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From the Program Director

Thavam Thambi Welcome to the general surgery residency program at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine! Our program is the only general surgery residency in the state of South Dakota and focuses 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 program.

We have surgery residents from varied backgrounds and from multiple medical schools across the United States. The distinctive healthcare characteristics of the Dakota region gives our residents a strong foundation and offers great opportunities to pursue a career in community-based general surgery in a rural health setting.

The faculty were trained at both community-based programs and academic centers from across the United States. The size of our program (three categorical residents a year) and the absence of surgical fellowship programs allows one-on-one interaction with faculty with early and high volume of operative experiences for all residents.

Residents spend 49 months of their training, including the majority of subspecialty rotations, at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls. In addition, residents rotate through Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton for their rural experience for four months (two months as a PGY-2 and two months as a PGY-3), the Sioux Falls Veterans Affairs Health Care System for four months (one month each PGY-1 through PGY-4), and the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago (one of the busiest trauma centers in the country) for three months (one month as a PGY-2 and two months as a PGY-4) for management of penetrative and operative traumas.

All residents are involved in patient safety/quality improvement projects during their residency. Residents are expected to complete at least two research papers, present their findings at regional/national conferences and publish the data in a peer-reviewed journal.

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

As a general, hepatobiliary and renal transplant surgeon, I look forward to working with you in the OR, during hospital rounds, and in clinic.

Thav Thambi-Pillai, M.D., M.B.A., F.I.C.S., F.A.C.S.
Vice Chair and General Surgery Residency Program Director
Associate Professor of Surgery

From the Department Chair

Gary Timmerman

We are delighted to offer a 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, a renowned Level 1 trauma center experience and a community-based surgical practice.

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

Gary Timmerman, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Department of Surgery Chair