Gen Surg Objectives

General Surgery Rotation Specific Objectives


Neurosurgery residents at the University of Toronto are required to spend 3 months on a general surgery service as part of their PGY1 training. They will rotate to one of the teaching hospitals within the University, most often Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto Western Hospital/Toronto General Hospital, and St Michael's Hospital. The following is a description of the rotation-specific objectives for neurosurgery residents undertaking their general surgery rotation: 

To develop the clinical skills, professional attitudes, and knowledge base for the practice of General Surgery through exposure to adult general surgical disorders. Appreciate the medical management and basic foundations underlying the care of surgical patients. 

The trainee will function as a junior consulting member of the inpatient General Surgery service. Senior residents and attending staff will supervise the trainee and evaluate their progress. 




  • Understand the conduct of a standard and trauma laparatomy
  • Demonstrate early skill in basic laparoscopic and psychomotor technique
  • Demonstrate proficiency in surgical asepsis and infection control techniques


  • Describe the principles of resuscitation of the major trauma patient
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the primary, secondary and tertiary survey for the injured patient
  • Describe role of the trauma centre in secondary prevention
  • Demonstrate early skills in reviewing trauma imaging (CXR, pelvic Xray, CT chest, abdomen, pelvis)
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the management of acute appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, gall stone disease
  • Describe the principles of source control for surgical infections


General Requirements

  • Obtain and synthesize relevant history from patients/families/communities.
  • Listen effectively.
  • Discuss appropriate information with patients/families and the health care team.

Specific Requirements

  • Communicate effectively and regularly (daily) with patients, parents, and families to review medical status and establish therapeutic relationships.
  • Discuss appropriate information with patients/families.
  • Be considerate and compassionate in communicating with patients and families; willingly provide accurate information appropriate to the clinical situation, with a reasonable attempt at prognosis.
  • Communicate effectively with the health care providers including general surgery staff, nurses, ward nurses, consulting physicians, residents, medical students and discuss appropriate information.
  • Communicate appropriately with service providers when ordering investigative procedures.
  • The trainee must ensure there has been adequate communication about the patient with the person who will actually be doing and/or reporting the diagnostic study.


General Requirements

  • Consult effectively with other physicians and health care professionals.
  • Lead and contribute effectively to interdisciplinary team activities.
  • Be an effective teacher of medical students, residents, allied health professionals, and patients.

Specific Requirements

  • Be informed of the management plans proposed by the referring physician or other consultants for every inpatient to effectively coordinate the patients care.
  • Contribute effectively to discharge planning for every inpatient (e.g. long-term care facility, homecare, parent education).
  • Discharge planning must be discussed with the referring physician(s) and other consultants.
  • Be an effective teacher of medical students, residents, and patients


General Requirements

  • Utilize resources effectively to balance patient care, learning needs, and outside activities.
  • Allocate finite health care resources wisely.
  • Work effectively and efficiently in a health care organization.
  • Demonstrate appropriate judgement in triaging patients for access to resources which are limited.
  • Utilize information technology to optimize patient care, life-long learning and other activities.

Specific Requirements

  • Demonstrate the following professional skills in time management: 
    • Demonstrate proficiency in the basic pre and post operative care of patients undergoing elective and/or emergency surgery
    • Demonstrate ability in obtaining informed consent for emergency and elective surgery
    • Ensure timely discharge of patients
    • Demonstrate ability in the management of postoperative complication after major laparotomy
  • Maintain complete and accurate medical records:
    • Record and maintain a complete and accurate medical record for patients seen
    • Clinic letter for outpatient consultations should be dictated the day of clinic to ensure their completeness and accuracy.
    • Effectively coordinate the work of the health care team.


General Requirements

  • Identify the important determinants of health affecting patients.
  • Contribute effectively to improved health of patients and communities.
  • Recognize and respond to those issues where advocacy is appropriate.

Specific Requirements

  • Demonstrate proficiency in ensuring diagnostic tests are completed in a timely
  • Demonstrate proficiency in effectively organizing resources to enable that patients can be safely discharged from hospital in a timely fashion (PGY1-5).
  • Demonstrate proficiency in effectively allocating health care resources within a finite health care environment


General Requirements

  • Develop, implement and monitor a personal continuing education strategy.
  • Critically appraise sources of medical information.
  • Facilitate learning of patients, house staff/students and other health professionals.

Specific Requirements

  • Development and implementation of a personal continuing education strategy is expected of the trainee. This will be monitored by the attending staff and evaluated by the knowledge level and "evidence of reading" demonstrated by the trainee with respect to the patients on the inpatient service
  • Present teaching rounds on a topic for the purpose of educating oneself and peers.
  • Be able to critically assess the literature as it relates to patient diagnosis, investigation and treatment


General Requirements

  • Deliver highest quality care with integrity, honesty and compassion.
  • Exhibit appropriate personal and interpersonal professional behaviors.
  • Practice medicine ethically consistent with obligations of a physician.

Specific Requirements

  • Demonstrate personal and professional attitudes consistent with a consulting physician role:
    • Include the patient in discussions concerning appropriate diagnostic and management procedures.
    • Show appropriate respect for the opinions of fellow consultants and referring physicians in the management of patient problems and be willing to provide means whereby differences of opinion can be discussed and resolved.
  • Be willing and able to appraise accurately his/her own professional performances and show that he/she recognizes his/her own limitations with regard to skill and knowledge by appropriately consulting other physicians and paramedical personnel when caring for the patient.
  • Be willing and able to keep his/her practice current through reading and other modes of continuing medical education and develop a habit of maintaining current his/her clinical skill and knowledge base through continuing medical education.