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The general surgery residency program (Hamilton campus) is primarily based at three sites in Hamilton: St Joseph's Hospital (SJH), Hamilton General Hospital (HGH), and Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre (JHCC). All residents will train at all sites during the five-year residency. In addition, the Pediatric Surgery experience takes place at McMaster University Medical Center (MUMC).

Dr. Ilun Yang
Program Director

Katie Niblock
Program Coordinator


St. Joseph’s Hospital

CTU Director:  Dr. Nalin Amin

St Joseph's Hospital is a located in downtown Hamilton - 50 Charlton St. East

  • 11 General Surgeons
  • Acute Care Service, General Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Colorectal surgery, foregut surgery, Minimal Invasive Surgery, Bariatric Surgery, Endoscopy


Hamilton General Hospital

CTU Director:  Dr. Edward Passos

Hamilton General Hospital is located in the 'east' part of Hamilton - 237 Barton St. E

  • 8 General Surgeons
  • Trauma, Acute Care Surgery, General Surgery, Endoscopy


Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre

CTU Director: Dr. Jessica Bogach

The JHCC is located on the east mountain - 711 Concession Street

  • 13 General Surgeons
  • Acute Care Service, hepatobiliary surgery, colorectal surgery, Breast oncology, General Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Endoscopy


Community hospitals commonly involved in the Program

  • Oakville
  • Joseph Brant in Burlington
  • Brantford
  • Markham-Stouffville
  • MacKenzie Health
  • Kitchener-Waterloo
  • Collingwood
  • St. Catharines and Niagara
  • Credit Valley


Clinical Training Curriculum

The clinical training portion of the curriculum is organized by post-graduate years.


  • ​1 block of “rookie camp” (education sessions)
  • 1 block of Trauma
  • 1 block of Acute Care Surgery at HGH
  • 6 blocks of non-ACS general surgery at SJH and JHCC
  • 2 blocks of pediatric general surgery
  • 1 or 2 blocks of internal medicine or perioperative medicine
  • 1 block of ​emergency medicine (optional)



  • 3 blocks of acute care surgery at SJH or JHCC
  • 2 blocks of non-ACS general surgery at HGH
  • 2 blocks of non-ACS general surgery anywhere in Hamilton
  • 3 blocks of ICU
  • 3 blocks of Endoscopy



  • ​Up to 6 blocks of community or elective general surgery outside Hamilton
  • Up to 4 blocks non-general surgery surgical specialty (e.g., Vascular, Thoracic, Head and Neck, Urology, Plastics)
  • 2 blocks of breast oncology
  • 3 blocks of acute care surgery at SJH or JHCC
  • 1 block of acute care surgery at HGH
  • 1 block of Trauma
  • 4 to 6 blocks of general surgery anywhere in Hamilton
  • Up to 3 blocks of non-general surgery elective blocks, e.g., research, global health, non-surgical rotations


LAST 3 Blocks of year four + YEAR FIVE – THE “CHIEF YEAR”

  • 14 blocks of general surgery
  • 2 blocks of “transition to practice” clinical experiences



As part of the Competence by Design (CBD) model, residents receive feedback through work-based assessments using the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs). In addition, at the end of each general surgery rotation, each resident receives narrative feedback from each faculty on that rotation, through our Program’s custom End-of-rotation assessment forms. In PGY3-5, residents additionally receive feedback on their operative performance using the O-SCORE form.


Practice oral exams occur twice a year for all residents. These exams allow assessment of residents’ knowledge and oral exam skills, and feedback for residents.




This exam occurs each October and allows assessment of your knowledge



This occurs during the second year during the spring. Residents must apply for the Preliminary Assessment of Training one year prior to taking the Surgical Foundations exam. Detail can be found on the Royal College site.



General Surgery Grand Rounds, JHCC (4th Floor Lecture room) – Wednesdays @ 0730-0830. Rounds take place from September to June.

PGY1-2 Surgical Foundations Program - Wednesdays @ 0900-1200 - organized by Dr. Darren De Sa & Dr. Laura Nguyen. These sessions will help in preparation for the Surgical Foundations exam. PGY2 residents participate in thse sessions until the SF Royal College Exam, after which they participate in the GS teaching listed below.

PGY2-3 Teaching sessions - Wednesdays @ 0900-1100 

PGY4-5 Teaching sessions - ​Thursdays @ ​1500-1700H



  • PGY1 ATLS course
  • PGY2 Endoscopy Training Course
  • PGY1 Basic Laparoscopic (CMAS) Course
  • PGY3 Advanced Laparoscopic (CMAS) Course
  • PGY4-5 Abdominal Wall Reconstruction and Parastomal Hernia Course
  • PGY4 ATOM Course
  • PGY2-3 Crisis Management Resource Training



Several journal clubs are held throughout the year, guided and facilitated by residents and faculty.



General Surgery Resident Research Day is held annually.



Each resident is required to complete a minimum of two research projects by the end of the five years. Guidance will be provided by the Program’s Research Director, Dr. Elena Parvez, and other faculty. The research projects are expected to be presented at the annual Program Research Day.


Masters or Phd during residency training

Residents may have the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree, e.g., Masters or PhD during their residency training. This is typically done through a leave of absence that commences after completion of PGY2 or PGY3. Residents may compete for one of McMaster University’s six funded RCPSC Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) positions. Other non-CIP options for pursuing an advanced degree will also be considered.

It may also be possible for some residents to complete part-time degree programs during their residency training without a formal leave of absence.

The Division of General Surgery has an endowment, the Margaret and Charles Juravinski Surgical Fellowship, that is awarded through a competitive peer review and adjudicated process and can provide funding for salary support for a research leave of absence.



Each resident meets one-on-one with the Program Director two times a year. These meetings allow review of resident’s progress, rotations- and career planning, and discussion of any issues that arise during training. In addition, an open door policy is in effect at all times with the Program Director.



Candidates are assessed on their:

  • personal letter
  • reference letters
  • CV
  • academic record
  • interviews

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