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Operative Experience

The core of general surgery training is the operating room. The operative training at Saint Louis University School of Medicine is based on an appropriate progression of pre/post-operative decision making, case volume, and intra-operative autonomy. Residents see an increase in all these areas as they move through their years of training.

Our graduates have no problems meeting the required 250 major and minor cases by the end of PGY-2 year, or the 850 major cases required at the completion of their chief year. PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents are frequently the sole resident in year-appropriate cases. The opportunity for junior residents to double scrub into more complex cases allows for advanced learning and participation in aspects of the procedure. Within the surgical department, there are fellowships in Pediatric Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care. The low number of surgical fellowships relative to other academic institutions allows for chief residents to have the full depth of operative experience. 

Below are the operative totals of the Class of 2026 from the first two years of their training, counting only major cases:

  • Resident 1: 359
  • Resident 2: 374
  • Resident 3: 478
  • Resident 4: 332
  • Resident 5: 377

Average: 384

Below are the average number of cases performed by graduating chiefs since the program was expanded to five residents. No resident has graduated with less than 1,000 cases. This number includes major cases, minor cases, endoscopy, and all logged procedures:

  • 2016: 1,220
  • 2017: 1,297
  • 2018: 1,283
  • 2019: 1,426
  • 2020: 1,180
  • 2021: 1,359

View Examples of Operative Experience by PGY Year, Academic Year 2020-2021