General Surgery

The residency program in general surgery is coordinated through the Postgraduate Residency Committee in Surgery as part of the integrated program of the McGill University teaching hospitals. Residents rotate through the main adult teaching hospitals (Royal Victoria, Montreal General, and Sir M.B. Davis - Jewish General Hospitals), the Montreal Children's Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital and one or more of the affiliated hospitals. The program is five years in duration, with progressive graded responsibility with each year of clinical training. The PGY3 year is a flexible year (see below) designed to meet the ultimate career needs of the individual resident.

First and Second Year Residents

The first two years of residency are concerned with core training. In these years, the emphasis is on the Principles of Surgery. During the first two years of residency, the program provides a core of broad surgical exposure for individuals who intend to pursue advanced training in general surgery. This involves a didactic lecture program, clinical rotations, and surgical technique laboratories. Appointments to the first year of residency in surgery are made through CaRMS after successful completion of the final year of medical school.

 During the core years, residents rotate through the following disciplines:

Compulsory rotations:

General Surgery             (12 periods)
Trauma                          (2 periods)
Surgical Endoscopy        (2 periods)
Cardiac Surgery              (1 period)
Thoracic Surgery             (1 period)
Pediatric Surgery            (2 periods)
Surgical ICU                   (3 periods)
Vascular Surgery            (2 periods)
Elective                          (1 period)

Elective rotations:  1 period available during the core years.

Infectious Disease
Pediatric Surgery
Plastic Surgery
Radiology (not recognized by the American Board of Surgery)
Thoracic Surgery

The coordinator of the Surgical Foundations Program is Dr. Kenneth Shaw.

Third Year Residents

In the PGY3 year, trainees may elect to spend one year in surgical research on a clinical or basic science subject. Others may elect to pursue studies in surgical education or clinical epidemiology during that year. Another option is to design a "flexible" clinical year in order to provide increased exposure, at a senior level of responsibility, to rural general surgery or to surgical subspecialties, such as operative obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, or plastic surgery.

Current requirements for eligibility for the American Board of Surgery (ABS) require that a resident spend a minimum of 4 1/2 years in clinical rotations. Thus, a resident electing to do a year of research would not be board eligible by the current ABS requirements, although would comply with current requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Collège des médecins du Québec.

Surgeon-Scientist Program

Residents selected to enter the M.Sc. or Ph.D. track are provided personal support from non-government sources for the duration of their graduate studies.  This maintains dual eligibility for the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada and American Board of Surgery Certification.  Acceptance into the surgeon-scientist program is on a competitive basis.

Fourth and Fifth Year Residents

In the final two years of residency, residents are given increased autonomy in patient management. They direct the running of a surgical service, teach and supervise junior residents, and medical students. They are involved in the initial evaluation and management plans of patients seen in consultation in the emergency room and in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. They participate actively in most major surgical procedures.

Rotations in the PGY4 year include general surgery in rural hospitals in Montreal, affiliated community hospitals and teaching hospitals. In accordance with Government of Quebec regulations, residents are required to do 3 months of training in a rural hospital. In addition, rotations in vascular surgery and trauma are recommended.

In the PGY5 year, the resident will rotate as the most senior resident on a clinical teaching unit in an adult university teaching hospital in general or vascular surgery.

Requests for additional information should be directed to:

General Surgery Residency Program Office
c/o Dr Paola Fata, Program Director
Montreal General Hospital
1650 Cedar Avenue, L9.424
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1A4
Tel.: (514) 843-1532
Fax:  (514) 843-1503
Web site:

Except for American and contract posts, PGY-1 positions are offered through the CaRMS Match. Interviews are required and are held in January/February. Selection of applicants for interviews is based on academic performance, letters of recommendation, review of curriculum vitae, Dean's letter, and autobiographical letter. Interviews are offered to applicants with the most competitive applications. No position will be offered without an interview. The final decision for acceptance in the General Surgery Program is made by the Residency Program Committee after review of the file and interview scores.  Interviews can be arranged through Dr Fata's office at the Royal Victoria Hospital, (514) 842-1231 (31532).