General Surgery Residency Program

Program description

The USC Department of Surgery has a long tradition of training excellent clinical surgeons. A hallmark of the program is the incredible diversity of the training experience. By spending significant time training at each of the major training sites, residents obtain a spectrum of experience that is unmatched. The culmination of the training experience occurs during the chief resident year, which is predominately spent at the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, where he or she will be responsible for running the various surgical services, with attending supervision.

The surgical pathology, severity of disease and degree of autonomy afforded to the residents in this program make it truly one-of-a-kind. At the completion of five years of clinical training, the graduating resident will have the confidence to handle any clinical situation and will have gained extensive experience as a clinical leader.

Another unique feature of our surgical residency program is our unwavering commitment to surgical education from the department leadership. The Department of Surgery earmarks more than $1.5 million every year in support of the educational programs for residents. Vaughn Starnes, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery, has organized a robust organizational structure that integrates clinical experience with the latest skills lab, simulation and didactic instruction.

This investment in resident education is protected by ensuring that all residents are able to participate in the curriculum without distractions or nonessential clinical duties. As a result of the robust clinical experience and didactic instruction accumulated during their training, graduates of our general surgery residency program have had great success on the American Board of Surgery examinations. Over the past five years, 90 percent of graduates have passed the written or qualifying exam on the first attempt (the national mean is 88 percent), and 89 percent passed the oral or certifying exam on the first attempt (the national mean is 83 percent). In addition, graduates of the program have gone onto some of the most prestigious and competitive fellowship programs across the country.

Overall, there are few programs in the country that provide the breadth of training that is offered within the Keck School of Medicine of USC General Surgery Fellowship, which includes training at one of the country’s largest public general hospitals, a university tertiary hospital, an NCI-designated cancer center and hospital, two private community hospitals and a nationally renowned children’s hospital. The resident will graduate from the program with significant clinical experience and the confidence that only comes with the graduated resident autonomy for which the program is known.

Hospital rotation sites

Keck Hospital of USC
LAC+USC Medical Center
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Kaiser Permanente Hospital
Good Samaritan Hospital


All applications for the General Surgery Training Program are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). You also must register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

Our requirements for application include:

  • Common application form
  • Personal statement
  • Medical school transcripts
  • MSPE/dean’s letter
  • Letters of recommendation (minimum of three)
  • Photograph
  • USMLE transcripts
  • ECFMG status report – foreign graduates only

Contact information

Celeste Mendoza
Program Coordinator
1520 San Pablo St., Ste. 4300
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Phone: (323) 442-9064

Kenji Inaba, MD
Program Director