CUSOM (Phoenix) General Surgery Residency

Doctor and residents preparing for surgery

The Creighton University School of Medicine (CUSOM) Phoenix General Surgery Residency is based at two main campuses located near the heart of downtown Phoenix, Valleywise Health Medical Center, (a 220-bed county owned acute care hospital) and Dignity Health Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center (a nearly 600 bed acute care hospital). Our two main hospitals align with the Creighton mission to provide care for the underserved including routine, tertiary as well as destination care for the Phoenix area, the state of Arizona and beyond.

Our Philosophy

Our program is focused on training surgeons to be independent within the typical 5-year training period. A number of our graduates choose to go into practice straight out of residency and are successful. For those that choose fellowship, they have matched at highly competitive programs including Harvard (transplant), UC Irvine (colorectal), Johns Hopkins (endocrine), Mayo Clinic Rochester (cardiothoracic), Cleveland Clinic (breast surgical oncology) and University of Tennessee (trauma/critical care).

We host medical students form Creighton, University of Arizona, Midwestern and other schools. Although we do have excellent burn and surgical critical care fellowships with one fellow each per year, our primary focus is on our general surgery trainees. 

Mission

In Creighton’s Jesuit Catholic tradition, the mission of the CUSOM Phoenix General Surgery Residency Program is to improve the human condition by providing our students, residents, fellows and faculty with the foundational knowledge, skills and mindset to be service-oriented surgeons of competence, conscience and compassion.

Vision

To be the leading General Surgery Residency Program in the Southwest, with a reputation for clinical expertise, scholarly activity and inquiry, innovation in both surgical education and practice, habitual self-reflection, and service to our patients and our community.

Values

  • Inclusivity and Diversity
  • Integrity and Accountability
  • Collaboration and Innovation
  • Collegiality and Professionalism
  • Compassion and Service

Aims

  • To train clinically excellent surgeons equipped to flourish in our ever-more challenging practice environment, to be good stewards of resources and prepared for independent practice or a specialty fellowship of their choosing.
  • To develop and cultivate individual scholarly interests, leadership development and professionalism by action and example; to provide resources and opportunities for trainees to forge their own path in surgery.
  • To produce surgeons uniquely skilled in addressing health-care disparities and overcoming barriers to care; who choose to either stay in or return to Arizona, in service to the community they trained in.
  • To foster a collegial environment that is conducive to education, camaraderie and compassion - for patients, colleagues and self.

History of the Program

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education had granted continuous approval to the VHMC five-year surgery program since 1954 and to the St. Joseph’s program since 2008. VHMC and St. Joe’s both have long histories of success in preparing physicians for the medicine of tomorrow. Together they offer Arizona's longest running residency programs and train hundreds of physicians every year in a wide range of clinical settings.

In recognition of that success, Creighton University School of Medicine (CUSOM) joined with VHMC, District Medical Group (DMG), and Dignity St. Joe’s to become the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance in 2017. Creighton is the Sponsoring Institution for all graduate medical education for both hospitals and is opening a brand new medical school in Phoenix with its first class matriculating August 2021.

We received approval from the ACGME for merging the two programs into one new program in April 2021. With this new program we are leveraging the strengths of each former program.  There have been major changes and likely there will be more in the future. What will not change is our dedicated teaching faculty, strong and diverse trainees, a high volume of patient care encounters and operative experiences, and our commitment to resident education and professional and personal development.