Residency Programs

Graduates of the Department of Surgery's Residency Programs can be found throughout the country in advanced training programs, as faculty in other prestigious programs, or as private practitioners.

Clinical training in the Department is conducted in all the major surgical subspecialties.

General Surgery

The General Surgery Residency Program offers seven categorical positions with two categorical tracks (5+2 or SASS) and two preliminary tracks (PGY1 & 2). Applicants can apply to one or both tracks. The program utilizes the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). The application deadline is October 1. 

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Residency Program has three (3) positions available each year at the PGY-1 level. The program utilizes the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). The application deadline is October 1. 

Vascular Surgery

In post-graduate medical education, Stanford is recognized as an elite vascular training program, offering both ACGME-accredited integrated (0 + 5) and independent (5 + 2) training formats. The program finishes three graduates per year. The application deadline is November 1.

Stanford Surgery Communication Coaching Program

Research has shown that having a coach improves the rapport with the patient, leading to superior patient experience and translating to overall better patient care. That's why residents participate in our Communications Coaching Program throughout their Stanford careers. The program currently includes general surgery categoricals as well as plastic and vascular junior residents. Communication coaches are carefully picked and undergo year-round training with monthly faculty development workshops.

The Department of Pediatrics Residency Program started their coaching program in 2013, eliciting promising results. Together with Neurology, Surgery was the first to bring the residents’ coaching program to SHC. The Relationship-Centered Care framework is considered the gold standard framework.

Every resident has 5-8 coaching sessions per academic year. Each coaching session involves direct observation of the resident-patient interaction by the coach in a point of care clinical setting (in-patient, out-patient, perioperative, etc.), followed by a debrief during which the coach facilitates the resident’s self-reflection on his or her communication performance, provides targeted feedback, and guides the resident to identify a communication-related goal to be practiced before the next coaching session. The aim of coaching is to support each resident in reaching his or her individual communication goals as well as fostering career development and personal growth.

Dr. Aussama Nassar

Communication Coaching Program Director

Dr. James Korndorffer Jr.

Communication Coaching Program Asst. Director

Communication Coaches

Clinical Assistant Professor, MIS & Bariatric Surgery
Colorectal Surgery
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Trauma & Critical Care
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Trauma & Critical Care
Clinical Instructor, Trauma & Critical Care

It is incredibly rewarding to see residents achieve their goals and develop professionally into well-rounded surgeons. So much of the focus of surgical training is understandably on acquisition of technical skills, so the coaching program provides a unique opportunity and protected time to refine those non-technical communication skills that truly make an excellent surgeon."

-Dr. Lisa Knowlton

Outcomes Research

Outcomes related to implementation of the Stanford Neurology and Surgery Communication Coaching Programs are being studied in collaboration with Dr. Marzena Sasnal and Dr. Arden Morris of the Stanford-Surgery Policy Improvement Research & Education Center (S-SPIRE).

Contact Information

For questions regarding the Department of Surgery's Communication Coaching Program, please contact Coaching Program Manager Catherine Tai.