The General Surgery Residency at the University of South Alabama was established in 1949 which makes this residency the oldest in the State of Alabama. Our training program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and accepts five categorical residents each year. The University of South Alabama Medical Center (USAMC) is an acute care center serving as the major referral center for Southern Alabama, Southern Mississippi and portions of Northwest Florida. The Department of Surgery houses a Level 1 Trauma Center and a Regional Burn Center, as well as a Bariatric Surgery Center, Digestive Health Center, and Cardiovascular Disease Center. Twenty-five percent of the admissions are through the Trauma Center. Of the 100 teaching hospitals nationwide, USA Medical Center is 3rd in the acuity index measuring the severity of patient illnesses. Additionally, a recent quality measures report released by the University Health System Consortium (UHC) shows that the University of South Alabama Medical Center is ranked No. 1 in quality of care among 158 university teaching hospitals.
Jon D. Simmons, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Our residency has undergone a major transformation over the past five years, including the creation of a new educational philosophy and curriculum. In 2011, we instituted a philosophy of “individualized training”. This encompasses the concept that all residents have vastly different backgrounds and future ambitions. Therefore, we attempt to provide the skill-sets that are necessary for each resident to succeed according to individual goals rather than using a generic curriculum. Also, we transitioned from passive learning (i.e. lectures) to an active learning environment which includes weekly basic/clinical science case-based discussions using the SCORE curriculum and frequent “mock-oral” examinations. Simulation laboratories were designed to facilitate acquisition of basic and advanced operative techniques using relevant training methods. For example, we conduct a monthly anatomical cadaveric dissection to enhance operative techniques and better understand anatomical relationships when performing complex operations. Additional more focused courses are annually, including advanced: vascular exposure, trauma, laparoendoscopic, and plastic & reconstructive operative techniques. The culmination of these activities has produced In-Service Training Examination (ABSITE) scores well above the national average and a near 100% first-time pass rate on the Qualifying Examination (written boards).
Finally, we have placed considerable effort into creating a family of residents and faculty that work as a team to provide the best possible patient care. Indeed, we have assembled an excellent cadre of residents from across the country who are intelligent physicians, excellent technical surgeons, and tremendous humanitarians. I hope that you will consider our residency as your future “family” and help us continue the Tradition of Excellence that has always been the defining characteristic of this residency.
On behalf of the entire faculty at University of South Alabama, we look forward to meeting you!
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