Sanford School of Medicine Residencies

General Surgery - Welcome

From the Program Director

Thav Thambi, MDWelcome to the General Surgery Residency program at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine! Ours is a new program and the only general surgery residency in South Dakota with focus on rural general surgery training. The concepts of graded and progressive responsibility under the guidance and supervision of faculty members, along with a focus on lifelong learning, are the core tenets of our educational program.  

During our first year we were excited to match with medical students and residents at PGY-1 and PGY-2 levels from competitive programs across the United States.   

The distinctive health care characteristics of the Dakota region will give our residents a strong foundation and great opportunities to pursue a career in general surgery in a rural health setting. The size of our program, three categorical residents per year, and absence of surgical fellowship programs allows one-on-one interaction with faculty from the beginning of training to help develop individual skills as a general surgeon.  

Sanford USD Medical Center is the main teaching hospital where residents will spend 52 months of their training, including all subspecialty rotations. In addition, the residents will rotate through Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton for their rural surgical experience and the VA in Sioux Falls. 

During the five years of residency, residents are expected to do research and present their findings at regional/national conferences and publish the data in a peer-reviewed journal.

We hope that you enjoy exploring our program website, where you will find additional information on our clinical rotations, conference schedule, benefits, and living in Sioux Falls, SD.

Thav Thambi-Pillai, MD, FICS, FACS
General Surgery Residency Program Director


From the Department Chair

Gary Timmerman, MD, Department of Surgery ChairWe are delighted to offer an entirely new General Surgery Residency that has been developed from its inception to produce primarily general surgeons to practice in rural or community-based hospitals across the country and abroad. 

A central key to this program is there are no competing subspecialty residencies, thereby enhancing the resident's subspecialty experience. This program will offer operative experience at a large surgical volume hospital, a VA experience, and a community-based surgical practice. 

We believe this residency will offer significant surgical care opportunities, with emphasis on producing competent, confident, well-equipped, and well-trained general surgeons. 

Gary Timmerman, MD, FACS
Department of Surgery Chair

General Surgery Home