General Surgery Residency Program
Education is the critical mission of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine's Department of Surgery, and the faculty and staff within the department are deeply committed to the General Surgery Residency Program. To accomplish this mission, we have evolved a dynamic clinical curriculum that prioritizes education over service, a faculty trained to teach and hired with clear expectations of their role as facilitators of learning, and an educational structure that values residents as a group of individuals with separate learning needs and ambitions.
The Department of Surgery assumes a kaizen approach, a Japanese term meaning "the relentless quest for better quality." The program leadership and faculty strive to develop learners who not only work towards achieving their maximum capabilities as surgeons, but who reach beyond what they thought possible within a positive learning environment. Significant resources are dedicated to meet our education mission and manage a residency program that truly facilitates the professional as well as personal growth of its residents to graduate future leaders, scholars and clinicians.Curriculum
Learn about our program's dynamic clinical curriculum.
Meet the current residents.
See where our graduates went after training and learn about Residents' Day Research Symposium at the end of the residency.
Access the official policies related to our program.
How to Apply
Individuals interested in applying to the general surgery residency program of the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University must submit their application via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) only. We do not accept any paper applications.
The deadline for application is Oct. 1. Applications received after that date will not be reviewed.
A complete application includes the following:
- ERAS application
- Three letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- USMLE transcript (no minimum score requirements)
- Medical school transcript
- Medical school performance evaluation (dean's letter)
- ECFMG certificate (if applicable)
Personal interviews are by invitation only and are required for acceptance to our program. Applicants who we wish to invite to interview will be notified via email.
We have three interview dates this year:
- Friday, Nov. 8, 2019
- Friday, Dec. 6, 2019
- Friday, Jan. 10, 2020
International Medical Graduates
No previous U.S. clinical experience is required to apply to our program.
We do not have a minimum/maximum number of years from medical school graduation date requirement.
The preferred visa for training at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University is the J-1 visa sponsored through the ECFMG for residency/fellowship training.
Applicants should be ECFMG-certified by the application deadline (Oct. 1).
Diversity & Inclusion
The Department of Surgery strives to create and maintain training programs that mirror the diverse patient population we serve in Chicago. We believe that diverse faculty, residency and fellowship programs are essential to our long-term success as leaders in academic medicine. As such, we embrace diversity as part of our commitment to excellence in our mission areas of patient care, research and education. The Department of Surgery strongly encourages applications from candidates from groups traditionally under-represented in medicine.
Learn more about our diversity efforts at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University.
Nathaniel J. Soper was raised in Iowa City, Iowa, as the son of a pediatric surgeon. After graduating from the University of Iowa School of Medicine, he completed a residency in General Surgery, including a year of laboratory investigation under the mentorship of Layton F. Rikkers, at the University of Utah Hospitals in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Soper then spent two years as an NIH-funded fellow at the Digestive Disease Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, mentored by Keith Kelly and Michael Sarr. He joined the faculty of the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in 1988, and rapidly rose to the rank of Professor. Dr. Soper was a staff surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) at Washington University. He was one of the first academic surgeons performing laparoscopic surgery, which has defined his subsequent career. Dr. Soper was Director of the Washington University Institute for MIS, an industry-funded multi-disciplinary group of surgical researchers working towards improving MIS techniques, technologies and educational curricula. In December, 2003, Dr. Soper accepted the position of Professor of Surgery, Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs and Director of MIS at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He was subsequently named Interim Chair and Residency Program Director for General Surgery in 2006. On July 1, 2007 he was appointed the Loyal and Edith Davis Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Northwestern University and Surgeon-in-Chief at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He served as the department's chair until 2019. Dr. Soper's research interests have revolved around the applications of MIS for gastrointestinal disease, gallstones and benign esophageal disorders, as well as ultrasound and motility of the gastrointestinal tract. More recently he has been involved in the early clinical experience with Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery, including per-oral esophageal myotomy (POEM) for achalasia. He has published more than 200 manuscripts, edited 17 textbooks and authored more than 100 book chapters. Dr. Soper is on the editorial boards of Annals of Surgery, Surgical Endoscopy, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery and Surgical Innovation. Dr. Soper has been named in "The Best Doctors in America" from 1991 through the present and has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He has won ‘Excellence in Teaching’ awards from the Northwestern Department of Surgery every year and received the Andrew L. Warshaw Master Educator Award from the SSAT in 2017. Dr. Soper is a member of numerous professional societies, including Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Surgeons (including its Board of Governors), American Surgical Association, the Society of University Surgeons, and is immediate Past-President of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract and its current Chair of the Board. Dr. Soper is also Past-President of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, the International Society of Digestive Surgery, the Central Surgical Association and the St. Louis Surgical Society. Dr. Soper was most recently elected as a Founding Member of the American College of Surgeons Academy of Master Surgeon Educators.
Dr. Ezra Teitelbaum is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of GI Surgery and holds a dual faculty appointment in the Department of Medical Education. He completed medical school at Mount Sinai in New York and received a Master of Education degree from the University of Cincinnati. He completed general surgery residency at Northwestern and an MIS/Foregut Surgery fellowship with Drs. Lee Swanstrom and Steven DeMeester in Portland, OR. Dr. Teitelbaum’s clinical practice focuses on minimally invasive foregut, bariatric, and general surgery and surgical endoscopy. His primary academic focus is resident education, including the development of simulator-based mastery learning curricula and the use of operative video-review as a teaching and learning tool.
Dr. Derrick Christopher is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Transplantation Surgery. He completed his medical school training at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN. Additionally, he earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management. He completed a general surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital and a transplantation surgery fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Christopher’s clinical practice focuses on liver, kidney, and pancreas transplantation, living donor transplantation, and general surgery in patients with end-stage liver and kidney disease. He also serves as the medical director for the Northwestern Dialysis Access Surgery. He has a keen interest in surgical education for fellows, residents, and students and is heavily involved with them in his daily practice.
Graduate Research Resources
Our General Surgery residents are highly encouraged but not mandated to complete 1-3 years of research following their PGY 3 year. We offer a wide range of resources, mentorship opportunities and training to help our residents excel as physician-scientists. Explore all of the resources and hear from housestaff who are making research a major part of their career development plans.VISIT THE HOUSESTAFF RESEARCH PORTAL