skip to main content
Back to Top

Surgical Foundations

Introduction to Surgical Foundations

Updated 2021*

COVID-19 Impact on Surgical Foundations:

McMaster University is monitoring the current crisis closely, providing updates to all faculty and members of the community. As of April 8th, 2020, it is uncertain if large group gatherings will be permitted in July 2020. Please note that SF is prepared to provide Boot Camp lectures virtually and will communicate all updates as they become available. Additional information can be found here.

 All lectures will be held online for the foreseeable future**


Surgical Foundations (SF) is the educational program that encompasses the first two years of post-graduate training (PGY1 and PGY2). Residents from the following programs take part in Surgical Foundations:

McMaster University residents start Surgical Foundations in July of their first-year of residency; attending a 6-day intensive boot-camp. Following boot camp, residents work to complete a series of competence-based Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA’s) and milestones. Think of EPA’s as a checklist of tasks each resident must complete effectively and efficiently, and milestones as specific variables within each task that must be achieved. EPA’s and milestones are provided by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and are used by McMaster Universities Surgical Foundations Director (Dr. Darren de SA), Associate Program Director (Dr. Laura Nguyen) and Senior Education Associate (Naomi Downer) to develop the Surgical Foundations curriculum each year.

Each week, Surgical Foundation Residents gather for Academic Half Days (AHD), taking place Wednesday’s from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (with some exceptions). Academic Half Days vary in style (lecture, hands on, etc.) and take place in numerous environments, lending to the enhancement of knowledge and practical skills. AHD’s are considered protected teaching time and residents are to turn their pagers off during these sessions.​

The following are examples of Academic Half Day’s attended by SF residents:

  1. Lectures (faculty, upper-year residents, external)
  2. Simulation (Centre for Simulation-Based Learning)
  3. Anatomy (MUMC)
  4. Technical Skills (Centre for Simulation-Based Learning and MUMC Anatomy) 

Exam: The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada will hold the Surgical Foundations exam October 4th and 5th, 2021. Click here for details.

Related Pages


© 201​​7 McMaster University  |  1280 Main Street West  |  Hamilton, Ontario ​L8S 4K1  |  905-525-​9140   |  Contact Us | Terms of Use & Privacy Policy