Five Hospitals, Endless Opportunities
The diversity of the Saint Louis University general surgery training is made possible by our partner facilities. Each site allows for a unique patient population and practice environment. Residents experience all settings of general surgery practice including tertiary care, large private practice, Veterans Affairs, pediatric care and small private practice.
All five years of the program incorporate multiple training locations. The PGY-1 and PGY-4 years are heavily based at SLU Hospital, while the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years are focused on rotating at other facilities. A balanced PGY-5 year allows graduating chiefs to sharpen all of their surgical skills. Here is the average amount of time spent at each site:
- SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital: Thirty-four months
- Mercy Hospital Saint Louis: Nine months
- SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital: Two months
- SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital: Six months
- VA Saint Louis Healthcare System - John Cochran Division: Nine months
Further information is included about each site below:
SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is a 356-bed, tertiary-care hospital and referral center, serving the population within a 150-mile radius of St. Louis. This is the primary training location for the General Surgery Residency. It is the flagship hospital for the SSM Health system and has a broad referral base. The hospital’s mission allows it to provide care for a vastly underserved patient population. The old portion of the hospital was initially built in 1933 and expanded in 1988. The new Saint Louis University Hospital opened in September of 2020.
The hospital is a certified Level I trauma center in both Missouri and Illinois. The amount of training time at SLU Hospital varies between three-nine months per year. Residents at SLU rotate through Acute Care, Transplant, Vascular, Surgical Oncology/Colorectal, Breast/Thoracic, Trauma, Night Float, and ICU rotations. It is here that residents experience high acuity, tertiary care academic surgery. Medically complex patients with complex surgical problems enable surgical residents to take part in one-of-a-kind cases. Additionally, there are a variety of routine general surgical procedures on complex patients, as well as a high volume of penetrating traumatic injuries. SLU allows general surgery residents to work with a full complement of residents from various specialties.
Mercy Hospital is a 1,252 bed private hospital located in Creve Coeur, Missouri, 12.5 miles from SLU Hospital. It is a high-volume medical center including an integrated pediatric hospital, heart hospital, and adult and pediatric medicine and surgery. Residents rotate here during their PGY-2 year on Burn Surgery, and during their PGY-3, PGY-4, and PGY-5 years on the combined Trauma and Acute Care Surgery service. This allows residents to experience private practice surgery full-on, working with a variety of experienced faculty on a full range of surgical cases. This includes fundamental general surgery cases, complex acute care surgical problems, critical care, and blunt and penetrating trauma. Additionally, residents can work alongside surgeons in other fields, such as bariatrics, otolaryngology, pediatrics, and breast surgery in order to broaden their experience.
Residents see a wide variety of pathology including burn, pediatric, obstetric and geriatric patients. The PGY-2 Burn rotation allows residents to learn burn critical care alongside plastic surgery trained burn surgeons, as well as perform numerous skin grafting and other procedures. PGY-3 through PGY-5 residents function with increasing autonomy on 24-hour call under faculty supervision. Additionally, Mercy provides its own didactic program designed to enrich residents’ surgical education, as well as providing training in the financial and business aspects of private practice surgery.
SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital is a 525 bed, semi-private hospital located in Richmond Heights, Missouri, 4.5 miles from SLU Hospital. It is the home of SLU’s OB/GYN and Family Practice residency programs. General surgery residents rotate at St. Mary’s during their PGY-2 year. They work with SLU faculty, alongside SSM private surgeons, to provide general surgical care.
This is a unique experience, as the second year resident functions independently from SLU, and is the only general surgery resident rotating at St. Mary’s. This allows for a robust surgical and clinical experience in more “bread and butter” General Surgery. Residents at this location take home call and experience private practice.
SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is a 195-bed pediatric tertiary care center adjacent to SLU Hospital. It holds a Level I pediatric trauma accreditation with an associated Level IV NICU. It has a full range of pediatric subspecialties and is home to the Pediatrics residency program.
General Surgery residents spend approximately six months at Cardinal Glennon during the first and third years of training. This encompasses both a call and night-float system. Residents rotate on the Pediatric Surgery service, which contains the fields of pediatric general, thoracic, and trauma surgery. This experience includes participating in a variety of cases from pediatric hernias and appendicitis to complex hepatobiliary and neonatal procedures. This, as well as a busy trauma experience, allows for a strong experience in the treatment of pediatric patients. The clinic allows residents to see the progression from the office to the operating room. Both PGY-1 and PGY-3 residents participate in and perform a variety of simple and complex cases. Cardinal Glennon also serves as a base of available research projects.
The John Cochran Veteran’s Affair Hospital is the tertiary care VA hospital for the region. Located 1.8 miles from SLU, it serves the military veterans of Saint Louis and the surrounding area. Residents rotate here during their PGY-2, PGY-3, and PGY-5 years. Here, SLU residents work alongside the residents of Washington University in St. Louis. Surgical care for the VA population is a combined effort among the two universities. Residents from both programs share call responsibilities as well as collaborate in taking care of patients with faculty from both programs. SLU residents also perform cases with surgical faculty from WashU, allowing a diversity of training and experience. There is a single VA SLU Surgery service that encompasses general, vascular, colorectal, and surgical oncology. PGY-2 residents cover in-house call and function under chief resident and faculty oversight. PGY-3 residents broaden their surgical and clinical skills, especially in the field of vascular surgery. They are introduced to chief-level call responsibilities on weekends. PGY-5 residents are the leader of their service and perform teaching cases to mentor PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents in the operating room.