Welcome to the General Surgery Residency Program
We are a diverse and clinically busy department.
Our residency program focuses on a strong clinical experience with an emphasis on evidence-based medicine.
VCU Health is a regional leader in surgical care, and the backbone of this care are our faculty and residents. Our faculty are excited to mentor and train our residents.
We have a robust didactic curriculum, featuring protected time on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for resident-led didactics, resident case conferences, and Grand Rounds. Faculty moderators are also present. Continuing this academic year is a Thursday evening Chief Resident-led review focusing on in-service and board exam training. During their time, residents also participate in a well-developed simulation curriculum at the School of Medicine Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety. In addition, residents have the option to spend one or two years in a research lab while here.
Our focus is to develop our residents into competent and confident surgeons, and get them in a position to achieve their dreams. Included on this website is information about our current residents and post-residency positions.
Residents spend the bulk of their experience at VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia.
Residents also have clinical rotations at the nearby McGuire VA Medical Center which is an integrated institution providing rotations in general surgery, vascular surgery, and cardiothoracic surgery. Rotations are also offered at St Mary’s Hospital in Richmond and at Winchester Medical Center.Visit VCUHealth
PGY-1: Residents handle basic cases, with a focus on perioperative care. Rotations include gastrointestinal/bariatric surgery, acute care surgery, trauma surgery, cardiac surgery, surgical oncology, transplant surgery, vascular surgery, burn surgery, VA hospital and night float.
PGY-2: Residents spend more time in the operating room, with a target of 250 cases by the end of the year. Rotations include intensive care (surgical, trauma and cardiac), endoscopy, pediatric surgery, veterans affairs, acute care general surgery, Winchester Medical Center and surgical oncology.
PGY-3: Residents get community experience at Winchester Medical Center, as well as at the VA hospital, and do rotations at VCU Medical Center on transplant surgery, night float, surgical oncology and gastrointestinal/bariatric surgery.
PGY-4: Residents serve as chiefs of service on thoracic, Winchester Medical Center, pediatric surgery and trauma surgery. Residents also do a night float rotation.
PGY-5: Residents are responsible for education of the junior residents and also serve as chiefs of service at the VA hospital, surgical oncology, acute care general surgery and colorectal service. Schedule permitting, residents may also get an elective on a service of their choice.
A Day in the Life
Live. Learn. Engage. Experience.
The General Surgery Residency Program delivers a strong clinical experience with an emphasis on evidence-based medicine. We are a premier training program, that offers residents opportunities for a wide variety of operative experiences.Meet our Residents
After the PGY-2 year, residents have the option of pursuing two years in research in basic science, global health or clinical research. Dedicated time for research is dependent on a solid research plan and funding.
Residents who do not take out dedicated time for research also engage in research projects throughout the year.
Each division has its own weekly conference where cases are reviewed. Divisional conferences also focus on education and quality assurance.
Resident core didactic teaching is held from 6:45–7:30 am on Tuesday mornings, using the Scientific American Surgery curriculum. This is resident-led, dedicated to basic science and teleconferenced to the Winchester and VA sites. The resident case conference (M&M) and Grand Rounds are held from 7:00–8:30 am on Thursdays.
Chief review is held 6:00–7:00 pm on Thursday nights. The conference is run by the chief residents and focuses on ABSITE review, SESAP review and oral board review.
RESIDENT NEWS: Congratulations to Renee Cholyway, MD!
The Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF) awards 2020 STSA Resident Research Award to Renee Cholyway, MD
Congratulations to Renee Cholyway, MD, General Surgery Residency Program, on receiving the STSA Resident Research Award!
Living in RVA
Richmond, Virginia, combines the amenities of a major metropolitan area with the charm and convenience of a small, historic city.
Virginia Commonwealth University's location, smack in the middle of Virginia's capital city, allows the VCU community to draw on every facet of the metropolitan environment to sculpt their VCU experience.Learn more
How to Apply
All applicants must be within four years of graduation from medical or dental school and have three months of clearly documented direct patient care activity in the U.S. or Canada. Clinical rotations at medical and dental schools and externships of direct patient care meet this requirement. Observerships and research fellowships do not qualify.
Applications and other supporting material must be submitted through the ERAS system by October 15, 2019.
Completed ERAs application include:
- Three (3) letters of recommendation from U.S. or Canadian physicians, including the chair of surgery or program director. IMG's must have letters of recommendation which clearly document 3 months U.S. clinical experience
- Medical school transcript
- Dean’s letter (Medical School Performance Evaluation)
- Personal statement (a customized personal statement is not required)
Additional requirements for international applicants include:
- Sufficient written and spoken English language skills
The Department of Surgery receives more than 1,200 applications for our general surgery residency training program. Approximately 100 applicants will be invited to interview for five (5) categorical and seven (7) preliminary positions.
Interviews are held during three weekend sessions starting in November and are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Categorical & Preliminary Applicants Interviews
Interviews are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. They are held November, December, and January. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified by the Residency Coordinator.
Applicants begin the interview process on Friday evening. The department hosts a reception where applicants have the opportunity to talk informally with our residents and faculty.
On Saturday we have an information session in the morning, followed by a tour. Interviews are conducted by three faculty members as well as the program director or chairman. The faculty meet after each interview session to rank candidates interviewed.
After the three weekend interview sessions, faculty compile the final rank list for submission to the match.
Applicants are expected to display a commitment to a career in surgery, strong analytical ability, good judgment, proven academic skill and be of sound moral character.
In order to be ranked in the NRMP, all applicants must have passed Step 1, Step 2 (CS & CK) of USMLE prior to February 1, 2020. There is no minimum board score requirement. For osteopathic school graduates, COMLEX scores will be accepted in lieu of USMLE scores.
Visa and ECFMG Requirements:
Only J-1 visas are accepted at VCUHS. All applicants must have sufficient written and spoken English language skills in order to deliver safe and effective patient care.
Certification is required before you will be accepted into the program, however, an interview can be granted without a certificate.
For FMG's — 4 Years Graduation and 3 Months Direct Patient Care:
All applicants must be within four years of graduation from medical/dental school and have 3 months direct patient care activity in the United States (either independent or ACGME, AOA, or ADA accredited residency). Non-clinical graduate work in the US or Canada does not meet this requirement. For US and Canadian Medical and Dental students, their clinical rotations during medical or dental school will meet this requirement.
Externships Meet Requirement:
Externships of direct patient care will meet this requirement, observerships and research fellowships do not qualify. Please note that observerships and externships are not available in the VCU Department of Surgery.
Our commitment to diversity
Diversity at VCU School of Medicine is a commitment and ongoing process of inclusion with special attention to characteristics such as gender, age, religion, disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity and geographic region.Meet our current residents
Rahul J. Anand, M.D.
Patricia Lange, M.D.
Associate Program Director
Levi Procter, M.D.
Associate Program Director
Nicole Wieghard, MD
Associate Program Director
Residency Program Coordinator
16th Floor, East Wing
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0135
Phone: (804) 628-9789
Fax: (804) 828-5595