General Surgery Residency

Mission and Vision 

Mission: train surgeons to provide exemplary care in a compassionate and ethical manner.
Vision: inspire, encourage, and equip surgeons to become global leaders as clinicians and educators.


General Surgery Faculty and Resident, July 2023

General Surgery Residency Application Process

The SIU General Surgery Residency Program participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). All applications must be submitted through ERAS. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding applications to our program.

We are currently approved for four categorical spots per year. We do not offer preliminary positions or observerships.

We highly value diversity, equity, and inclusion in the process of resident selection. We currently work with a diverse group of residents, and we are happy to discuss this topic during our interview process. 

We require applicants to have taken Step 2 prior to application. We also review three letters of recommendation other than the MSPE (formally the Dean’s letter), and a personal statement before offering an interview. 

We perform a holistic review of all applicants, who meet our criteria, which includes Experiences, Attributes, Competencies, and Metrics. Along with USMLE scores, letters of recommendation, interview performance have the most weight upon the selection committee. Research, honors in the surgery clerkship, personal statement, racial and ethnic diversity are also factors.

Yes, We only consider applicants within 3 years of graduation from medical school. This will be taken into consideration when reviewing applications.

We invite a few strong candidates from foreign medical schools each year. We currently have three FMGs in our program. It is not required you have your ECFMG certificate to apply, but will need this prior to beginning residency training with us. For more information regarding our institutional policies please click here.

We do sponsor J1 Visa. SIU and its affiliated hospitals do not, as a matter of policy or practice, sponsor residents/fellows for H visas or benefits. Please review the Office of Graduate Medical Education's Resident Eligibility and Employment Authorization Policy.

Learn more about Visas here.

In person
November 14, 2023
December 1, 2023
December 8, 2023
December 12, 2023

Virtual option*
January 12, 2024
*Priority for virtual interview will be given to international applicants and US applicants with significant travel burden

We will invite 11-12 applicants per day for in-person interviews. Applicants should arrive the evening before the interview for a dinner at the home of a current SIU resident. The interview the next day will begin with an introduction followed by interviews with the Residency Program Director, 3 to 4 General Surgery faculty and a PGY4 resident. Lunch with current residents will be followed by a tour of the J. Roland Folse Surgical Skills Center.  

Melissa Smock, Residency Program Administrator
Phone: 217-545-4401

Click here to learn more about our institutional residency program information.

General Surgery Residency Curriculum

The residency in general surgery at SIU is a comprehensive, five-year educational program that encompasses all of the major surgical disciplines. Its goal is to prepare the graduate for the practice of general surgery, or fellowship training in one of the surgical subspecialties. The program seeks to provide a strong foundation in the clinical discipline of surgery in the setting of educational excellence and scholarship. The program has a nationally recognized heritage of outstanding achievement and leadership in these regards, under the founding guidance of Dr. Roland Folse.

Nurse holding surgical tools

Rural Surgery Rotation 

The Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine General Surgery Residency Program has partnered with Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) to send 3rd and 4th-year general surgery residents to train alongside surgeons practicing in southern Illinois’ hospitals. This is an elective rotation.

This allows trainees to be exposed to a more rural setting with a significant need for surgery services. Each participating resident will live in Carbondale, IL, and work a one- to two-month rotation under the guidance of selected area surgeons working at hospitals in the SIH network: Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Herrin Hospital and St. Joseph Memorial Hospital.

Our ultimate goal is to make sure our residents are exposed to all types of practices and as many surgical cases as possible before entering the workforce. SIU has always been known for being on the leading edge of surgical education. 

John Mellinger, MD, FACS, retired program director for the SIU General Surgery Residency Program agrees. “The opportunity to have our trainees spend this time in a rural setting, working with surgeons committed to the health needs of that population, is an important way of living out our mission to serve the health-care needs of the population of central and southern Illinois. Short of such experience, it will be difficult for surgeons in training to appreciate and be attracted to consider the merits of such a practice as they mature in their own career plans. We are very excited to partner with the SIH institutions and surgeons in this endeavor.” 

Suven Shankar, MD is the Site Director for the rural surgery rotation. Learn more about the area surgeons involved in the guidance and education of the residents here.

All residents/fellows may be permitted up to

  • 3 weeks of vacation
  • 2 weeks of sick leave
  • 1 week of educational leave
  • 3 calendar days of bereavement leave

The resident may be permitted to take up to twelve (12) weeks per year of family and medical leave without compensation (other than paid vacation and/or sick leave used in accordance with the policies of the Affiliated Hospital) during the term of appointment, in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, state law, and the policies of the Affiliated Hospital. 

Each program will have duty hours optimal to the care of patients and in compliance with the general and special requirements of the ACGME.

All residents are provided with free parking. Secured sleeping rooms are furnished for all residents who are on in-house call and nap rooms are available to residents at both hospitals. Residents have access to food services twenty-four hours per day at both hospitals.

Residents are employed by either Springfield Memorial Hospital or HSHS St. John’s Hospital, and are provided benefits through their employing hospital. Health insurance is provided at a minimal charge; an optional family plan can be purchased. Dental insurance is provided for the resident and family at a small fee. Life insurance is provided at no cost; additional coverage may be purchased. Disability insurance is provided at no cost. Additional disability insurance is available.

Residents and fellows are provided professional liability coverage through the hospitals. It will provide legal defense and protection against awards from claims reported or filed after the completion of the residency program if the alleged acts or omissions of the resident were within the scope of the residency program, in accordance with the affiliated hospitals’ self-insured trust and liability policy.

Educational Benefits

Education Stipend Find more information on our Education Stipend here.
Memberships Provided American College of Surgeons
Others upon request
Curriculum Provided Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum
Selected Readings in General Surgery
Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS)
Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery  (FES)
Fundamentals of Critical Care Support (FCCS)
Opportunity for Robotic Training
Certifications Provided ACLS - Certification & Renewal
ATLS - Certification & Renewal
BLS Renewal
FLS Certification
FES Certification
FCCS Certification
Lean Six Sigma Executive White Belt
Additional Incentives Textbook of choice for participation in core curriculum quizzing
Loupes Provided 
Other Use SIMPL for Operative Performance Evaluation & Feedback
Touch Surgery App

More information for prospective residents here.

Consistent with its history and mission, there is a very strong tradition of and opportunity for educational research within the division of general surgery. All residents are required to undertake quality improvement research at the PGY I and II level. Residents have been involved in a number of outcomes and translational research projects, and opportunities to collaborate with educational, translational, and basic scientists through other departments within the School of Medicine are also available for the interested resident.

Surgical tools laying on fabric cloths
David Stewart, MD

David Stewart, MD

Chair, Division of General Surgery

Melanie Barnard, MD

Residency Program Director

Melissa Smock

Melissa Smock

Program Coordinator