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The General Surgery Residency at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center accepts eight categorical residents per year. Our program offers experience in all areas of General Surgery - oncology, minimally invasive, trauma, hepatobiliary, vascular, thoracic, endocrine, transplant, and general surgery. Residents are educated in the preoperative, operative and postoperative care of the patients. There is graded responsibility, with numerous cases available for all postgraduate levels. There are four primary adult hospitals and one children's hospital. Clinical and laboratory research opportunities are also available.

The Department has a reputation for training outstanding surgical residents. Because of their clinical excellence, our residents are highly regarded for fellowship training in all areas of surgery.

All application information must be submitted to the Department of Surgery through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS). All eligible applications are accepted. The application deadline is November 20, 2020.

Medical Education

  • Graduates of LCME-approved US and Canadian medical schools
  • International Medical Graduates who have valid ECFMG certificates of who have completed a Fifth Pathway program provided by and LCME-accredited medical school
  • Graduates of American Osteopathic Assoc accredited Osteopathic Medical Schools

Visa Status

Visa status for international Medical Graduates must fall within the following categories

  • Eligible to seek J-1 visa
  • Permanent Resident or Alien status (i.e. "greencard")
  • In accordance with UT GME guidelines, this program does not sponsor residents for "H" type visas.

Resident Selection / Applicant Eligibility (GME Policy #110)

Interviews are required for consideration. Selected applicants will be invited for an interview via e-mail in September.  Please be sure to include your e-mail address as part of your ERAS application.

Applicants are selected for interviews based on:

  • Medical school transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • USMLE or COMLEX scores

To ensure that all residents/fellows meet minimal standards, the Graduate Medical Education Program requires that all residents/fellows entering any Memphis-based graduate medical education program sponsored by the University of Tennessee College of Medicine on or after July 1, 2009 must have passed USMLE Steps 1 and 2 (CK and CS) or equivalent examinations (COMLEX-USA or MCCQE).

Any Agreement of Appointment or offer letter will be contingent upon passing Steps 1 and 2 (or equivalent exams). Each resident/fellow is responsible for providing copies of passage of Steps 1 and 2 (CK and CS) or equivalent examinations to the program director and GME Office and will not be allowed to start training until this documentation is submitted. A valid ECFMG certificate will be accepted as proof for international medical school graduates.

Accepted or matched residents and fellows who have not passed Steps 1 and 2 (or equivalent examinations) by July 1 will be released from their contract.

  • US Clinical Experience (USCE) is not required; however, it is encouraged.

Applicants are selected for residency based on the above criteria and on personal interviews. UTHSC sponsors J1 visas ONLY.

General Surgery Applicants' Interview Dates

  • October 28
  • November 4, 18
  • December 2, 16
  • January 13

A meet and greet will be held on Tuesday evening before each interview session at a local restaurant. Interviews begin the following day at 7 a.m. and end approximately 3 p.m. Hotel information will be forwarded to scheduled applicants.

Brief Interview Schedule:

Tuesday Night:

  • Dinner with residents


  • Morbidity and Mortality, Surgery Grand Rounds, and This Week in Score (TWIS) Conferences
  • Overview by Alexander Feliz, MD, Program Director
  • Memphis City Tour
  • Lunch with residents
  • Interview with David Shibata, MD, Chairman, and three faculty
  • Tour Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIP) & Student Alumni Center (SAC)

2020-2021 Resident Compensation Rates for ACGME-Accredited Programs

PGY Level Base Annual with Disability 
Life Benefits *
Monthly with Disability 
Life Benefits *
 PGY 1 $54,024.00  54,684.00 $4,557.00
PGY 2 $55,860.00 $56,520.00 $4,710.00
PGY 3 $57,600.00 $58,260.00 $4,855.00
PGY 4 $60,120.00 $60,780.00 $5,065.00
PGY 5 $62,400.00 $63,060.00 $5,255.00
PGY 6 $64,800.00 $65,460.00 $5,455.00
PGY 7 $67,200.00 $67,860.00 $5,655.00

*In addition to the base salary, those residents participating in the disability and group life insurance programs provided through GME currently receive an additional $660 per year for disability and life insurance benefits as shown above in Column 3. Residents not participating do not receive this stipend.

For more resident salary information, please see GME Policy #210.

Research time away from clinical rotations is available, but not mandatory. Residents may take two years out of clinical rotations for dedicated research time. Past residents have participated in Basic Science animal labs and in a Master of Science in Epidemiology degree program during their research years.

There are clinical research opportunities in all fields – General Surgery, Trauma/Surgical Critical Care, Surgical Oncology, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, etc.

Pediatric Surgery

  • PI – Dr. Eunice Huang

Pediatric Surgical Oncology

  • PI – Dr. Andrew Davidoff

Located at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, this laboratory has focused on basic science research in gene therapy and immunotherapy of solid tumors, neuroblastoma in particular.

Trauma/Critical Care

  • PI – 

Clinical research focuses on injury prevention, resuscitation, pneumonia and other aspects of trauma and surgical critical care. Basic Science research has focused on vascular conduits, pneumonia, etc. There is an opportunity to complete a Master of Science in Epidemiology degree at the University of Tennessee.

There is also ample opportunity for clinical research for residents who do not wish to spend time in the lab. Our residents have presented/published clinical research papers on pancreatic surgery, peptic ulcer disease, appendicitis in children, pod-casts in resident education, pneumonia and trauma/critical care.

Are there minimum score requirements for USMLE Step I or Step II?
There are no minimum score requirements; however, our program is very competitive and higher scores will give you a better chance of getting an invitation to interview.

How many residents are in your program?
We are approved for eight PGY-1 categorical residents per year for five clinical years. Additionally, we currently have nine PGY-1 preliminary residents including pre-urology.

Do you require US clinical experience?
US clinical experience is not required, but recommended.

Do you accept visas?
Only J-1 visa is accepted.

Is there a requirement on how many years since graduation from medical school?
No, there is no requirement, but most of our residents come directly from medical school.

Are your residents required to do research?
Dedicated research years are available for residents in good standing. These years are usually taken after the second or third clinical year. 

Alexander Feliz, MD
Program Director
Department of Surgery
910 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901.448.7635
Fax: 901.448.7306
Cynthia Tooley
Residency Coordinator
Department of Surgery
910 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901.448.7635
Fax: 901.448.7306

Last Published: Jan 6, 2021