Director's Welcome

Photo of Nabil Wasif, M.D., M.P.H.

Thank you for your interest in Mayo Clinic's General Surgery Residency in Arizona. Let me first congratulate you on your choice of a future specialty. Very few professions both challenge and inspire in equal measure, yet are as gratifying as surgery.

Traditionally, surgical training is considered to be demanding, because we combine cognitive skills and technical ability to dramatically alter the course of a disease process. Although a few exceptional individuals are born with innate ability, the rest of us achieve mastery through training — hence our training philosophy, "Surgeons are made not born."

Due to the legacy of the Mayo brothers, surgeons and surgical training is in the DNA of the entire Mayo system. We pride ourselves in continuing that tradition by training technically proficient, well-rounded surgeons, who will excel in either an academic, private practice or hybrid setting. Our program is one of only a handful of surgical residencies in the country with a 100 percent pass rate on the American Board of Surgery board examinations. Not only do our graduates have the cachet of a Mayo-trained surgeon, they also have access to an extensive alumni network for the rest of their careers.

While we offer the same breadth of training that you will find in many tertiary care academic centers, I would like to highlight certain aspects of our residency program that are distinctive. Residents are exposed early to the mentorship and mastery model in which the core general surgery rotations consist of one resident assigned to a single attending for the duration of the rotation. This translates to early operative experience, continuity through the entire episode of surgical care, and a true apprenticeship under a surgical mentor.

The final chief year is another unique aspect of our training program and is structured to give the trainees remarkable autonomy. Chiefs function effectively as a junior attending with dedicated clinic time and operating room time with their own service supported by junior residents. Two of the biggest concerns about modern surgical training relate to early operative exposure and resident autonomy, and we have designed our program to effectively address both.

I invite you to visit our program in person and learn more about our educational philosophy and training methods, and I look forward to playing a part in your surgical training.

  • Nabil Wasif, M.D., M.P.H.
    • General Surgery Residency Program Director
    • Associate Professor of Surgery
Sept. 20, 2016