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Postgraduate Training Programs


McMaster University Postgraduate Programs are integrated in cooperation with the affiliated teaching hospitals and therefore there is no primary base hospital. We provide access to electronic medical resources for residents at all hospitals. The following hospitals are used for mandatory or elective rotations: Hamilton Health Sciences (McMaster Division, General Division, Juravinski Division); St. Joseph's Hospital; community hospitals.

The Juravinski site, Hamilton Health Sciences is a centre for general surgery and gastrointestinal surgery including hepatobiliary and colorectal and oncology. This site also is affiliated with the Juravinski Cancer Centre.

The McMaster site is the Childrens' Hospital and pediatric surgery as well as pediatric trauma.

The General site, Hamilton Health Sciences is the location of the Adult Trauma Centre, cardiovascular surgery, and the largest combined ICU in the region.

St. Joseph's Hospital is a busy hospital for general surgery with a special interest in minimal access surgery and is the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS). Subspecialty services such as head and neck, thoracic and urological surgery are located at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Community hospitals involved in the program include Oakville-Trafalgar, Brantford, Joseph Brant, St. Catharines General Hospital, Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Timmins and Thunder Bay.


Visit our education overview page for details.


An academic half-day occurs weekly which is protected from service demands and includes mandatory attendance at Surgical Grand Rounds (Wed. 0730-0830) and mandatory attendance at either the Surgical Foundations Program (Wed 0900-noon)  or the Senior Resident Seminars. (Thursdays 0830 to 1100)

Specific training and courses ​are also available for junior and senior residents.

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


All residents are expected to complete a minimum of two quality research projects over the five year program for presentation at an annual research day. Guidance for this will start in the Surgical Foundations Program and meetings with the Division of General Surgery Research Director, Dr. Shawn Forbes. Half-Day per week is set aside for research.

Three to six months blocks are available for the resident to pursue research. McMaster has an accredited Royal College Training program - the Clinical Investigator Program which is a two year program in research and research methodology. If residents are interested in this path this must be decided in the PGY 1 year or the first six months of PGY 2. The CIP program can be inserted between 2nd and 3rd year or 3rd and 4th year of general surgery training. There is funding provided on a competitive basis for salary support for 1-2 years of research through the Margaret and Charles Juravinski Surgical Fellowship.

Experience in Education: Residents are expected to participate in teaching of medical students and their junior residents in formal and informal sessions.

Selection Criteria

Candidates will be graded on the content of their letter of application; the strength of their references; the academic record; and the demonstration of their interest in our surgical training program when interviewed.

Additional Comments

Evaluation — The resident is evaluated at the end of each rotation. Periodic assessments through the program are made concerning operative skills, advancement of basic knowledge, and ability to handle progressively increasing responsibilities throughout training.

Examinations — An oral examination is set every six months in the Department of Surgery for its General Surgery trainees. The Canadian Association of General surgery examination is written each year with feedback given on the results.

Career Review — Meeting and Career Review with the Program Director occurs every every six months in the PGY ​1 to PGY 5 years. This is to facilitate career development and to discuss any issues that arise during training. More frequent meetings are held as need be.

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