General Surgery Residency Frequently Asked Questions


What is the vacation schedule?

Surgery residents are awarded 3 weeks (21 days) of vacation each academic year. Each vacation is a 7-day block. Residents submit their preferences to the administrative chief before the start of the academic year and all attempts are made to accommodate the preferences. Maternity, paternity, and bereavement leave are granted.

What do the residents do after training?

About 80% of our chief residents will further their training in a fellowship program (then into academic medicine or private practice). About 20% go into private practice immediately following completion of their general surgery training.  Please visit our graduates page and alumni page for more specific information.

What is the research requirement?

We require three research projects, one of which should be a Quality Improvement study. Two-three residents per year typically choose to spend dedicated years of training in the surgical laboratory. Some residents may pursue other opportunities for professional development, such as taking graduate courses, additional degrees, outcomes research or quality improvement studies.

What are the research opportunities?

There are many opportunities to engage in research on our campus. There are a number of ongoing research opportunities for residents who are interested in the clinical and basic sciences, quality improvement, education, and patient safety.

How many cases are done by a resident upon completing the residency?

Chief residents finish their training with more than enough cases to meet the training requirement set by the American Board of Surgery. Our graduating residents typically reach over 1,000 cases, which also exceeds the number of cases required by the ACGME.

What kind of benefits can I expect?

Residents are gifted MUSC apparel and surgical loupes are sponsored by alumni of the program.

Housestaff are provided MUSC health insurance for themselves, their spouse/domestic partner, and children up to age 26. Housestaff have the option to acquire basic life insurance and long-term disability insurance.

Residents receive a stipend for meals while on call and have access to resident lounges and call rooms. Residents have on campus parking and gym membership to the MUSC Wellness Center.

To support ongoing academic activity, the Department of Surgery sponsors travel for residents accepted to present at regional, national, and international conferences. MUSC sponsors two additional conferences, without the presentation requirement, including the American College of Surgeons annual Clinical Congress.

What is the social life like in Charleston?

Charleston is a wonderful place to live. The city is big in arts, culture, cuisine, outdoor activities (beach, boating, biking, fishing, festivals, etc.), social/intramural clubs and many other special interest activities. There is a great restaurant scene, many breweries, and rooftops to appreciate the historic steeple-lined skyline.

MUSC has multiple professional colleges, as well as local universities with limitless possibilities for innovative, multidisciplinary collaborations.

Where do residents live?

Residents live all around Charleston and the surrounding communities. You can live downtown, by one of the many beaches or salt marshes, or in a more suburban area. Some residents bike or drive to work from downtown (5 min). Other residents drive in from Mt Pleasant (15-20 min), West Ashley (10-20 min), James Island (10 min), Johns Island (30 min), or North Charleston (10-20 min).

What diversity and wellness initiatives does MUSC Department of Surgery have?

MUSC has an active and dedicated Wellness Group with faculty sponsor Dr. Andrea Abbott. The group welcomes members from all PGY classes. They work as a liaison, voicing resident concerns and securing Department funds and creative solutions to meet the wellness needs of our residents. The Wellness Initiative also organizes inclusive social events for the entire resident complement.

MUSC has a Diversity Committee and the McClennan-Banks Resident Society which work with under-represented in medicine residents to enhance diversity in the hospital and engage with the Greater Charleston community. The McClennan-Banks Resident society hosts networking opportunities, offers mentorship, and organizes community service projects.

Chicks with Knives is open to all surgery residents but focuses on the unique issues faced by women in surgery. Female faculty at MUSC are very engaged in this group. Recent events include yoga, brunch, wine tasting and watercolor painting lesson.

What is the salary for residents at the Medical University of South Carolina?


PGY-1    $56,751 

PGY-2    $58,747 

PGY-3    $60,660

PGY-4    $63,384

PGY-5    $66,456 

PGY-6    $68,773 

PGY-7    $71,524 

PGY-8    $76,191 

How many general surgery positions do you offer?

The General Surgery Residency Training Program matches eight categorical residents each year.  We offer preliminary positions as well.

What will the rotations look like?

Please see 2022-2023 resident rotation schedule