Program Overview

Learn more about the unique clinical care, curriculum and research opportunities in the General Surgery Residency program, ranked #1 in the nation by Doximity.

Dr. Kwakye and Dr. Valbuena talking in conference room
Dr. Hughes and surgical team in the operating room
Dr. Raghavendran and general surgery trainees

The Michigan Medicine Department of Surgery trains the future leaders of surgery.

Learn more about how to apply and the surgical training experience at Michigan Medicine →

Clinical Experience

Our program emphasizes advancing to clinical independence while cementing key technical and didactic concepts through close guidance from faculty mentors. By your fifth year as a resident, you’ll act as chief on all services, leading the team in delivering clinical care, managing administrative tasks, and educating other trainees.

A typical training pathway consists of:

  • 3 years of junior clinical training
  • 2 years of time for academic development, including research
  • A final 2 years of senior resident clinical training

As a quaternary care center for the region, Michigan’s health care system offers a rare breadth of training experience with advanced specialty procedures and complex and interesting cases, as well as a high volume of “bread and butter” cases.


General surgery training requires master of a broad and deep collection of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. To develop these abilities, you’ll participate in multiple conferences to build a strong conceptual foundation that augments your self-study.

You’ll learn operative skills both in and out of the OR. Through Michigan Medicine’s multidisciplinary Clinical Simulation Center, you’ll complete proficiency-based curricula for open and laparoscopic surgical skills so you’ll be optimally prepared to keep learning in the operating room.

Research & Academic Opportunities

The Department of Surgery consistently ranks in the top five among surgery departments in the country for NIH funding, and you’ll find an amazing breadth and depth of research in our labs and research centers

Our residents have also been very successful in obtaining NIH loan repayment and funding through national surgical organizations such as the American College of Surgeons. In addition to obtaining funding, U-M residents have traveled extensively to present their work at academic conferences on both a local and national level. 

Academic Development Time

A unique attribute of our residency program is a protected span of 2 years to pursue research and other professional development called Academic Development Time (ADT). Most residents take this academic time after their third year of clinical training.

During your ADT, you’ll be paired with a primary mentor in your area of interest, who will also provide regular feedback. You will also have access to dedicated statistical support for resident-driven projects.

For residents interested in careers in academic surgery, this ADT period is invaluable in developing the skills in scholarship and grant preparation that you’ll need as a faculty member. 

Resident Life

The Department of Surgery created the Michigan Promise, a commitment to supporting a diverse and inclusive environment in which all individuals can achieve success. This commitment includes a variety of professional development opportunities, including a Resident Leadership Development Program, in addition to an emphasis on wellness.

Your training ground consists of the University of Michigan medical campus, which includes an adult hospital, a children’s and women’s hospital, a cardiovascular center, multiple outpatient surgery centers and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Our medical center serves nearly 27,000 inpatients per year. 

One of the best parts of training at the University of Michigan is the opportunity to live in Ann Arbor. University of Michigan is widely considered the country's finest public university and this influences many aspects of life in Ann Arbor.

Salary & Benefits

The University of Michigan offers highly competitive salaries and tremendous benefits to our residents/fellows. An overview of salary, benefits and employment eligibility is available on the University of Michigan Medical School website.