Program Overview

"From the interview to the very first day to a few months into residency, it has been clear that Michigan is invested in actively developing the residents into academic surgeons. Beyond that, the other residents are actively invested in each others' development making this program a fantastic place to train."

Ana De Roo, M.D., General Surgery Residency

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

Training Sites

Your training ground consists of the University of Michigan Medical Center — comprising an adult hospital, a children’s and women’s hospital, a cardiovascular center, and multiple outpatient surgery centers; and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, serving nearly 27,000 inpatients per year. All of these facilities — in addition to U-M’s Medical School and its Taubman Health Sciences Library — are located within a 1-mile radius, making traveling between buildings easy and convenient.

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 increase technical prowess through simulation-based training, and supplement your learning with online curricula and textbooks.

Residents are provided with an iPad Mini to facilitate easy access to educational resources, including multimedia and online training materials.

Research & Academic Opportunities

A unique attribute of our residency program is a protected span of 2 years to pursue research and other professional development — we call it Academic Development Time, or ADT.

Previous residents have participated in basic science, translational, and health services research; have completed secondary degrees at one of U-M’s other top-ranked professional schools, including the School of Public Health; and have pursued additional specialty clinical training, such as in surgical critical care. 

Surgical team in Ethiopia
Mary Sue Coleman shaking hands with representative from All India Institute of Medical Science
Dr. Mulholland and a group of surgeons discussing a display in China
Team of surgeons operating in Ethiopia

Global Health Opportunities

While contemporary academic surgical training is the finest in the world, the majority of residents' clinical experience occurs in the resource-rich environment of a tertiary care academic medical center or large high-quality community hospitals. Many of our current residents and faculty are keenly interested in issues of global health outcomes and policy. In sync with the global medical education collaboration platforms supported by the University of Michigan, we support international surgical training experiences for interested residents. We have established a surgical training collaboration with St. Paul's Hospital and Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. St. Paul's also has a surgical residency and we have been honored to assist them in expanding their educational programs and capabilities. Another growing collaboration is with the Surgery Department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India.

The goals of this experience are for the surgical resident to:

  • Acquire clinical and operative experience in a setting different than the University of Michigan
  • Encounter different pathology and treatment options
  • Experience, and contribute to, the dynamics of medical education in a different system
  • Experience living and working in a different cultural environment
  • Develop a sense of volunteerism and a global perspective of health and disease

"Prior to residency, I called Los Angeles home. The transition to the Midwest was made easier by the fact that Ann Arbor is so forward thinking and diverse. My co-residents all come from various walks of life and have become family. We embrace our diversity and have become better people both inside and outside of the hospital."

Vahagn C. Nikolian, M.D., General Surgery Residency

Resident Life

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. Please visit some of the links below to learn more about this vibrant and diverse community - Go Blue!

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 GME Office website.

Contact Us

Please contact the Department of Surgery Education Office with any questions.