Within the Saskatoon Health Authority, members of the Division of General Surgery are based at each of the three affiliated teaching hospitals, including the Royal University HospitalSaskatoon City Hospital, and St. Paul’s Hospital. The spectrum of clinical practice and interest among Division members includes pediatric surgery, peripheral vascular surgery, general thoracic and esophageal surgery, surgical oncology, hepatobiliary surgery, colorectal surgery, trauma and critical care, and transplant surgery.

The Division supports a postgraduate residency training program, and has a wide range of research interests.

General Surgery Residency Training Program

The education of our residents is the main goal of our Residency Training Program.  Faculty in Saskatoon and Regina participate in teaching and research.   Residents rotate through the Regina General Hospital (Regina), St. Paul’s Hospital, Royal University Hospital (Saskatoon) as have opportunities for elective rotations.  Our Residents are given graduated responsibilities throughout their residency to reach the ultimate goal of becoming a competent Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada General Surgeon.

The goal of our training program is to produce fully trained and competent General Surgeons who are able to:

  1. Successfully pass the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Specialty Examination in General Surgery.
  2. Able to practice at a consultant level in General Surgery.
  3. Have a superior knowledge of General Surgery and other related disciplines.
  4. Obtain exceptional clinical knowledge and operative skills.
  5. Obtain proficiency in General Surgery procedures.
  6. Become a medical expert and scholar.  To act in a professional manner with excellent communication, manager, health advocate and communicator skills. 
  7. Exhibit excellent leadership skills.
  8. Have an excellent understanding of research methodology.

The residency training program in General Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan is fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Our trainees have a proud record of success at the qualifying examinations for General Surgery and most have gone on to Fellowships while others have gone directly into practice. We offer the resident a progressively increasing level of clinical responsibility over the 5 year program. The trainee can expect to gain expertise in all major areas of current general surgical practice as outlined in the curriculum below. 

Program Curriculum
Our resident complement is relatively small, but we feel our size is one of our strengths.  Residents work in a very collegial environment and receive a strong operative experience. 

PGY-1 and 2
All residents enter the Surgical Foundations Training Program (under the direction of Dr. K. Kvinlaug) and spend rotations in General Surgery (13 blocks), Plastic Surgery, Vascular, Thoracics, ICU, Urology, Internal Medicine, Anesthesia, Emergency, Research and Selective. Rotations can be at Royal University Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital or Regina General Hospital.

PGY-3 to 5
The General Surgery Residency Training Program at the University of Saskatchewan is based at the Royal University Hospital on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan. In addition to the Royal University Hospital experience, residents rotate to St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon, and to the Regina General Hospital in Regina. Nearly all faculty have fellowship training, resulting in a very broad experience in the areas of GI surgery, oncology, vascular surgery, thoracic surgery, critical care, trauma, head & neck, pediatric surgery, hepatobiliary surgery, transplant surgery, acute care surgery and breast surgery.  Elective time is available in PGY3 and in PGY4 for a total of six months elective time. 

All residents participate actively in research projects and our residents are well represented at national and international meetings.

Residents have the opportunity to spend 3-6 months in a Community Surgery Rotation in one of our four affiliated regional training centers.


The specialty of General Surgery embraces the principles and techniques of safe and effective surgical care of the whole person of any age, and is the parent of all surgical specialties. The Resident in general surgery is an eclectic surgical specialist whose practice deals mainly with the alimentary tract, trauma and critical care, endocrine and breast diseases, cancer surgery and endoscopy. By virtue of training, special interest or circumstance the practice of general surgery may be narrowly focused or may extend to diseases or injuries affecting virtually any system of the body. Modern general surgical practice includes expertise in communication and collaboration, teaching and research, health care management and continuing professional development.


Upon completion of training, a resident is expected to be a competent specialist in General Surgery capable of assuming a consultant's role in general surgery. The resident must acquire a thorough knowledge of the theoretical basis of general surgery, including its foundations in the basic medical sciences and research.

To achieve competency as a resident in general surgery, the resident must achieve:

  • knowledge and expertise in clinical and operative management of diseases of the alimentary tract, breast and endocrine systems, trauma and critical care, general surgical oncology and ambulatory patient care for general surgery;
  • mastery of surgical skills of open cavitary surgery, endoscopy, minimal access surgery, endocrine surgery, breast surgery, trauma surgery and soft tissue surgery including abdominal wall surgery; and
  • effective clinical judgement and decision making in dealing with general surgical problems based on sound surgical fundamentals.

Residents must demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes relating to gender, culture and ethnicity pertinent to general surgery. In addition, all residents must demonstrate an ability to incorporate gender, cultural and ethnic perspectives in research methodology, data presentation and analysis.

Senior residency is defined as a year in which the resident is regularly entrusted with the responsibility for pre-operative, operative, and post-operative care, including the most difficult problems in General Surgery.

The senior resident shall be in charge of a general surgical unit. The senior resident shall be directly responsible to the attending staff surgeons in the general surgical unit.


At the completion of training, the resident will have acquired the following competencies and will function effectively as:

Medical Expert/Clinical Decision-Maker
Specialists possess a defined body of knowledge and procedural skills, which are used to collect and interpret data, make appropriate clinical decisions, and carry out diagnostic and therapeutic procedures within the boundaries of their discipline and expertise. Their care is characterized by up-to-date and whenever possible evidence-based, ethical, and cost-effective clinical practice and effective communication in partnership with patients, other health care providers, and the community. The role of medical expert/clinical decision-maker is central to the function of specialist physicians, and draws on the competencies included in the roles of scholar, communicator, health advocate, manager, collaborator, and professional. [ More . . .]
To provide humane, high-quality care, specialists establish effective relationships with patients, other physicians, and other health professionals. Communication skills are essential for the functioning of a specialist, and are necessary for obtaining information from, and conveying information to patients and their families. Furthermore, these abilities are critical in eliciting patients' beliefs, concerns, and expectations about their illnesses, and for assessing key factors impacting on patients' health. [More . . .]
Specialists work in partnership with others who are appropriately involved in the care of individuals or specific groups of patients. It is therefore essential for specialists to be able to collaborate effectively with patients and a multidisciplinary team of expert health professionals for provision of optimal patient care, education, and research. [More . . .]
Specialists function as managers when they make everyday practice decisions involving resources, co-workers, tasks, policies, and their personal lives. They do this in the settings of individual patient care, practice organizations, and in the broader context of the health care system. Thus, specialists require the abilities to prioritize and effectively execute tasks through teamwork with colleagues, and make systematic decisions when allocating finite health care resources. As managers, specialists take on positions of leadership within the context of professional organizations and the dynamic Canadian health care system. [More . . .]
Health Advocate
Specialists recognize the importance of advocacy activities in responding to the challenges represented by those social, environmental, and biological factors that determine the health of patients and society. They recognize advocacy as an essential and fundamental component of health promotion that occurs at the level of the individual patient, the practice population, and the broader community. Health advocacy is appropriately expressed both by the individual and collective responses of specialist physicians in influencing public health and policy. [More . . .]
Specialists engage in a life-long pursuit of mastery of their domain of professional expertise. They recognize the need to be continually learning and model this for others. Through their scholarly activities, they contribute to the appraisal, collection, and understanding of health care knowledge, and facilitate the education of their students, patients, and others. [More . . .]
Specialists have a unique societal role as professionals with a distinct body of knowledge, skills, and attitudes dedicated to improving the health and well-being of others. Specialists are committed to the highest standards of excellence in clinical care and ethical conduct, and to continually perfecting mastery of their discipline. [More . . .]


Each Resident is required to undertake a research project under faculty direction and will present a paper based on the research during Resident Research Days.

Resident Research Coordinator for the Division of General Surgery is Dr. Gary Groot.

Schedule of Rounds









1:00-3:00 pm
3:00-3:30 pm
3:30-4:30 pm

Academic Half Day

Socratic Seminar
Guest or Career Planning Session

 Room 146
Ellis Hall




1:00-2:00 pm

2:00-4:00 pm
4:00-4:30 pm

Academic Half Day

Radiology, Pathology, Surgery Combined Rounds
Socratic Seminar


Room 146
Ellis Hall




5:30-6:30 pm

Department of Surgery
Grand Rounds


 Saskatoon City Hospital Rependa Center




5:30-6:30 pm

Department of Surgery
Multidisciplinary Trauma Rounds

SaskTel Theatre
Royal University Hospital




4:30-6:00 pm

Surgical Foundations Seminar
September - January

Room 146
Ellis Hall



4:30-6:00 pm

Surgical Foundations Seminar

Room 146
Ellis Hall


Dr. J. Shaw
Head, Division of General Surgery
Phone: 306-966-8641
Fax: 306-966-8026

Royal University Hospital
103 Hospital Drive
Saskatoon SK S7N 0W8

Administrative Assistant
Treena Stephen,
Executive Assistant to the Division Head
Phone: 306-844-1105
Fax: 306-844-1522

Dr. Gavin Beck
Program Director

Dr. Dilip Gill
Associate Program Director

Karen Bader
Program Administrative Assistant
Email: karen.bader@usask.ca
Phone: (306) 844-1091

Kim Laybourne
Program Administrative Assistant
Email: kim.laybourne@usask.ca