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General Surgery Residency

PGY-4 Electives

Members of PGY-4 class with Dr. Nehler 8/1/18

The General Surgery Residency Program provides a fourth-year elective experience, sponsored by the Department of Surgery, allowing residents to spend a rotation in an out-of-state setting or to obtain 4-6 weeks of additional experience in a specialty of their choice, either at University of Colorado Hospital or at another institution. The department pays for resident salary and benefits, which is critical support for this program.

The residency program supports University of Colorado Surgical residents at the PGY-4 level and complies with RRC for Surgery and Board of Surgery guidelines for surgical residency international elective applications.

Two of our international residency sites have completed a twinning relationship by sending residents to our program through a program letter of agreement between surgery residency programs.

PGY-4 Electives from 2017-2018 and previous years

Planned electives in 2018-19 (Arrangements/approvals still pending)

Sam Michel Thermopolis, Wyoming, Rural General Surgery
Peter Einersen Zhejiang University, PR China
Bradley Wallace Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital, Pediatric Surgery
David Sprunger Poudre Valley, General Surgery
Alicia Heelan Gladden UCH Breast Surgery
Daniel VanderPloeg UCH CT Surgery
John Frankel MSPE, Sao Paulo Brazil, General Surgery
Oliver Fackelmayer Poudre Valley, General Surgery or Kigali, Rwanda
Peter Einersen Colorado hospital TBD, Bariatric Surgery
Sam Michel MSPE Sao Paulo, Brazil or Kigali, Rwanda
Alicia Heelan Gladden Colorado hospital TBD, General Surgery
Eliza Moskowitz Shaare Zedek Med Ctr, Jerusalem, Trauma Surgery
Bradley Wallace Zhejiang University, PR China

Elective summaries from last year's PGY-4's

From Teralyn Carter: GeneralSurgery at HSPE in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March/April 2018

The elective time during the 4th year affords us a multitude of opportunities to see how training (and surgery) occurs outside of the University of Colorado. For my time I was fortunate enough to spend the elective in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I was exposed to a different system of practicing medicine, and a different (yet very similar) model of surgical resident education. The physicians and residents were very welcoming, and did everything they could to make sure I had a great experience. Learning in Brazil is an pportunity I would never trade, and am very glad I had the chance to experience the health care system in Brazil.

From Luke Selby: HPB Surgery at Zhejiang University in China, Jan/Feb 2018


I spent my elective at the Second Affiliated Hospital in Hangzhou China with their HPB service.  On this rotation you're a full member of the team, rounding, seeing patients in clinic, and operating with the team. While at CU you'll get plenty of experience with high volume complex care within our healthcare system, but getting the chance to see how a set of diseases you're familiar with are treated in an entirely new health system will allow you to reflect on the nuances of care we provide.​

From Doug Overbey: Cardiac Surgery at the University, Oct/Nov 2017
Dr. Doug Overby

For anyone interested in pursuing a fellowship in CT, I think a rotation in cardiac surgery as an R4 is extremely beneficial. you meet the cardiac faculty who are very interconnected in the small world of CT, which is very helpful for interviews later in the year. All of the cardiac faculty are very engaged in teaching, and more than willing to explain rationale and operative decision-making. For technical skills, if you spend consistent time with the 3rd year fellows, you can expect to become comfortable with sternotomy and sewing proximal vascular anastomoses. As a fourth year, you are also put in charge of rounding on the cardiac floor patients, so along with the intern and PA's you have a valuable inpatient service. Between and after cases you become familiar with ICU Post-operative card, and also gain exposure to mechanical circulatory support and heart transplants. Thoracic experience is also possible, but with a separate fourth year rotation dedicated to the thoracic service, most of the elective is based around cardiac.

From Yihan Lin: Cardiac Surgery at the University, Sept/Oct 2017
Dr. Yihan Lin

I did a cardiothoracic surgery elective at the University of Colorado. The surgical faculty in the cardiothoracic surgery department have a well-deserved reputation of being amazing teachers and mentors, and many of them have won teaching awards for this reason. They have created a great environment for learning. The CT fellows have similarly adopted this love of teaching. In the ICU, we have truly knowledgeable anesthesia and 

Electives in 2017-18

Hunter Moore UCH Transplant Surgery
Scott Deeney Presbyterian St. Luke's Pediatric Surgery
Brandon Chapman St. Anthony's Hospital General Surgery
Yihan Lin UCH CT Surgery
Doug Overbey UCH CT Surgery
Irada Ibrahim-Zada MD Anderson, Surgical Oncology
Anthony Bacon UCH Colorectal Surgery
Luke Selby Zhejiang University, PR China
Teralyn Carter MSPE, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Kweku Hazel UCH Surgical Oncology
Logan McKenna Poudre Valley Gen Surg
Brandon Chapman St. Anthony's Hospital Colorectal Surgery

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