General Surgery

Goals and Objectives

General Objectives

The PGY1-AP resident is expected to:

  1. Be assigned to the colorectal team, breast team or hepatobiliary team in order to completely fulfill the specific objectives of the rotation.
  2. Cover the pager of acute are surgery team when on call or if not engaged in activities with the other teams.
  3. Acquire knowledge and skills that will assist in preparation for the LMCC Part II exam
  4. Understand the medical problems related to underlying diseases that he/she will be required to diagnose.
  5. Enhance communication and collaboration between the pathologists and their clinical colleagues.
  6. Respect  the  CanMEDS  roles  as  set  by  the  Department  of  General  Surgery  and Anatomical Pathology

Specific Objectives

Medical Expert

  • Demonstrate the ability to perform a focused history and physical exam pertinent to the patient’s presenting illness.
  • Present cases in a clear, concise, integrated, and problem-based manner.
  • Demonstrate the appropriate diagnosis and management of patients with: appendicitis, small bowel obstruction, cholecystitis, acute abdomen/free air, diverticulitis, pancreatitis, lower GI bleed,  perianal abscess,  breast  cancer,  oesophageal  cancer, gastric cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, liver cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
  • Develop an appreciation for the role of pathology and imaging in aiding in the diagnosis of various pathologies.
  • Attend the colorectal and/or breast clinic. Through clinical practice with staff and/or senior resident surgeons:
    • Develop an understanding of guidelines and indications for screening for GI and breast malignancies.
    • Develop an understanding of risk factors and prognostic factors for GI and breast malignancies.
  • Spend sufficient time in operating room
    • Participate in surgical procedures.
    • Learn the basis of the surgical techniques: indications, benefits and complications.
    • Identify the surgical margins on the fresh specimens.
    • Learn the rules of tissue fixation.
    • Participate in the frozen sections when indicated.
  • Further to this, the resident should develop an understanding of the multidisciplinary approach to cancer care, including surgery, radiology, pathology, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.


  • To understand the importance for a clinician of a clear and concise pathology report.
  • Establish therapeutic relationships with patients/families.
  • Obtain and synthesize relevant history from patients/families/communities.
  • Listen effectively.
  • Discuss appropriate information with patients/families and the health care team.


  • To understand the importance of a pathologist’s report in the management of patients.
  • To understand the questions that a pathology report may generate and the importance of being able to communicate physician to physician for clarification.
  • To understand  the  role of the pathology report along the continuum of patient investigations (eg breast ultrasound, mammography, biopsy, resection).


  • To gain an understanding of the various laboratory requisitions that a physician must be familiar with in order to appropriately access laboratory medicine services.
  • To understand the various transport media which practitioners routinely have in their offices.
  • To understand the role of specimen collection and processing in the context of quality control and quality assurance (eg. importance of proper and immediate labeling of specimen when collected).
  • To gain an understanding of the handling and disposal of hazardous materials within a surgery clinic.

Health Advocate

  • To identify the important determinants of health affecting patients.
  • To understand the role of the physician as a health advocate, including their role to provide population screening and preventative health.


  • To implement a strategy for critically appraising sources of medical information.
  • To facilitate the learning of patients, staff and medical learners regarding the role of a laboratory medicine professional and available educational resources.
  • To understand the value of laboratory medicine education for practitioners in regards to ancillary tests. (eg guidelines for fasting bloodwork, consider flow cytometry if lymphocytosis)
  • To understand the guidelines regarding the frequency of screening tests containing a laboratory medicine component (eg. stool for fecal occult blood, pap tests, serum lipids).
  • To view the clinical presentation of disease entities.
  • To understand obstacles that physicians may face in obtaining sample material.
  • To learn the management of various disease entities including both surgical modalities.


Updated April, 2020

Back to top