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Educational Curriculum

Clinical and Scientific Surgery (CASS)

  • Photo CASS ConferenceThe required longitudinal didactic lectures are held on Friday mornings. This is considered protected time and residents are released from all clinical duties during the hours of 7-8:30 am each Friday. Breakfast is served.
  • The curriculum is designed to follow "This Week In SCORE". Lectures are delivered by faculty, incorporating strategies to target different learning preferences. Also included in CASS are a simulation curriculum with dedicated robotic training and mock high stakes in exams, complemented by learning plan development.

Grand Rounds

  • Residents are required to participate in a weekly Grand Rounds. The format of this conference varies between case discussions, debates, and invited speakers. This is a departmental conference, attended by all faculty, residents, and medical students. Topics cover priorities for the department and ACGME.
  • There are four named lectures (Wheeler, Bednarz, Ellinwood, and Cataldo Lectureships) and frequent visiting professors over the course of the academic year with state of the art lectures.
  • Quality Improvement Sessions, which house combined sessions with ED, GI, Anesthesia and Urology, are aimed at optimizing quality and the multidisciplinary approach to patient care.
  • The Resident Debate Series is held during Grand Rounds on a quarterly basis. The PGY4 and 5 residents debate each other on topics aligned to controversies in the various specialties.

Morbidity and Mortality

  • Morbidity & Mortality conference is held weekly. Attendance is required of all residents and faculty. During this meeting, the residents, with peer and faculty support, lead a discussion investigating a safety event and establishing counter-measures based on literature review.

Rotation Specific Education Sessions

Photo of Residents looking at monitor

  • Each individual rotation provides required conferences that are specialty-specific and led by an expert in that specialty. 
  • To provide additional opportunities for education in Systems-Based Practice and Patient Care, a Morning Report conference was instituted at the University Campus led by the Vice Chair of Education, Dr. Anne Larkin. The format includes structured case discussions and allows for resident self-assessment, complemented by evidence-based learning in real time in coordination with the library staff.

Educational Resources

  • Residents have access (remote and institutional) to all on-line texts and journals provided by the extensive medical library at the University of Massachusetts as well as other texts in the Department of Surgery Resident Library.
  • The resident offices at the Memorial Campus and the newly renovated university offices, are fully equipped with new computers as well as print and web based 24/7 access to resources.
  • Residents have 24 hour access to the Department of Surgery Simulation Center, which houses a complement of laparoscopic, endoscopic, and robotic trainers.
  • All conferences are held virtually. Taped sessions complement additional resources including lecture podcasts.

    Photo of Intern Knot Tying
      Intern Knot Tying

At the completion of the PGY-2 year, residents will have logged approximately 360 surgeon junior/first assistant cases (2016-2020).

Graduating Chiefs Case Volume

Graduation Year Average Major Cases
2016 924
2017 1050
2018 1262
2019 1217
2020 1205*
Rolling 5-year average 1132
*Expansion and pandemic