Overview of the Specialty

General surgeons are trained to manage a broad spectrum of diseases and injuries to almost any area of the body which requires surgery. These physicians are involved in diagnosis and treatment as well as pre-, intra- and post-operative care. They are usually responsible for the comprehensive management of trauma and critical care patients as well. Although its scope is broad, general surgery usually involves the abdomen, breasts, peripheral vasculature, skin and neck. General surgeons today in the United States only rarely perform complex neurologic, orthopaedic, thoracic or urologic procedures.

At a Glance


  • 4-5 years of residency
  • Categorical and advanced positions available

These are minimum requirements. Some programs may have longer residencies.


Breast Surgery1 year
Cardiothoracic Surgery2-3 years
Colorectal Surgery1 year
Critical Care Medicine1-2  years
Hand Surgery1 year
Minimally Invasive Surgery1 year
Pediatric Surgery1-2 years
Surgical Critical Care1 year
Surgical Oncology1-2 years
Transplant Surgery1-2 years
Vascular Surgery1-2 years


Median, Academic Salary$358,000
Median, Clinical Salary$383,000

Source: Association of American Medical Colleges

Training Requirements

Training consists of a minimum of five years of postgraduate education in general surgery training in an ACGME-accredited general surgery residency training program (this training may be reduced to four years in select training programs for those pursuing certain fellowships). There are 258 general surgery residency training programs accredited by the ACGME for 2015-16. In 2015, the NRMP offered 1,224 categorical positions in General Surgery (see table). Here is an online guide through the American College of Surgeons to choosing a surgical residency.

Matching Program Information and Match Statistics

General surgery residency training programs participate in the NRMP. Match results through the NRMP and competitiveness information for general surgery residency training positions are summarized in the U.S. Match Statistics table below.

US Match Statistics





# Categorical/ Advanced positions available for U.S. Seniors1224120511851146
% U.S. Seniors matched*92%91%89%91%
# Unfilled Categorical/ Advanced Positions2753
# Unmatched U.S. seniors66688671

Source: NRMP Match results for U.S. seniors applying in a single specialty. *Competitiveness is based upon the percentage of U.S. Seniors who ranked each specialty as their only choice.

WUSM Match Statistics

For a list of WUSM match statistics for the past several years, please visit Search for WUSM Statistics. (password protected)

Subspecialty/Fellowship Training

Subspecialty/fellowship training following completion of general surgery residency training program is available in colorectal surgery, minimally invasive surgery, surgical oncology (also including hepatobiliary surgery, endocrine surgery, and/or breast oncology), transplant, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, burn surgery, acute care surgery, surgical critical care, trauma, and cardiac or thoracic surgery. Detailed information about the scope of these subspecialty training programs, number of positions offered, and length of training is available at the FREIDA website.

Visit AMA website »
Visit FREIDA website »

Career Information

FREIDA physician workforce information for each specialty includes statistical information on the number of positions/programs for residency training, resident work hours, resident work environment and compensation, employment status upon completion of program and work environment for those entering practice in each specialty.

Washington University Resources

Faculty Contacts

General Surgery/Acute and Critical Care Surgery

Kareem Husain, MD362-9342
John Kirby, MD747-1272

General Surgery/Colorectal

Elisa Birnbaum, MD454-7182
Steven Hunt, MD454-8331
Sean Glasgow, MD454-7177
Matthew Mutch, MD454-7177
Paul Wise, MD362-8028

General Surgery/Hepatobiliary Pancreatic

Ryan Fields, MD362-8028

General Surgery / Minimally Invasive (MIS)

L. Michael Brunt, MD454-7234
Michael Awad, MD, PhD362-7122

General Surgery/Surgical Oncology and Endocrinology

Rebecca Aft, MD747-0063

General Surgery/Transplant Surgery

William Chapman, MD362-7792
Majella Doyle, MD362-2880
Jason Wellen, MD, MBA747-1393
Surendra Shenoy, MD362-4338

General Surgery/Vascular

Jeffrey Jim, MD, MPHS, FACS362-7145
Luis Sanchez, MD362-7408

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Traves Crabtree, MD362-8089
Ralph Damiano, MD362-7327
Pirooz Eghtesady, MD454-6165
Bryan Meyers, MD362-8598
Daniel Kreisel, MD362-6021
Alexander (Sasha) Krupnick, MD362-9181
Jennifer Lawton, MD362-2821
Alec Patterson, MD362-6025

Pediatric Surgery

Kathryn Bernabe, MD454-6066
Brad Warner, MD454-6022

National Organizations