The Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV General Surgery Residency Program is five years in length and stresses all aspects of diagnostic work-up, preoperative preparation, intraoperative judgment, surgical technique, postoperative management, and follow-up care. There are five clinical years with an option of one year dedicated to research available between the second and third years. The wide variety of clinical problems encountered at our teaching facilities allows each individual an ample opportunity to observe and experience firsthand the complexities of the response of the surgical patient to disease, trauma, and operative intervention. Postgraduate surgical training at the Kerkorian School of Medicine provides residents with a broad based training in the surgical sciences. The primary teaching hospital of the program is University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC). Other teaching facilities in which the residents rotate include the Veterans Administration Medical Center, the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center, and Sunrise Children’s Hospital.


1701 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 490
Las Vegas, NV 89102

Please contact us about questions you may have regarding your application to the program and interview.

Phone: 702-671-2273

What Makes Our Program Unique?

  • Access to the newest generation of robotic surgery equipment and training consoles
  • Optional dedicated research year between PGY-2 and PGY-3
  • Breadth of experience from Las Vegas area surgery centers, private hospitals, VA Medical Center, Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center, and the University Medical Center that is Nevada’s only level one trauma center, burn center and transplant center
  • Early operative experience as an intern and junior resident
  • Program director is committed to work/life balance for residents
  • Respect, trust, autonomy and teamwork valued among residents and faculty
  • Dedicate full-time and community faculty in general surgery
  • Exposure to academic and private practice aspects of general surgery
  • Weekly didactics, supervised by faculty surgeons, in our own surgical simulation lab



The first-year residents (PGY-1) rotate through UMC and the VA. The PGY-1 resident functions as a member of a surgical care team. Responsibilities include evaluation and planning for treatment of patients, attendance at rounds, clinics and conferences, and assisting in the operating room.

The operative experience occurs early in this program. The opportunities to assist and perform operative procedures are readily available to the intern. While the junior house officers have significant responsibility, close supervision and backup by more senior house officers and faculty are always present. The high ratio of surgical attending staff to residents and the collegial attitude of the faculty allow above average supervision and support with clinical, operative, and academic activities. PGY-1 residents are expected to assume primary care for patients on their service on a day-to-day basis.

A major goal of the department is to train the resident to understand the principles of pre- and post-operative care. Each resident will meet all ACGME work hour regulations. This is accomplished through a variety of creative scheduling plans including an Emergency General Surgery Service and a Night Surgery rotation.

PGY-1 rotations include General Surgery, Surgical Oncology/Breast Oncology/Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Cardiothoracic/Vascular Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Emergency General Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, and Plastic Surgery. Residents also rotate in General Surgery at the VA during the PGY-1 year.


In the second year (PGY-2), the operating experience extends significantly and an increasing amount of clinical independence is achieved. PGY-2 residents are the senior residents on the Surgical Critical Care Service and manage all aspects of complicated critical patients with guidance from the Critical Care Fellows and attending Trauma/Critical Care/Acute Care Surgeons. The PGY-2 resident also runs the Burn/Wound Surgery Service. They also function as a mid-level resident on General Surgery, Surgical Oncology/Breast Oncology/Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Cardiothoracic/Vascular Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Emergency General Surgery, and Trauma Surgery. At the end of this year, the PGY-2 resident will be ready for the transition to making senior level decisions and patient management algorithms.


The third year of the program is concentrated in General Surgery and Trauma Surgery, where the PGY-3 resident will function as the senior level resident on many of the services. They will serve as the senior on-call resident through which all consults will be filtered on the Emergency General Surgery Service, and will function as the senior trauma resident and primary operating surgeon for operative trauma cases. PGY-3 residents also rotate for several months at the Mike O'Callaghan Federal Medical Center where they will be the only surgical resident at any given time and have access to participate in any case being performed (General, Vascular, Colorectal, OB/GYN, Orthopedics, Plastics, Urology, ENT, etc.).

PGY-4 and PGY-5

The fourth and fifth years of the General Surgery training program are designed to provide increasing senior level responsibility in patient care decision making and allow each individual to develop qualities of maturity and judgment which are the essence of the skilled surgical practitioner. The PGY-4 resident continues to supervise perioperative care given by the more junior members of the patient care team. Typical fourth-year rotations include senior level resident responsibility in General, Vascular, and Colorectal surgery at the VA, as well as General, Trauma, Cardiothoracic, Vascular, Transplant, and Emergency General Surgery at UMC. PGY-4 residents also serve as the sole resident of the Minimally Invasive/Bariatric Surgery service, where they get exposure to advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgical procedures. During the fourth year, residents also rotate on the Pediatric Surgery service at both the Children’s Hospital of Nevada and Sunrise Children’s Hospital.

The Chief Resident year (PGY-5) is spent on the various surgical services dealing with the primary components of general surgery almost exclusively at University Medical Center. The Chief Resident is involved with major elective procedures with emphasis on complex GI, Oncologic, Endocrine, Colorectal, and complex Minimally Invasive Surgery cases, as well as major Trauma and Emergency General Surgery. The Chief Resident will have his/her own outpatient clinic and will supervise junior and mid-level residents in clinic. Each chief’s clinic will have weekly OR block time and cases will be scheduled at the chief’s discretion after appropriate preoperative workup and discussion with the attending surgeon. Chief Residents will act as the primary surgeon for their OR block time, with faculty backup readily available, and will take junior and mid-level residents through the operations.

The senior resident is required to prepare and present at conferences and is responsible for the teaching and training of more junior house officers and students on his or her service. The final year of the General Surgery experience completes a progressively graded comprehensive training with increasing responsibility and accountability as required by the American Board of Surgery. Chief residents are encouraged to attend at least one major national surgical meeting during their senior year, which is sponsored by the Department.

Program Leadership

Training Sites

University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC)

UMC is a 564 bed, state-designated Level I Trauma Center for Nevada and the only free standing trauma center west of the Mississippi. UMC also houses the Children’s Hospital of Nevada and the state's only burn care facility, the Lions Burn Care Center. Residents rotate at UMC for General Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Colorectal Surgery, Cardiothoracic/Vascular Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Minimally Invasive/Bariatric Surgery, Emergency General Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, Burn Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, and Plastic Surgery.

Children’s Hospital of Nevada

Housed within UMC, this is the only hospital in Nevada to offer Pediatric Burn Care and Organ Transplant Services, the only accredited Cystic Fibrosis Center in the state of Nevada, and the only designated Level II Pediatric Trauma Center in Nevada. Residents rotate through this hospital while on the Pediatric Surgery Service, Trauma Surgery Service, and Surgical Critical Care Service.

Las Vegas Veterans Administration Medical Center

The $600 million, 1.3 million-square-foot complex opened in August 2012 as the first VA hospital in Southern Nevada and the first VA hospital to be built in the United States since the end of the Gulf War. Residents rotate at the VA during their first, second, and fourth years gaining experience in a variety of general surgery procedures.

Mike O'Callaghan Federal Medical Center

The Mike O'Callaghan Federal Medical Center (MOFMC), an Air Force hospital, is located on Nellis Air Force Base and is run by the 99th Medical Group (MDG). The 99th Medical Group is comprised of approximately 1400 personnel who are dedicated to providing preventive, emergency and acute care services for approximately 22,000 active-duty members and their dependents. Residents spend two months during their third year rotating with attending Air Force general, trauma/critical care, colorectal, and vascular surgeons.

Sunrise Children's Hospital

Sunrise Children’s Hospital is Nevada’s largest, most comprehensive children’s hospital. Residents spend two months during their fourth year on the pediatric surgery service, with a significant amount of time spent at Sunrise Children’s Hospital.

Resident Life

Why Come to Las Vegas for Residency?

Las Vegas is a very unique town. The city’s rapidly growing local population and high volume of tourists provide a very diverse population. Not only does this enrich your training, it enriches the city’s culture. You may already know about the strip with its nightlife and the beach clubs, but there’s so much more to Las Vegas. There are plenty of shows to keep you, your family, and friends entertained. Top chefs from all around the world have set up shop throughout the city. They’re also likely to be open for business after your shift! When you find the need to burn those calories (as if running around the hospital isn’t enough), there are plenty of places to go hiking! Friends and family often find excuses to come visit you, and entertaining them is easy! If you find the need to get away, the airport is easily accessible and flights are readily available. However, we can’t forget the space between strip and the mountains; there are peaceful residential areas with parks, playgrounds, and recreation centers for those of you raising a family… or even if you’re not raising a family! Either way, we welcome you to our surgery family.

Life After Residency

Class of 2023

  • Mariam Al-Hamad Daubs, MD — Plastic and Reconstructive Residency Program at NuHealth LIPSG - Stony Brook in Long Island, NY
  • Oscar Estrada Munoz, MD — Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowship at the University of Texas-Houston
  • Jane Nzuna, DO — General Surgery at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia
  • Ty Olson, MD — Acute Care Surgery Fellowship at the University of New Mexico

Class of 2022

  • Christian Chan, MD — Minimally Invasive Fellowship in Fresno, CA
  • Daniel Cheng, MD — Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship at Tower Health, Reading Hospital in West Reading, PA
  • Jose Diego, MD — Mastery of General Surgery Fellowship at Loyola Medicine in Chicago, IL
  • Lance Horner, MD — Colon and Rectal Fellowship at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial in Miami, FL
  • Carter Kaminski, DO — Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowship at the University of Texas Health in Houston, TX
  • Taylor Schanda, MD — Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV

Class of 2021

  • Joshua MacDavid, MD — Plastic Surgery Fellowship at University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
  • Ricardo Noble, MD — Private Practice in Yreka, CA
  • Elizabeth Sodomin, MD — Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV
  • Allison Superneau, DO — Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Class of 2020

  • Patrick Berg, MD — Pediatric Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Christopher McNicoll, MD — Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
  • Minh-Tri Pham, MD — Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL
  • Kenneth Tanyi, MD — Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at San Antonio Military Center, Houston, TX
  • Brian Ward, MD — Assistant Professor at Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV, Las Vegas, NV

Class of 2019

  • Joy Dunn, MD — Private Practice in GA
  • Katie Francis, MD — Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV, Las Vegas, NV
  • Ashley Martin, DO — Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV
  • Frances Phang, MD — Private Practice in Las Vegas, NV
  • Krystle Tuaño, MD — Plastic Surgery Fellowship at University of Colorado, Denver, CO

Class of 2018

  • Ethan Benning, MD — Advanced Gastrointestinal Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship at Preston Memorial Hospital, Kingwood, WV
  • Arturo Guzman, MD — Private Practice in Carson City, NV
  • Hasanali Khashwji, MD — Private Practice in San Diego, CA
  • Lindsay Wenger, MD — Private Practice in Grants Pass, OR

How To Apply

The General Surgery Residency offers eight first-year positions as a surgical house officer. Three are civilian categorical general surgery positions, two are United States Air Force categorical general surgery positions and three are one-year preliminary positions.

Active Duty Air Force applicants submit an application through the Medical Operational Data System (MODS), organized and conducted by the Joint Service Graduate Medical Education Selection Board (JSGMESB).

All civilian applications are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Services (ERAS) only (ACGME ID 4403121378), and matched via the National Resident Matching Program.

Selection Process

  • All candidates are reviewed through ERAS. Documents sent through email are not considered part of the application.
  • A complete application packet must include the following items posted to ERAS before we will review the application:
    • ERAS Application
    • Personal Statement
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Medical School Transcript
    • USMLE Step 1 and 2CK scores / COMLEX-USA Level 1 and 2CE scores
    • Photograph
    • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), formerly "Dean's Letter"
    • Three letters of recommendation (one from surgery chair)
    • ECFMG Certificate (if applicable)
  • Applicants must be a US Citizen, Green Card holder, or be on a J visa. At this time, our program does not accept any other visa type.
  • We will not consider an application with more than two attempts on the USMLE/COMLEX-USA.
  • We require USMLE/COMLEX-USA Steps 1 and 2 to be passed before we will review an application.
  • We will only consider applications with no more than five years elapsed since last formal training, or full-unrestricted license to practice medicine in the U.S.

For interview consideration, documentation and forms must be complete by October 15th of the current year.

Interview Process

  • An Application Review Committee considers ERAS applications for interview selection. They decide suitability of applicants for interview by ranking them based upon academic, personal and reference credentials.
  • All interviews will be virtual for the 2021-2022 recruitment cycle.
  • We hold interviews on one day in December and two days in January, which typically run from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Candidates will have time to meet with current residents during interview breaks.
  • Selected candidates are interviewed by the program director, associate program director, department chair, faculty members, and current PGY-4 residents.
  • Virtual tour videos include University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas, the Surgery Research Laboratory, and the Department of Surgery's clinical and academic buildings.
  • When all interviews are complete, the faculty and residents meet to rank all applicants with final approval by the program director. Critical determinants for selection are academic accomplishments, attitude, personality, communication skills, enthusiasm, interest and knowledge about the program, and experiences and interests outside of surgery.
  • The program utilizes the NRMP exclusively.
  • The program observes the affirmative action/equal opportunity and anti-discrimination policies of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV in the selection process.