General Surgery

General Surgery

We train general surgeons to be outstanding clinicians able to provide excellent surgical care and embark on independent practice in rural settings. Though our primary focus is training surgeons for practice in rural communities, our graduates will be well prepared to provide high quality care to patients anywhere.


To train rural surgeons who provide excellent surgical care.

Program Curriculum

The General Surgery program allows residents to experience a wide range of hands-on experience and training with rotations in general surgery to develop a diverse skill set in 12 different surgical fields.

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Training Sites

Residents primarily train at Sanford USD Medical Center's Surgical Tower. Residents also have the opportunity to train at community-based and federal hospital systems in Sioux Falls, Yankton, S.D. and the VA to prepare for their practice in rural general surgery.

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Photo Courtesy of Experience Sioux Falls

Life in Sioux Falls

Get to know the city of Sioux Falls, SD. Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota. It has everything you want out of a big city but with a low cost of living and low crime rates. We hope you'll call it home as you continue your medical education (and who knows, maybe even longer!)

Explore Sioux Falls

Why Choose this Program

  • The strength of our program is readily apparent in the exceptional way our chief residents lead our surgical teams, operate, and take care of patients.

    Michael Burt
    Michael Burt, MD General Surgery Resident, Class of 2024 Meet Resident
  • We work hard and have each others’ backs here. It’s not easy, but it can’t be easy and also be General Surgery residency. If you put in the work and are a team player, you will graduate as a well-trained general surgeon with life-long colleagues and friends!

    Jesse Van Maanen
    Jesse Van Maanen, MD General Surgery Resident, Class of 2021 Meet Resident
  • As a recent graduate of the general surgery program, I found myself well prepared for my future endeavors. My surgical experience was expansive, and my family integrated well into the surrounding community. I am pleased to be returning as faculty.

    Benjamin Jorgensen
    Benjamin Jorgensen, MD Vascular Surgeon Meet Faculty Member
  • Many residencies will claim a non-malignant culture, camaraderie amongst their residents, and engaged faculty. I can only speak to my experience at USD, but you can find all of those qualities here. The moment I matched I felt directly supported in this crazy journey by everyone from the PD to my co-interns. The residents are a tight-knit group by necessity, I'm very grateful to be a part of it.

    Emily Hillmer, MD General Surgery Resident, Class of 2028 Meet Resident
  • The USD surgery residency program offers a truly unique blend of opportunities: The “semi-rural” roots of the program allow ample opportunity to build a solid foundation in basic general surgery skills while our growing populous and breadth of surgical subspecialties will ensure you graduate with more than adequate exposure to trauma/ critical care and cutting-edge advanced surgical care.

    Dan Lang, MD General Surgery Resident, Class of 2027 Meet Resident
  • The program is not only receptive to change but actively encourages us to identify opportunities for improvement. Residents have a real voice in everything from patient care and workflow to education and wellness. It's not the type of place where you hear "that's just how it is and how it always will be". We are able to make significant changes that are implemented almost immediately.

    Alyssa Kessel, MD General Surgery Resident, Class of 2026 Meet Resident
  • Matching here at the USD General Surgery Residency is one of the best decisions I have made. I am quickly acquiring the surgical skills necessary to become a competent general surgeon and am making many lifelong friends and mentors along the way.

    Cody Ness
    Cody Ness, MD General Surgery Resident, Class of 2025 Meet Resident
  • Having the opportunity to be among the first graduating class and now serving as core faculty allowed me to witness the progress of our training program toward becoming one of the top-tier training programs in the country.

    Hassan Turaihi, MD Class of 2018, General Surgery Faculty Meet Faculty Member
  • We have a vast number of opportunities for autonomy both in the operating room and on the floor. This in turn provides the foundation to becoming a confident and competent general surgeon.

    Rebekah Wood
    Rebekah Wood, MD General Surgery Resident, Class of 2024 Meet Resident

Virtual Visits

Our residents have guided our efforts to present our philosophy of education to you. We have always been told that the in-person visit “seals the deal” and we are hopeful that the “virtual visit” will accomplish the same goal this year.

Take the Tour

What's next?

We invite you to continue learning more about our General Surgery Residency Program!

  1. Discover the residency experience
  2. Get a feel for life in Sioux Falls
  3. Meet your co-residents
  4. View application requirements