General Surgery Residency Program

General Surgery

The Division of General Surgery has maintained its tradition of excellence while growing and expanding in new directions. Historically, the emphasis of the General Surgery Training Program has been to train broadly based general surgeons. While this remains our primary goal, we are experiencing a clear shift toward faculty specialization. This has occurred partly because of the number of specialty groups that exist within the department, but more directly as a response to a national trend to focus more on specialized care in virtually all areas of medical practice.

Areas of specialization include:

Trauma/Critical Care

“The trauma service is one of the foremost programs in the country and continues to stand ready 24 hours per day. The Trauma/Critical Care Fellowship Program is a nationally recognized training program that offers a one- or two-year postgraduate training program in Trauma, Burn, Emergency General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. The Surgical Critical Care program is accredited by the American Board of Surgery. Numerous fellows have completed the program and are in academic trauma surgery throughout the country.

Department of Surgery physicians are an integral part of the Trauma Institute at University Hospital - the region's only Level I Trauma Center and Burn Center. Specialized care, services, equipment and staff stand ready to treat serious trauma victims. Admitting more than 2,400 trauma and burn patients per year in addition to emergency general surgery patients, the Trauma Service holds true to the original concept as an emergency surgery service that began more than 60 years ago. The majority of these patients are blunt trauma patients (80 percent) and nearly 60 percent come from the scene, most from the metropolitan Louisville area. The remaining 40 percent of patients are transferred from more than 70 referring hospitals in the region.

The Trauma Center facilities include 14 trauma/surgical ICU beds, five burn beds, 24-hour dedicated operating room, 49 critical care beds and outpatient clinics. The Burn Unit features five intensive care treatment beds and is the area's only adult burn unit in the state.

Colorectal Surgery

Our faculty members' expertise and practice have enhanced the resident and student exposure to inflammatory bowel disease, fecal incontinence, primary and recurrent colorectal cancer, as well as common anorectal problems. This has led to development of a one-year accredited fellowship in Colorectal Surgery. We offer one-on-one interaction between the faculty and the fellow, as well as exposure to all aspects of treatment of colorectal disease, including complex tertiary referral re-operative surgery, endoscopy, laparoscopy, anorectal surgery and physiology.

Research in this area also has grown tremendously, and the success of these efforts has resulted in the development of the Digestive Surgery Research Laboratory.

Research fellowship positions are available. Three fellows over the past five years have obtained PhD degrees during their research fellowship. Research opportunities for medical and undergraduate students also are available.

To learn more about the Colorectal service, please visit:


This one-year Interventional Endoscopy and Therapeutic ERCP fellowship allows the fellow to gain extensive experience in ERCP-related procedures involving both the biliary and pancreatic ductal systems. Flexible endoscopy including EGD and colonoscopy is included in the fellowship. Fellows also gain experience in complex pancreatic and biliary tract surgery under the direction of the surgical faculty. Research related to the clinical activities is ongoing, and the fellow is expected to participate.

Resident Quote Resident Quote

"The training I obtained in Louisville has provided a fantastic building block for the practice of broad-based surgery. My first ER consult in practice was an incarcerated obstructed hernia that everyone else missed – she did great after a laparoscopic repair. My first laparotomy was an obstructing left colon cancer with pending perforation and ischemia. She went home on day 7. I have yet to fail to get to the cecum during colonoscopy. I have counseled patients through difficult rectal cancer discussions. Last week I admitted and took care of a lady with bilateral inferior and superior pubic rami fractures, iliac wing fractures and an acetabular fracture. I can’t think of a better program that could train a young physician to practice surgery; not general surgery or trauma surgery or colorectal surgery or laparoscopic surgery, but simply surgery. I feel like a surgeon - the surgeon I dreamt of becoming."
- Dr. John Trombold