Letter 2013 - Newhook
Congratulations on nearing the completion of medical school and entering the next phase of training. If you are reading this you have likely made the decision to pursue one of the most fulfilling and virtuous professions as a surgeon. Becoming a physician and starting in a residency program are some of the most exciting memories that I can remember thus far. Despite this, committing a significant portion of your life to general surgery residency training is a difficult decision, and even more difficult is finding the right program for you.
There are many details, large and small, that you must sift through when interviewing for a general surgery residency position. Interestingly, many new doctors can tell almost immediately if a program is right for them after spending a short time in the walls of the hospital, meeting the current residents, and speaking with attending physicians. Each program has a distinct character that you can feel on first impression. On behalf of the University of Virginia General Surgery Residency Program I can tell you that what you will see here on first impression is our collegiality, engagement, and support that allows our residents to learn and excel in all clinical and academic pursuits. Moreover, our invaluable mentorship from world-renowned faculty, endless opportunities for academic pursuits, and collaboration through our exceptional university allow our surgery residents to pursue a career as distinguished leaders in surgery.
The interview season is taxing, however after interviewing at some of the most prestigious and interesting hospitals in the country none impressed me more than the University of Virginia. Everything that I heard from residents when I interviewed was true: We operate. We excel. We are a family. Furthermore, Charlottesville is a wonderful place to live with so many diverse activities for your spare time.
Finally, on the first day of your general surgery residency at the University of Virginia you become a part of large family that supports your development into a future leader in surgery. I have established tremendous mentor relationships and found some of my closest friends while here at the University of Virginia, and not one day has gone by here that I have not known that I am a part of the strongest residency program in the country.
Timothy E. Newhook, MD
Categorical General Surgery Resident (PGY-4)
University of Virginia