Surgical Foundations Program

General Surgery resident

The Surgical Foundations Program at Western University was initially established in 1996 by Dr. Ken Leslie for the first-year General Surgery residents. It now includes residents from ten surgical specialties: Cardiac Surgery, General Surgery, Urology, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Neurosurgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and OB/GYN.

The Surgical Foundations Program provides classroom and clinical training in the fundamental skills of surgery for residents in the majority of surgical specialties, concurrent with training in their home surgical specialty.

Residents start the program with a two-week boot camp in July which provides them with the essential knowledge and skills to transition into residency.

The Introduction to Surgery course takes place weekly from October to April, incorporating all seven of the CanMEDs competencies in the curriculum and includes technical skills training, simulation-based training, classroom-based sessions, and ATLS Certification.

A two-day Refresher Course takes place at the end of their first year to assist residents in preparing for the RCPSC Surgical Foundations examination.

The RCPSC Surgical Foundations Exam takes place in the fall of the second year of residency training, which evaluates their attainment of the knowledge-based objectives of core training in surgery.

The Surgical Foundations Program implemented Competence by Design (CBD) in July 1, 2018. Residents complete Surgical Foundations Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) and their progression is reviewed by the Surgical Foundations Competence Committee. Once the Transition to Discipline and Foundations of Discipline stages are completed, residents are promoted to the Core of Discipline stage of their primary specialty. More information regarding CBD and Competency-based Medical Education can be found here.