Message from the Chair and the Program Director of Surgery Residency Program
Lynt B. Johnson, MD, MBA
Robert J. Coffey Professor and Chairman
Department of Surgery
Not too many residency programs can boast to have among the ranks of their alumni a President of the American College of Surgeons, a Chair of the American Board of Surgery and multiple Chairs of Departments and Division Chiefs. We are one of these programs. At MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, the goal of our General Surgery Training Program is two pronged: to train surgeons’ surgeons, surgeons that other surgeons entrust with their own family, and surgeons that will become the future leaders of American surgery. To achieve this goal, we espouse a training philosophy that is deeply rooted in the traditions of accountability and hard work yet creates a progressive, resident-centric atmosphere that enables the residents to transcend themselves into self-motivated leaders striving to fulfill their potential.
Resident education is the cornerstone of what we do. It is the focus of our program and a central tenet of our Department. In 2002, we were a pioneer program in adapting to the new environment of the Duty Hours Requirements by consolidating our education activities on one morning and protecting them from clinical activities. These weekly consolidated educational activities always include a faculty educator who together with two resident educators create an educational platform based on adult learning principles and rooted in basic surgical principles and evidence based medicine. Simulation is a cornerstone of our curriculum with bi-weekly sessions covering all aspects of surgical practice, including non technical skills like having difficult conversations with family and interdisciplinary collaborations with nursing and anesthesiology colleagues. We continue our innovations in Surgical Education as evidenced by the more than 10 IRB-sanctioned surgical education research projects within our Department. Our faculty’s dedication to teaching is consistently recognized in our annual residents’ survey. Our curriculum is integrated with the MedStar Georgetown Surgical Outcomes Research Center, giving our residents an exceptional exposure to methodology in health services and outcomes research as well as support from the MedStar Health Research Institute.
One of the unique characteristics of our program is that it is resident-centric. Our policy of shared governance, where all decisions regarding the program are made in conjunction with the residents, is a manifestation of our nurturing of the residents’ leadership skills. Our scheduling is flexible to accommodate the residents’ needs as far as pursuing non-clinical scholarly activities. We are creating learning societies in which residents from each level work together with faculty advisors to improve the program.
We are proud of our finished product, the residents we graduate. Our Boards passage rate has been excellent the last four years. The results from surveys of fellowship directors and graduated residents are consistently superior.
Developing young men and women to become surgeons’ surgeons and leaders of academic surgery requires identifying individuals with outstanding leadership skills, superb communication skills, a creative and innovative thought process, and a commitment to scholarly activity. If these traits speak to you, we encourage you to explore our program. We wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of an exciting career in surgery.
A. Alfred Chahine, MD
Residency Program Director
Department of Surgery
Department of Surgery Newsletter
The Cutting Edge newsletter is produced by the Department of Surgery and features updates on programs, research, faculty, outreach, and alumni.