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General Surgery

Program director:  James McCormick, DO
Accreditation:  ACGME
Program length:
   Preliminary:  1 year (PGY1)
   Categorical:  5 years (PGY1-PGY5)
Residents per year:
   Preliminary:  8 to 10
   Categorical:  6 to 7
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About the Program

Thank you for your interest in our General Surgery Residency Program.

Our 5-year (categorical) academic program is strongly weighted in clinical experience. Over the past 5 years, about two thirds of our graduates chose to enter a fellowship program and one third started to practice general surgery following their residency training.

Please read more about our program and contact us with any questions:

Our organization and faculty strive to provide an outstanding training program and learning environment and we are proud that our graduates are prepared for leadership roles in high-quality academic and clinical programs across the nation.



Program Goals and Objectives

The primary goal of the General Surgery Residency Program of the Allegheny General Hospital - Western Pennsylvania Hospital Medical Education Consortium is to prepare the resident to function as an independent and highly competent practitioner of surgery who will become board-certified in the specialty of surgery.


To meet this goal, the guidelines provided by the Resident Review Committee for General Surgery are followed. All graduating residents must acquire the following six general competencies:

  • Patient care, including technical skill that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health
  • Medical knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care.
  • Practice-based learning and improvement that involves the constant investigation and evaluation of their own patient care and appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence to continue to improve patient care throughout their entire professional careers
  • Interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange and collaboration with patients, their families and other health professionals
  • Professionalism as manifested through a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles and sensitivity to diverse patient populations
  • System-based practice as manifested by actions that demonstrate an awareness of a responsiveness to the larger context and system of healthcare and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value


The attainment of all six competencies and particularly patient care will be evaluated and closely monitored by the surgical staff for all residents at all levels through all rotations.

Clinical knowledge base will be evaluated on all rotations by resident performance under close faculty supervision.

Satisfactory attainment of formal medical knowledge competency may be demonstrated by either scoring at the 30th percentile or above on the yearly American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE) or by completing a formal remediation program and passing an additional examination.



The curriculum of our General Surgery Residency Program offers a broad scope of didactic presentations and conferences and subspecialty rotations at a variety of facilities within and also outside our health system.

Our program is enhanced by offering the resident several areas of concentration, including the following:

  • Trauma and acute care surgery
  • Surgical critical care
  • Surgical oncology
  • Colon and rectal surgery
  • Vascular surgery
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Hepatobiliary surgery
  • Basic and advanced laparoscopic surgery

Surgical residents see patients in the surgical ambulatory care area and in faculty surgeons' private offices.


Our General Surgery Residency Program includes rotations at Allegheny General and West Penn hospitals in Pittsburgh, Forbes in Monroeville, Allegheny Valley in Natrona Heights, and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.  Surgical capabilities include:

  • Allegheny General Hospital - 23 main operating rooms and integrated minimally invasive suite, 4 specialized operating rooms, and 7 Ambulatory Surgery Center operating rooms; 24-bed surgical/trauma intensive care unit, 16-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit, and 19-bed neurosurgical intensive care unit. The hospital was first in the state to open a dedicated trauma ICU and is a Level I Regional Resource Center for Trauma that annually admits more than 2,000 patients to the Division of Trauma Surgery.  Our air ambulance service, LifeFlight, introduced in 1978, was the first aeromedical emergency transport system in the northeastern United States. Five LifeFlight helicopters transport more than 200 patients per month within a 150-mile radius of Pittsburgh.
  • Allegheny Valley Hospital is a critical healthcare resource for Alle-Kiski Valley communities.  The 228-bed hospital offers a broad spectrum of inpatient services, including medical and surgical services, inpatient psychiatric care and geriatric psychiatric care, cardiology, orthopaedics and cancer care, and outpatient care centers in New Kensington, Natrona Heights and Vandergrift.
  • Forbes is a 350-bed facility that logs 15,000 inpatient admissions, 12,000 surgeries, and nearly 50,000 emergency department visits annually.  It offers cardiovascular surgery and neurosurgery,  a new 38-bed emergency department and is a Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center. Forbes is seeking designation as the Pittsburgh area’s first Level 2 trauma center.
  • West Penn Hospital is an academic medical center that has been regionally and nationally recognized for excellence in nursing (first in the region designated Magnet by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and first redesignated, in 2012), bone marrow and cell transplantation (repeatedly FACT-accredited),  and reproductive medicine (including Level III NICU).  Its Emergency Medicine services include a completely renovated Emergency Department with 23 private patient treatment rooms and dedicated state-of-the-art X-ray room, computed tomography (CT) room and ultrasound equipment. West Penn Burn Center, including Burn Outpatient Clinic and Burn Outreach Coordinator, is the region's first burn center verified by the American Burn Association/American College of Surgeons Commission on Trauma and the only center in the region verified for care of both pediatric and adult burn patients.  West Penn's Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence has achieved HealthGrades recognitions many years in a row.


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