General Surgery Residency Program at Danbury Hospital

A Message from the Program Director

On behalf of the faculty and residents in the Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency, I thank you for your interest in our program.

Although Danbury Hospital began as a community hospital in 1885, over the past 20 years it has transitioned into a tertiary referral center in the Connecticut division of Nuvance Health, a 7 hospital clinical network spanning the New York – Connecticut border. As a result, the clinical experience for our residents has become blend of both complex and “bread and butter” surgical diseases and cases.

We are continuously refining our educational program, having recently completed a multi-year transition from a lecture based curriculum to a flipped classroom model based on the SCORE syllabus. Each week, the residents participate in four hours of protected and 2 hours of unprotected didactic time utilizing a variety of educational formats. Residents participate in both tissue based and inanimate simulation skills sessions at the Spratt Center for Simulation, an 8,000 square foot center at Danbury Hospital that houses laparoscopic, robotic, and VR endoscopy training equipment.

In addition to clinical and technical training, we emphasize development in all the skills needed to be a successful surgeon in the modern era. Residents participate in hospital committees that determine policy in the ICU, ER, and network trauma system; deployment of new technology in the OR; and hospital ethics. Participation increases working knowledge in navigating multi-disciplinary and administrative systems core to modern hospital networks. All PGY4 residents complete the American College of Surgeons Residents as Teachers and Leaders course. Residents are offered funded research years of training. A newly created Center for Surgical Clinical Research works in tandem with the Research Department at Danbury Hospital to support departmental research projects. Residents also have access to the Global Health Program at Nuvance Health, which has teaching agreements with hospitals Zimbabwe, Uganda, the Dominican Republic, Russia, and Vietnam.

As 58 out of 60 months are spent on clinical rotations at Danbury Hospital, the faculty and residents get to know each other well. This helps to build trust and engagement between the attendings and the residents, critical to our goal of graduated autonomous care of patients in and outside of the OR.

The vast majority of our graduates have progressed into highly competitive fellowship training, although several have chosen to transition directly into surgical practice. Our alumni/alumnae have gone on to careers in community, academic, and international practice. I hope that as you continue in your look at our residency you find a dynamic environment well suited for the next step in your surgical career.

Royd Fukumoto, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Program Director, General Surgery Residency Program 

Curriculum

PGY Level Rotation Length Location
1 Advanced MIS/Bariatric/General Surgery 1 month Danbury Hospital
1 Colorectal/Hepatobiliary/Breast/Surgical Oncology 2 months Danbury Hospital
1 Vascular/Thoracic Surgery 2 months Danbury Hospital
1 Trauma/Acute Care Surgery 2 months Danbury Hospital
1 Night Float 2 months Danbury Hospital
1 Intensive Care Unit 2 months Danbury Hospital
1 Anesthesia / Surgical Pathology 1 month Danbury Hospital
2 Colorectal/Hepatobiliary/Breast/Surgical Oncology 2 months Danbury Hospital
2 Vascular/Thoracic Surgery 3 months Danbury Hospital
2 Trauma/Acute Care Surgery 3 months Danbury Hospital
2 Night Float 2 months Danbury Hospital
2 Surgical Intensive Care Unit 2 months Danbury Hospital
Research Full-Time Research 12 to 24 months
3 Colorectal/Hepatobiliary/Breast/Surgical Oncology 3 months Danbury Hospital
3 Vascular/Thoracic Surgery 1 month Danbury Hospital
3 Trauma/Acute Care Surgery 4 months Danbury Hospital
3 Night Float 1 month Danbury Hospital
3 Surgical Intensive Care Unit 1 month Danbury Hospital
3 Pediatric Surgery 1 month Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
3 Transplant Surgery 1 month The University of Vermont Medical Center
4 Advanced MIS/Bariatric/General Surgery 4 months Danbury Hospital
4 Colorectal/Hepatobiliary/Breast/Surgical Oncology 2 months Danbury Hospital
4 Vascular/Thoracic Surgery 2 months Danbury Hospital
4 Trauma/Acute Care Surgery 2 months Danbury Hospital
4 Night Float 2 months Danbury Hospital
5 Advanced MIS/Bariatric/General Surgery 3 months Danbury Hospital
5 Colorectal/Hepatobiliary/Breast/Surgical Oncology 3 months Danbury Hospital
5 Vascular/Thoracic Surgery 2 months Danbury Hospital
5 Trauma/Acute Care Surgery 2 months Danbury Hospital
5 Night Float 2 months Danbury Hospital

Conferences

  • Morbidity and Mortality Conference
  • SCORE
  • Residency Council
  • Team Specific Rounds
  • Sub-Specialty Teaching Conference
  • Basic Surgical Skills Lab
  • Journal Club
  • Clinical Pathology Conference
  • Grand Rounds
  • Trauma Performance Improvement
  • Service specific Tumor Boards – GI, Breast, Lung

Hospital Committees

  • Ethics
  • GME Committee
  • Joint Practice
  • Trauma Operations
  • Mortality Project
  • Clinical Quality Value Analysis

Research

Research is a fundamental part of resident education. With the fast pace of innovations and advancements in understanding the basic science behind and practice of patient care, surgeons in the 21st century must be able to critically evaluate and participate in scientific studies. The best way to understand the processes of research is to actually do it. We do not want to limit resident research involvement to basic science bench work. On the contrary, for most surgeons clinical and translational research will be most important in their careers. Although research opportunities are present during clinical years, categorical residents are required to take 1 year off between their PGY2 and PGY3 clinical years to perform research, with limited options to take 2 years for research.

 

 

Resources

  • BCLS and ACLS as incoming interns as well as when certification expires
  • Subscription to ACS Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum as an incoming intern
  • ATLS (for categorical residents)
  • ATOM (Advanced Trauma Operative Management) Course (for categorical PGY 4/5 residents)
  • Subscription to SCORE curriculum
  • Subscription to TrueLearn
  • Reimbursement for board review courses as a graduating chief resident.
  • Reimbursement for the application and exam fee for the QE of the General Surgery Boards.
  • Funding for local and national academic paper or poster presentations
  • Access to The University of Vermont’s extensive digital library collection
  • 24-hour access to the surgical skills lab
  • 24-hour scrub access
  • Lab coats with laundering service
  • Dedicated surgery resident lounge
  • Overnight call rooms on site
  • Meal allowances for overnight call
  • Yearly educational stipend

Important Dates

September 1, 2021
Applicants may begin submitting applications to programs at 9:00 AM EST.

September 15, 2021
Registration opens for the NRMP 2022 main residency match at 12:00 PM EST.

September 29, 2021
Residency programs may begin reviewing applications and MSPEs at 9:00 AM EST.

October 1, 2021
Medical schools begin uploading rising seniors

October 27-November 1, 2021
First round of interview invites sent out via email

November 15, 2021
Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency Program Interview Day

December 6, 2021
Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency Program Interview Day

December 13, 2021
Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency Program Interview Day

January 10, 2022
Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency Program Interview Day

January 31, 2022
Applicant Standard Registration Deadline for the Match and SOAP at 11:59 PM EST

February 1, 2022
Rank order list entry opens at 12:00 PM EST. Medical schools start verification for student/graduate graduation credentials.

March 2, 2022
Rank Order List Certification Deadline at 9:00 PM EST

Applicants must have their rank order lists certified by 9 p.m. ET. This is also the deadline for the following:

  • Applicant late registration and match withdrawal
  • Medical school student/graduate credentials verification

March 14, 2022
Match Week Begins

March 18, 2022
Match Week Begins

FAQs

Q: What are the application requirements for the Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency Program?

  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Medical School Transcripts
  • USMLE Scores
  • ABSITE (American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination) Scores, if applicable
  • ECFMG Certificate, if applicable
  • Visa Status, if applicable

Q: How is your program structured?
A: There are 4 categorical residents per clinical year.  In addition to this, we have 3 non-designated preliminary intern positions.  Currently, 58 out of 60 months are in rotations at Danbury Hospital.  A 1 month Transplant Surgery rotation is done at University of Vermont in Burlington, VT and a 1 month Pediatric Surgery rotation is done at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, CT.  Both these away rotations are done in the PGY3 year.

Q: Can I visit your program to look at the hospital and speak with people in person?
A:  Due to health concerns with the ongoing CoVid-19 pandemic (including concerns about new variants), no in-person interviews or visits (“second looks”) are currently being conducted at Nuvance Health.  This is also in compliance with the request from the AAMC and recommendation from the APDS that the 2021-2022 Residency Application process is done virtually across the nation.

In addition to minimizing the national spread of CoVid-19, this creates a “level playing field” for any applicant who cannot travel due to personal health, school travel restrictions, or limitations from personal financial resources.  We understand the value of seeing the people and place you are thinking about spending a significant portion of your life.  The current decision for a virtual-only interview process this year was made with the health of our community and nation in mind as well as the goal of improving equity for all our applicants.  We will revisit in-person interviews and coordinated visits for the 2022-2023 season.

We, of course, cannot prevent any individual from coming to Danbury to see the community.  We, however, will not coordinate nor sanction any in-person meeting with any of the residents or faculty, nor facilitate any visits to Danbury Hospital.

Q: Do interns get to operate?
A: Yes!  The expectation is that interns will be operating at both the Surgeon Junior and First Assistant levels throughout the year.  The average number of Surgeon Junior cases performed by interns is approximately 100 each year.

Q: What is the call schedule like?
A: Except for the ICU, all teaching surgical services operate under a Night Float system.  The current Night Float schedule is a 14 hour shift on Sunday-Thursday nights.  Each level of resident will have 1-2 months of Night Float per year.  This leaves 24 hour calls on Friday and Saturday and a 10 hour call on Sunday day.  On average each resident who is not on Night Float will have one Friday, one Saturday, and one Sunday call per month.  Many residents request the Friday and Sunday-day calls to be on the same week, creating two completely free weekends off per month.

Q: What exactly is the relationship between Danbury Hospital and the University of Vermont?
A: Danbury Hospital, in combination with Norwalk Hospital and New Milford Hospital, constitute a second branch campus for the University of Vermont, the Connecticut Clinical Branch Campus.  Medical students enrolled in this branch campus spend the first 2 didactic years of medical school in Burlington, Vermont.  They then spend their clinical rotation years at the Connecticut Branch hospitals.  Surgery residents at Danbury Hospital receive appointments as Clinical Instructors at the University of Vermont.  The surgical residencies at Danbury Hospital and the University of Vermont (Burlington) are completely separate.

Q: What is the difference between the Danbury Hospital Surgery Residency and the Health Quest Surgery Residency?
A: Danbury Hospital and Vassar Brothers Medical Center (where the Health Quest residency is based) are part of the same clinical network, Nuvance Health.  The two residencies are completely separate, although there are faculty members who operate at both sites and independently work with residents from both programs.

Q: What exactly is the housing lottery?
A: Open to all interns, the lottery will provide either free housing on campus or a rent subsidy.  All incoming interns are encouraged to enter the lottery.  If picked, an on-campus rent-free apartment will be provided.  For those who do not get an apartment, a rent subsidy allowance will be added monthly.  This benefit, unfortunately, does not extend beyond the intern year.

Q: What are your score requirements for the USMLE and ABSITE?
A: The Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency Program does not have strict minimum requirements as we have a holistic approach to application review.

Q: Am I still eligible to apply to your program if I have not taken the ABSITE?
A: Yes

Q: Am I still eligible to apply to your program if I have only taken steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE?
A: Yes

Q: Do you participate in ERAS and NRMP?
A: Yes.

Q: Will you accept an applicant who has not participated in ERAS and NRMP?
A: No

Q: Are you participating in the ERAS secondary application pilot for general surgery this year?
A: Yes we are.  Applicants are encouraged but not required to complete the secondary application.

Q: Does the Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency Program accept applications from foreign medical graduates?
A: Yes

Q: Does the Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency Program sponsor visas?
A: Yes, H1B visas are sponsored by Danbury Hospital on a limited basis.

Q: Are there any other visas the Danbury Hospital General Surgery Residency Program will accept?
A: Yes, the J1 visa through ECFMG

Life in Danbury

Life is not just about work! Although Danbury is not Manhattan (and we are only an hour away), there are still plenty of opportunities for excitement in this town…outside the operating room.

Restaurant Options

After a long day’s work or if you just want to enjoy a night out with friends or family, Danbury’s large selection of fine restaurants will make your night fulfilling. Cuisines from around the world are available including Japanese/Hibachi, Chinese, Italian, Brazilian, Indian, and many more delicious options.

Entertainment Options

What better way to finish a great night out than with a movie or play? A conveniently located movie theater is only minutes from the hospital with the most up to date movie selection. If theater is what you prefer, there are a number of playhouses in the area featuring interesting and unique plays, concerts, art galleries, etc.

Shopping

Danbury Fair Mall is a massive shopping mall with practically every store a shopaholic would desire. The beautiful sky lit interior and the ample food court make for a great way to spend a Saturday.

Activities for Children

Let’s not forget about the kids! If you have a family and children, who don’t like to spend their days in the hospital like you, there are plenty of fun activities around town to keep your kids entertained. From apple and pumpkin picking, to parks and bike trails, rock-climbing and planetariums, there is bound to be something that will spark your family’s interest.

Outdoor Activities

Located at the foot of the Berkshire Hills, Danbury offers countless outdoor activities. . The natural hills and lakes formed within the valley of these hills make the city an ideal location for a fishing, boating, swimming, whitewater rafting, hiking, rock climbing and skiing.

Summer Activities

In the summer, the city of Danbury is a popular lakeside community with activity centered around Candlewood Lake. Numerous marinas and man-made beaches provide fun in the sun for residents and visitors alike. Popular lake side restaurants offer fine dining directly on the water with frequent sea boat landings and boating dockside service.

During the warmer months, hiking, bouldering and rock-climbing are accessible at Bear Mountain reservation, which provides more than 21 miles of easy to strenuous hiking trails for the outdoor enthusiast. The park provides free parking and maps are available for day hikers both online and from the park ranger’s office. Indoor rock climbing with autobelay is also available at Danbury Sport & Wellness Center and the CT Rock Gym.  For the whitewater adventurist, Danbury offers Class I-V rapids during February to May. Whitewater rafting is available in both kayaks and 4-6 man rafts at Bull’s Bridge Gorge in Kent, CT. Also located at Kent is one of the country’s most spectacular natural waterfalls. Kent Falls is a series of 3 waterfalls which drop more than 150 feet collectively. The falls form shallow pools and natural water slides, which are open to swimmers year round.

Winter Activities

During the winter months, skiing and snowboarding are available at more than 10 resorts within a two-hour radius of Danbury. The closest community ski resort is only 8 miles from Danbury — in Brewster, NY. Other local ski resorts include Mohawk Mountain, Woodbury Ski Resort, Mad Hatter Ski & Skate Park, Thunder Ridge, and Mount Peter. Seasonal lift tickets and gear rentals are available at the resorts and at local Ski Haus outlets.

Other local attractions include local Connecticut and Vermont sugar houses to harvest and observe maple syrup production. Frequently, maple sugarhouses also have farms and orchards connected to them which allow for visitors to pick their own seasonal fruit. Local famer’s markets in Danbury and Ridgefield offer a variety of culinary delights, including local creamery offerings of goat, sheep and cow cheeses. Organic produce, specialty items and fine cut butchery offerings are also available at weekend markets.