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Program Director's Welcome

Welcome to the Phoenix Integrated Surgical Residency Program, a program dedicated to training the next generation of high quality respected general surgeons. As the program director, my responsibility is to ensure that we achieve our goals through a comprehensive educational curriculum that empowers residents to reach their full potential. We want our residents to succeed and to be proud of the qualities they display.

The program stresses the importance of a strong "general" general surgery education by exposing residents to a variety of patient populations and practice settings. Whether it is caring for Alaskan Natives who live remote from healthcare facilities or providing surgical interventions to patients who have options in choosing their surgeon, we believe that a well trained general surgeon should feel comfortable in any environment. Our residents rotate among hospitals in Phoenix including a tertiary/quaternary university affiliated hospital, several community hospitals, a Veteran Affairs hospital, and a pediatric hospital, as well as rotate to the primary surgical hospital for Alaskan Natives in Anchorage. This diverse exposure provides unparalleled experiences and operative opportunities. These experiences provide our residents with the confidence and skills they need to succeed in their future career. After all it doesn't matter whether a resident is going into private practice or obtaining additional fellowship training, their success is best accomplished by being trained during residency as an excellent "general" general surgeon.

As our residents advance through the program, they find the level of responsibility increases in direct proportion to their level of competence as perceived by myself and the surgical faculty. Residents are expected from the outset of their training to focus upon mastering the concepts needed for effective perioperative management of patients. To this end the initial junior resident conferences are designed to give residents the key aspects of patient care including what to anticipate and how to recognize and manage deviations from an anticipated course of recovery. As our residents move into the more senior years of residency, they are increasingly exposed to more advanced processes of patient care involving: making decisions relative to the indications and timing of a given operative procedure, planning the conduct of an operation, and intraoperative decision making. Our senior level educational conferences are designed to enhance the resident's learning and emphasize not only knowledge acquisition but also knowledge application.

Our residents are expected to take ownership of their patients, to learn proper delegation of responsibility to junior residents and students, and to pass down their knowledge by educating and teaching other residents and medical students. Throughout a resident’s tenure within our training program, they are accorded ample operating room privileges in direct concert with the technical skills they bring to the table and their understanding of the proper conduct of a given procedure. Through ownership and commitment to excellence in patient care and their own education, residents gain experiences that build expertise and confidence.

Fundamental to the successful transition through our training program is that a resident ascribe to the team approach in fulfilling the duties of clinical service, continuity of patient care, and education. This should not be interpreted as minimizing the essential characteristics of integrity, commitment, and responsibility that must be demonstrated by an individual resident but rather emphasizing the importance of good interpersonal skills, communication, and responsibility to others that are so critical to providing excellent patient care. Our residents develop a close relationship with the attending faculty that facilitates their learning and "professionalism". We expect the more senior level residents will aid their junior trainees in acquiring and enhancing their skills, and that work assignments will be distributed among house officers in a more horizontal (e.g. across the residency) rather than vertical (e.g. upper level resident to lower level resident) fashion. For it is this precise type of organizational structure that enables residents to manage their inpatient responsibilities and attend appropriate outpatient clinics as well as educational conferences within established work hour guidelines.

As you gain familiarity with this patient management system and educational program, it is hoped that you will share our belief that continuity of patient care is, from both educational and practical viewpoints, crucial to the success of our discipline. We feel excellent patient care is best learned from a “hands-on” approach that is enhanced by a combination of commitment to self-learning by directed reading on your patients’ illnesses, dedication by faculty to teaching on rounds and in the operating room, and supported by a series of interactive conferences designed to give the resident a complete overview of the relevant clinical and scientific literature.

Please look around our website and learn more how we strive to provide the best surgical training for our residents. Our goal is to train our residents to have the characteristics and qualities of the type of surgeon they would want taking care of their loved ones. It all becomes very straight-forward after that.

Steven B. Johnson, MD, FACS, FCCM
Program Director, Phoenix Integrated Surgical Residency Program
Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery
University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix

BDMC Banner Univ Medical Center BEMC
Phoenix VA UofA College of Medicine Phoenix Childrens Alaska Medical Center

Phoenix Integrated Surgical Residency
Banner University Medical Center - Phoenix Campus
925 East McDowell Road, Second Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85006

phone: 602.839.3339 | fax: 602.839.3300