Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University


Rotations Calendar

PGY 1 year starts June 20th and ends June 19th of the following year. PGY 2 through 5 start July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year


At the beginning, the program emphasizes basic preoperative and post operative care, critical-care, basic surgical technique and intraoperative management.

The program requires first-year residents to take the following courses before the start of clinical rotations (offered as part of intern orientation):

  • Advanced Trauma Life Support Course (ATLS) of the American College of Surgeons, and
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course (ACLS) of the American Heart Association

Residents rotate on each of the general surgery rotations. Most of the year is spent at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. However, two months are spent at affiliated hospitals giving residents exposure to a broad range of surgical practices. There is ample opportunity to perform cases in the operating room and to build necessary, basic operative skills. Every resident spends a month in the surgical intensive care unit and surgical cardiac care unit where, with appropriate supervision of senior residents and faculty, they learn to assess and manage critically ill patients. 

In order to be in compliance with the 80 hour work week, we have a night float system whereby 1 month of the PGY 1 year is spent covering first call from 5 PM to 6 AM on the surgical services.

Throughout the year, faculty members emphasize one-on-one interaction, offering personal instruction and supervision to each resident.

  • General – TJUH 8 weeks
  • General – Affiliates 8 weeks
  • Colorectal – TJUH 4 weeks
  • Plastics – TJUH 4 weeks
  • Thoracic – TJUH 4 weeks
  • Transplant  – TJUH 4 weeks
  • Trauma/Acute Care – TJUH 4 weeks
  • Vascular – TJUH 4 weeks
  • Cardiac ICU – TJUH 4 weeks
  • SICU - TJUH 4 weeks
  • Night Float – TJUH 4 weeks


During the second year, residents continue to refine their basic skills. Four and a half months are spent on the general surgery services both at Jefferson and the affiliates and one and a half months are spent on the busy trauma service. Another one and a half months are spent as the “chief” of the surgical intensive care unit. Residents have an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience with resuscitation, evaluation and operation and subsequent critical care management of severely injured and post-operative patients.

  • General – TJUH 6 weeks
  • General – Affiliates 12 weeks
  • Plastics – TJUH 6 weeks
  • Breast – TJUH 6 weeks
  • Trauma – TJUH 6 weeks
  • Cardiac ICU – TJUH 6 weeks
  • SICU – TJUH 6 weeks
  • Cross Cover/Vacation – 6 weeks

Research Year

Residents spend one to two years in the laboratory and usually work in one of the laboratories within the Department. The purpose of this year is to educate residents in the principles and practices of surgical research and assist them in obtaining high quality fellowships. This year is typically added after the third clinical year but may be after the second year.

PGY 3 & 4

Residents devote time in the third and fourth years to general surgery. Senior residents have primary responsibility for all preoperative evaluation and postoperative patient care.

Under the close supervision of attending faculty, they assist with and perform operations of increasing complexity both at Jefferson and its affiliates, including pediatric surgery at the Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children. Instructors give residents further exposure to colorectal surgery, fiberoptic endoscopy, vascular and thoracic surgery, transplantation and trauma.


  • General – Affiliates 2 months  
  • Colorectal – TJUH 2 months    
  • Vascular – TJUH 2 months       
  • Pediatric – A.I. duPont 2 months  
  • Night Float – TJUH 2 months
  • Transplant – TJUH 1 month


  • General – TJUH 4 months
  • Trauma/Acute Care – TJUH 4 months
  • Thoracic – TJUH 2 months
  • Cross Cover/Vacation– TJUH 2 months  


Residents serve as one of six chief residents in the final phase of training. On each rotation and surgical service, the chief resident is directly responsible for managing all patients, preoperatively, intraoperatively and postoperatively. 

In the last year, residents reach a new level of maturity in surgical decision making and technical proficiency. They finish the six-year program with an average of 1100 to 1300 cases as an operating surgeon. By the end of the program, each resident is encouraged to have produced at least one publication per year of residency worthy of acceptance in a peer reviewed journal.

  • General – TJUH 4 months
  • General – Affiliates 4 months
  • Surgical Oncology/Hepatobiliary – TJUH 2 months
  • Trauma – 2 months
Charles J. Yeo, MD

Charles J. Yeo, MD
Chair, Department of Surgery
Samuel D. Gross Professor

Karen Chojnacki, MD

Karen Chojnacki, MD
Program Director


Francesco Palazzo, MD
Associate Program Director


Joshua Marks, MD
Assistant Program Director


Donna Guinto, CTAGME
Program Coordinator

We participate in the National Residency Match Program and utilize the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

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