expected core course attendance is 80%. This is to allow residents to prioritize their needs. If there is a high-value OR case happening and the core course topic is something the resident feels comfortable with (and maybe done well on the topic in ABSITE), then they can scrub on the case. But the decision is up to the residents and we should not expect residents to scrub on cases during Tuesday protected education time.

When residents are on services, faculty should make arrangmeents for them to be free from all clinical work from 6:45 am until 11:00 am.  it would be helpful to have APPs cover the intern pagers.   

These arrangements will allow them to attend their mandatory educational sessions and fully engage in their educational experience without having to step out of class to return pages, etc.

Attendance Policy

Which resident is required to attend Core Course (Didactics) and Surgical Skills sessions is dependent on the resident category, which is defined as follows:

·       Categorical general surgery residents

·       Preliminary residents interested in going into general surgery

·       Preliminary residents going into another specialty (e.g. anesthesia, interventional radiology)

·       Subspecialty residents who are part of a Stanford surgical subspecialty residency program (e.g. ENT, ortho, plastic, urology, vascular surgery)


1.     Core Course (Didactics) is required for all categorical general surgery residents and preliminary residents who are interested in going into general surgery (>80% attendance).

2.     Subspecialty residents who are to attend their own conferences are NOT to attend Core Course (see below “Didactic Schedule for Residents”).  They can only choose one education session per week.

3.     Preliminary residents going into another specialty are not required to attend Core Course; it is optional.


1.     Surgical Skills is required for all categorical general surgery residents and preliminary residents who are interested in going into general surgery (100% attendance; exceptions will be grants on a case by case basis.  Residents are to notify Dr. Spain if he or she cannot attend.

2.     Subspecialty residents and preliminary residents going into another specialty are required to attend all training and VOP testing sessions that have been mandated by their respective program directors (see below “Resident Skills Proficiency Requirements by Specialty”).  This holds true even if residents are on a non-general surgery rotation for that particular month.  Respective program directors will be notified of any failure to complete the training and testing sessions.

Didactic Schedule for Residents By Specialty

Specialty Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

3rd Tuesday

12:00 PM-5:00 PM

CT Surgery 6:00AM-8:30AM        
ENT 7:15 AM-10:00 AM        
General Surgery  7:00 AM-8:00 AM M&M 6:45 AM-11:00 AM      
Ophthalmology       7:00 AM-12:00 PM  
Orthopaedic Surgery    

6:30 AM-9:30 AM mid-Sept to end of June

6:30 AM to 12:30 PM (all other months)

Plastic Surgery   3:00 PM-7:00 PM      

Mondays (through Nov):

5:30 PM-7:00 PM



4th Fridays, 7:30 AM-10:30AM


Vascular Surgery 7:00 AM -9:30 AM   6:00 PM-7:00 PM    

Core Curriculum for General Surgery

-Faculty led sessions

-Interactive and case based

The Core Curriculum in General Surgery is designed to provide residents with a strong knowledge base in the fundamentals of diagnosis and treatment of surgical diseases.  The weekly 60-minute Core Course covers subject areas based on the SCORE general surgery curriculum.  Stanford and Stanford-affiliate faculty instructors lead sessions based on their respective areas of expertise.  While the sessions often include a didactics component, the Core Course is designed to be interactive with an emphasis on case-based oral-boards style questioning.

The Residency Program subsidizes access to The Surgical Council on Residency Education (SCORE) Portal, which provides a comprehensive curricular outline, learning modules, and a question bank covering essential topics for those training in general surgery.  Residents are encouraged to utilize the SCORE Portal as a primary educational resource throughout their years of surgical training.

Residency Two-Year Core Course Curriculum

Surgical Skills Curriculum

  • Weekly simulation-based skills sessions on Tuesday mornings
  • Led by faculty and educational fellows
  • PGY-based curriculum

Technical skills acquisition and refinement are an important area of surgical education that is formalized in a separate curriculum alongside the knowledge-based Core Course sessions. The Goodman Surgical Education Center (GSEC) and the Anatomy Bio-Skills Laboratory house the skills and simulation program and are accredited by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Educational Institute. The skills curriculum is based on the ACS/APDS (Association of Program Directors in Surgery) Surgery Skills Curriculum for Residents.

The skills modules are based on PGY level and entails faculty-led instruction, individualized formative feedback, and assessment of skills proficiency.  Verification of proficiency testing is conducted to ensure that residents are progressing well in mastering essential core general surgical skills.  The curriculum also features exported certificate courses such as the American College of Surgeons Basic and Advanced Ultrasound courses, preparatory training for the ABS-required Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery and Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery exams, a robotic surgery curriculum sponsored by Intuitive Surgical, and cadaver courses.




Resident Skills Proficiency Requirements by Specialty

  GS Categorical GS Preliminary Anesthesia CT Surgery  ENT IR Ophtha Ortho Plastics Urology Vascular
ATLS X                    
Basic Open Surgical Skills X X X X X X X X X X X
Central Line Insertion X X X X X X     X X X
Informed Consent X X X X X X X X X X X
Hand offs X X X X X X X X X X X
Robotic Surgery Training  X X   X           X  
ACS Basic Ultrasound X X                  
ACS Focused ECHO / ICU Ultrasound X X                  
Bowel Anatomosis X                   X
FES X                    
FLS X                    
ASSET X                    
Open Vascular Surgical Skills X     X     X (training only)   X (training only) X (training only) X
Mock Orals X                    

Links for specific required skills, courses, & exams

For specific information regarding the specific required skills courses and assessments, see the links below:

·      BLS, ACLS, ATLS 

·      Central Line Insertion

·      Suturing and Knot-Tying

·      ACS Basic Ultrasound Course

·      ACS Advanced Ultrasound Course

·      Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES)

·      Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS)

·      Bowel Anastomosis

·      ASSET Course

·      Open Vascular Skills

·      Mock Oral Exams

·      Robotic Surgery Training and Certificate Curriculum