Message from the Program Director


Frank Traupman, MD
Program Director


Welcome to the Rutgers Health/New Jersey Medical School (Rutgers NJMS) General Surgery Residency Program.  I invite you to explore the Department of Surgery website, as well as the websites of our Affiliated Sites, to familiarize yourself with the exciting clinical and educational opportunities we offer our surgical trainees. 

As Program Director, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our residency program.

The General Surgery Residency is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and includes categorical as well as designated and non-designated preliminary general surgery positions.  The program is non-pyramidal and accepts 10 categorical residents each year.  We can also accommodate up to 18 preliminary PGY-1 and four preliminary PGY-2 residents.  The residency is large and quite ethnically and culturally diverse.  We are justifiably proud of our diversity, our gender equality, and the unique opportunities our educational communities provide.

As prescribed by the Surgery Residency Review Committee of the ACGME, and the American Board of Surgery, there are 5 years of clinical training.  The program emphasizes early, broad-based involvement in patient care, both in and out of the operating room, with graded responsibility and supervision.  In addition to the 5 years of required clinical rotations, our program strongly encourages one or more optional years of laboratory, clinical or outcomes research, with the possibility of attaining advanced degrees. Some of our residents have obtained MPH, MBA and PhD degrees during their research leave.

The Rutgers NJMS General Surgery Residency Program is a multi-institutional training program, providing a wide variety of clinical experiences across five hospitals.  Our primary institution, University Hospital in Newark, NJ, is an urban state funded public access academic hospital.  Our other 5 clinical training sites are: East Orange Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center which is a suburban tertiary care teaching hospital with busy surgical services; Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Jersey City Medical Center, both of which are private urban teaching hospitals.  The variety of teaching sites results in a broad-based experience, familiarity with different healthcare delivery systems, and access and exposure to vastly diverse patient populations and pathologies.  The clinical rotations are designed to provide a comprehensive exposure to all elements of general surgery, including: general surgery, trauma and emergency general surgery, vascular surgery, surgical oncology, transplant surgery, colorectal surgery, plastic surgery, pediatric surgery, cardiac surgery and thoracic surgery.  Our residents also attain ample training in surgical critical care, including exposure to The Burn Center at Cooperman Barnabas, the only certified burn center in the state of New Jersey.

Our educational philosophy is predicated on the recognition that residency is only the beginning of a process of life-long learning.  We provide the foundation and necessary skills for residents to learn how to critically assess new information and make evidence-based care decisions.  This is combined with experiential learning based on progressively increasing operative proficiency and responsibility for decision making.  Learning in the inpatient and outpatient settings is combined with extensive didactic teachings and simulation sessions to assure all residents are progressing satisfactorily in the six core competencies and meeting all educational milestones

In addition to myself as the Program Director, the educational program is strongly supported by: Dr. Daniel Jones, Chair of Surgery; Drs. Fariha Sheikh and Franz Smith, Associate Program Directors; Amy Gore and Michael Shapiro, Assistant Program Directors.  There are also designated faculty members who are Program Site Directors at each of our affiliated training hospitals.  Most importantly, the entire faculty at all of our sites, both employed and voluntary, are dedicated to resident education and development.

Becoming a surgeon is an awe-inspiring journey.  Surgery requires a multiplicity of skills – cognitive, diagnostic, empathic, and technical – all coming together to address a patient’s problem.  We hope you will give serious consideration to joining our training program.  For those who do, we look forward to helping you to start that lifelong journey, providing opportunities, challenges, guidance and direction.  Our intention is that our graduates will be known as excellent surgeons and compassionate clinicians with a commitment to life-long learning and the advancement of surgical science and innovation.

Frank Traupman, MD
Program Director