The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville

The Department of Surgery

General Surgery Residency Program


Brian J. Daley, MD, FACS
Program Director

Lauren Grimsley, MD
Chief Resident

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The graduate program in General Surgery is a five-year residency with six categorical positions in each year. The Department of Surgery's educational mission is to foster young surgeons into leadership positions in community practice as well as academic medicine. Departmental goals are:

To accomplish this, the program provides a didactic program of lectures and conferences based on the SCORE curriculum in the basic and clinical aspects of general surgery, the surgical specialties, and those aspects of other areas of medicine essential to the care of the surgical patient, in addition to a busy clinical experience.

Conferences and Lectures

The didactic program is a self-directed learning program in the basic sciences which includes a textbook review and online assessments; a weekly case presentation and Socratic discussion in Didactic Conference; weekly Morbidity and Mortality Conference; monthly Journal Club to discuss the current surgical literature; Resident Leadership Series is held quarterly and guest lecturers are invited to discuss topics relating to practice development and professionalism in a seminar format; and weekly Grand Rounds in which faculty or visiting professors present updates of various topics of interest germane to the practice of surgery. Each rotation also has specialty specific conferences - in which residents on that service are expected to attend and to participate.

Conference Schedule






7 a.m. Resident Meeting (1st Monday of each month)

7 a.m. Morbidity and Mortality

7 a.m. Trauma QI Conference**

7 a.m. Grand Rounds (September - May)

7 a.m. Breast Conference**


7 a.m. QI/PI Conference (2nd Tuesday of each month)

7:30 a.m. Oncology Conference**

5:30 p.m. Resident Leadership Series (quarterly)

7 a.m. Junior Resident Conference* (3rd & 4th Friday, July - November


8 a.m. Basic Science Conference

8 a.m. Clinical Cancer Conference (4th Wednesday of each month)**

6:30 p.m. Journal Club (3rd Thursday of each month, 8 months)

7:30 a.m. Vascular Conference**

*Times subject to change

9 a.m. Case Presentations or Simulation




Specialty Conferences

There are vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, oncologic surgery, breast conferences and Trauma PI on a weekly basis, in addition the trauma service has a daily case review discussion among faculty attendings and resident staff. The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine sponsors the Foundational Curriculum which is required of all new residents. The conference focuses on each of the six ACGME competencies.

The importance given to the didactic program by the faculty is evidenced by the fact that residents are excused from all activities except absolute emergencies to attend conferences.

The Learning Environment

The atmosphere of the department is one of dedication to the residents' education. There are 45 full time faculty members in cardiothoracic, general, plastic and reconstructive, vascular, oncology, trauma and critical care, and surgical rehabilitation. Other subspecialty surgical services are staffed by clinical faculty who participate in the educational programs. In general surgery, the residents are assigned to one of these teams with four to five faculty members on each team. These teams hold preoperative and postoperative clinic hours together, operate together at scheduled times, and thereby assure the residents continuity of care. On the other services, the residents work closely with the faculty attendings on a daily basis, involving themselves in all aspects of the patients' care.

Broad Exposure

Because there are limited fellowship programs, the general surgery resident truly has a broad exposure to general surgery, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, and the subspecialties.


Residents are evaluated on a regular basis at the conclusion of each rotation utilizing MedHub. Semiannual feedback is provided by the program director. Each resident has a faculty advisor who serves as his or her "ombudsman," meeting with the resident regularly and encouraging him or her to identify problem areas that the advisor can help resolve early in their evolution. Chief residents attend and contribute to faculty meetings, and residents are included on departmental retreats where they are encouraged to suggest opportunities for improvement in the residency. The program director meets monthly with all of the residents to discuss problems or opportunities for improvement in the program. Residents are asked to evaluate faculty and service at the end of each rotation as well as yearly program evaluations.



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