American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

What Is a Surgical Resident?

A guide to surgical training and the surgical professionals who will take care of you

If you are facing an operation, a team of many medical professionals will be contributing to your care over the course of your surgical experience. Trainees—medical students and residents—may be part of that team. We want you and your family to understand who is assisting with your surgical care and the role that each person plays.

What is a surgical resident guide?Download our What Is a Surgical Resident? guide—provided by the American College of Surgeons Division of Education—to learn more about:

  • The surgical team
  • The role of the surgical resident
  • How a patient benefits from a surgical resident’s involvement in his or her care

Additional resources supporting the benefits residents provide to your care:

Resources for Patients

Is Surgery Safer at a Teaching Hospital? from U.S. News & World Report provides an overview of the benefits of receiving care at a teaching hospital.

Will I be operated on by a student at a teaching hospital? from Personal Health Navigator explains what a teaching hospital is.

The Benefits of Having Surgery at a Teaching Hospital from the University of Colorado outlines how residents in teaching hospitals benefit patients.

Scholarly Resources

Are Surgical Outcomes for Lung Cancer Resections Improved at Teaching Hospitals? from the Annals of Thoracic Surgery shows how overall mortality from lung cancer surgery is reduced in teaching hospitals compared to non-teaching hospitals.

The Influence of Resident Involvement on Surgical Outcomes from the Journal of the American College of Surgeons used ACS NSQIP data to show that resident intraoperative participation is associated with slightly higher morbidity rates but slightly decreased mortality rates across a wide variety of general and vascular surgery cases.

Impact of Resident Involvement in Surgery (IRIS-NSQIP): Looking at the Bigger Picture Based on the American College of Surgeons-NSQIP Database from the Journal of the American College of Surgeons uses ACS NSQIP to confirm that, across different subspecialties, resident involvement in surgery is associated with comparable morbidity and lower mortality outcomes.

Does implementing a general surgery residency program and resident involvement affect patient outcomes and increase care-associated charges? from the American Journal of Surgery shows how the institution of a general surgery residency program resulted in longer operative times, but no impact on patient outcomes.

Resident and Fellow Participation in Breast Surgery: An American College of Surgeons NSQIP Clinical Outcomes Analysis from the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shares study results how resident and fellow participation in breast surgery does not negatively affect early postoperative outcomes or complication rates.

Division of Education