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General Surgery Residency Program

David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, California, is one of the five Air Force active duty training sites for general surgery residency. We accept two residents per year into a six year residency program with one year of required research. We also accept 12 preliminary PGY-1 only interns per year. Preliminary interns may go on to further Graduate Medical Edication training in any specialty or pursue Flight Medicine / GMO positions. University of California, Davis has a Military Flight Medicine track to include a rotation schedule applicable to non-categorical surgery residents as well as a flight medicine lecture series.

DGMC is a fully integrated residency site with UC Davis, which is a RRC fully-accredited training program. In addition to the two Air Force categorical residents per year, UC Davis also accepts seven civilian residents for a total of nine graduating chief residents per year. The majority of the clinical residency experience occurs at UC Davis Medical Center and affiliated sites (Sacramento VA, Shriner’s Children Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Barton - Tahoe).

Active duty residents will spend about 6-8 months of rotation time at DGMC during their five clinical years. The majority of your clinical endoscopy experience during residency occurs at DGMC. Accomplishing your residency at DGMC gives you the unique opportunity of performing an active duty residency with associated pay while accruing time in service and also gaining the benefit of predominantly civilian training sites. Your graduation certificate will be from UC Davis. Please see the UC Davis website for further information.

The Active Duty Surgery Staff at Travis AFB is wide reaching for your education and mentorship. Along with General Surgery, DGMC boasts specialists in Colorectal, Surgical Oncology, MIS / Bariatric, Plastic, and Vascular surgery. We have general surgeons who are fully integrated at the Sacramento VA. We also have multiple surgeons who are embedded at UC Davis in Trauma surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Vascular, and Cardiothoracic surgery. Many of our surgeons at DGMC also perform endoscopy.

Education

UC Davis is a world renowned academic medical center with strong clinical and research programs and well respected academic surgical leaders. Residents participate in a dedicated conference 1/2 day per week of protected academic time to ensure well rounded scholarly development to include Grand Rounds, city wide M&M, and resident didactic basic science and clinical application lectures. Clinical learning is supplemented by a simulation based surgical skills curriculum at both UC Davis and DGMC. Mock oral boards are administered to the senior/chief residents yearly.

Research

DGMC active duty residents complete one year of required research. Military research resident are highly encouraged to utilize DGMC’s Clinical Investigation Facility for animal protocols. However, they may also perform research at UC Davis or a combination of both sites and are encouraged to pursue multiple research projects simultaneously. Our residents have been very successful in applying for and obtaining federal grant money for their projects. Research residents typically present their projects at many local and national meetings. Funding is well supported for travel to present. Residents may also perform small projects or continued work during their clinical years as time permits. Dedicated research is accomplished between the R3-R4 years.

Clinical Curriculum

UC Davis residents meet all case requirements required to sit for the general surgery boards. Resident Rotations (average number of months over five clinical years) are as follows;

  • Trauma/  Acute Care Surgery - 12 months
  • Kaiser (General Surgery) - 11 months
  • VA Sacramento - seven months
  • USAF-DGMC - 3-8 months
  • Colorectal - 3-4 months
  • Transplant - four months
  • SICU - four months
  • Surgical Oncology - three months
  • Pediatric Surgery - 2-3 months
  • MIS / Bariatric / Foregut - two months
  • Vascular - two months
  • Barton - Tahoe - two months
  • Burns - one month

Training

DGMC provides many training opportunities. Courses are regularly available in BLS, ACLS, ATLS, and PALS. Periodically we also run ASSET and REBOA courses. DGMC rotating residents participate in monthly live animal porcine labs concentrating on Laparoscopic, Trauma, or Vascular principles. We also run monthly resident labs in Laparoscopic box training (FLS skills) and virtual reality endoscopy simulation. UC Davis is a certified FLS and FES testing site.

Locality

The location is unrivaled. Northern California is beautiful year round. Most days are sunny, 70-80 degrees, with little to no humidity. Travis AFB is only 45 minutes from wineries in Napa and Sonoma, 1.5 hours from skiing/swimming at Lake Tahoe, one hour from the Pacific Coast and San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge), 2.5 hours from the Monterey Peninsula, and three hours from climbing and hiking in Yosemite. Professional sporting is well represented; Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings basketball, San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics baseball, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders football, and San Jose Sharks hockey, as well as multiple PGA tour golf events.

Military Officer Duties

During your residency/internship, you will be active duty and will be required to complete military officer requirements at Travis AFB. You will need to stay current with policies for leave, fitness testing, drug screening, CBTs, appearance, etc. Even though you are always a doctor, you are an officer in the military first and foremost.

Housing

Since you will be spending a majority of your time at UC Davis, most residents live in the Sacramento area. During your rotation months at DGMC, residents are provided on base temporary lodging at the Air Force Inn due to the 40 minute driving distance from Sacramento. You are allowed to return home to Sacramento on days you are not on call. It is not necessary that you live near the base as a majority of your time is not spent at DGMC.

Pay

Will be initiated upon your military in-processing. Pay is commensurate with your rank and time in service and Pay charts can be found online and change yearly. Additional pays include Consolidated Special Pay (“doctor bonus pay”) and Basic Allowance for Housing & Subsistence. Military resident pay is typically much more than civilian resident pay.

Vacation

UC Davis grants interns/residents a two week vacation block twice per year for a total of four weeks per year.

Residency / Internship can be a very rewarding experience during this time in your life. It is filled with a great deal of learning and professional growth. There are also times where it may be difficult and challenging both mentally and physically. Come prepared for this experience and be ready to work hard and be flexible.

We want this experience to be a positive one for all; it will require more of your dedication than ever before.

MS3/MS4 Student Course Description

DGMC accepts third and fourth year medical students for general surgery and sub-internship rotations from USUHS and HPSP students. Rotations may occur year round but are typically May through September for the GME application cycle. We accept up to four students per month. Please contact the general surgery resident coordinator as spots fill quickly. If you are unable to secure a rotation during your desired time, you may still come visit for 1-2 days to interview with the program director and view our site.

Primary services covered while at DGMC are General Surgery, MIS/Bariatric, Colorectal, Surgical Oncology, and Vascular. Additionally, there are opportunities to scrub cases on ENT, Plastic Surgery, Cardiothoracic, GYN, and Urology.

The MS3/MS4 military student elective (ADT tour) is an extremely valuable experience to gauge your interest in an active duty residency. It also allows the military program directors the opportunity to meet and interact with you so that we can help guide you in your career choices and also choose the best candidates for our respective programs. The program director considers your performance on this rotation as the most important single tool in the evaluation of your candidacy for residency. This is your time to shine, make it count! It is highly recommended to do an in-person interview with the program director if you plan to rank our site first or second on your match list.

Students (Sub-I) will be expected to function similar to an intern. Your experience will include care for surgical inpatients & outpatients, clinic, emergency room & hospital consults, endoscopy, operative experience, and surgical didactics. There is no call requirement on the rotation, but students will typically work long days (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.), averaging six days per week over four weeks. We want you to gain the most clinical experience from your presence during the normal work week and have maximal time to interact with the residents and surgery attendings.

The rotation also includes a day or two of exposure to the Trauma/ACS service at UC Davis in Sacramento and UC Davis academic day on a Tuesday morning. You will also interview at UC Davis during this time. There will be opportunities to work with multiple surgical services at DGMC while on rotation depending on how busy the service is and how many medical students are rotating.

Academic Day

Wednesday is our main academic day at DGMC. During this time, students will present upcoming surgical cases for the next week and discuss the relevant anatomy, pathophysiology, and surgical indications. Students will be queried on their knowledge of the subject and the patient they are presenting; you are expected to be well read and prepared to best demonstrate your knowledge base and thinking on the fly. Wednesday afternoons also include an alternating weekly Lab or Journal Club. Labs include endoscopy simulation and laparoscopic box training, as well as laparoscopic and trauma pig labs, and pig foot suturing labs.

Criteria for resident selection in JSGMESB: academic performance in medical school divided into preclinical and clinical years, USMLE/COMLEX scores, letters of recommendation, research, prior military service, demonstrated interest in military service, career and leadership potential, physical, mental and moral fitness.

  • Access documents and application information at the Air Force Medical Service Physician Education Branch website.
  • Please forward your CV, Personal Statement, Department of Defense application, and USMLE scores prior to your arrival to the Surgery Resident Coordinator. The Coordinator will schedule your interview with the program directors at both DGMC and UC Davis.

Contact Us

Military Program Director

Telephone: 707-423-5188
DSN: 799-7210

Program Coordinator

Telephone: 707-816-5108
Fax: 707-423-7578

David Grant USAF Medical Center
Graduate Medical Education
ATTN: General Surgery Program Director
101 Bodin Circle, Building 777, Travis Air Force Base, California 94535-1800