General Surgery Residency Training Program
Thank you for your interest in the General Surgery Residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center! We are extremely proud of our institution, our mission, and the residents we train.
Harbor-UCLA is a county funded academic medical center located in the southwestern part of Los Angeles. We are the second busiest Level 1 Trauma Center in LA and serve a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic patient population. Faculty and residents alike are honored to “provide high quality, patient-centered care to the residents of Los Angeles County regardless of ability to pay.”
The General Surgery Residency places tremendous emphasis on resident education with our main objective to train highly competent and compassionate surgeons. We have a comprehensive didactic program and skills lab designed to complement a robust clinical experience. Weekly M&M conferences, a bimonthly faculty-administered ABSITE review session, journal clubs, and mock orals are just a few of the highlights.
The County hospital environment develops appropriate resident autonomy under the supervision of academic faculty. Our residents obtain a rich and early operative experience. The Chief residents graduate with an average of 1100-1200 cases each (national average is 900 cases), and the expectation is that senior residents serve as teaching assistants to the junior residents. Training residents to be independent surgeons in both clinical decision making and operative technique is our goal.
The resident clinical experience is augmented by important affiliations with surrounding hospitals including: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (pediatric surgery), UCLA Ronald Regan Hospital (solid organ transplant and endocrine surgery), University of Southern California (burn surgery), City of Hope Medical Center (surgical oncology), and Kaiser Permanente (general surgery). That being said, all major surgical subspecialties are represented at Harbor-UCLA.
Harbor boasts a well-rounded, dedicated faculty of full time academicians, each appointed by the UCLA School of Medicine. The majority of our surgical services (MIS, pediatric surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and surgical oncology) do not have fellows, so there is no competition for resident cases. Finally, we are one of the few County hospitals in the US to have two da Vinci robots and have an organized curriculum for resident training.
Resident research is an expectation between the 3rd and 4th year of training and sponsored by the institution. Last year’s graduating residents were involved in an average of 8 peer-reviewed publications, and all participated in presentations at local and national meetings. An annual resident research competition allows each resident to showcase their work to the department.
Harbor’s combination of outstanding hands-on training and research experience has translated into great success in placing our chief residents into top-notch fellowships. In the past 7 years, over 90% of our chief residents have chosen to pursue fellowship training programs and all have matched (including Pediatric Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Trauma/Critical Care, Vascular, Colorectal, MIS, Cardiothoracic, and Plastic Surgery). Over a third have gone on to academic careers.
We are most proud of the exceptional quality of our residents — from entering, aspiring surgeons to accomplished, graduating Chiefs. All share a strong work ethic and commitment to taking care of any patient in need. It is our honor to lead this program and will continue to work to uphold our standard of excellence in surgical training.