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GME > Residency Programs > General Surgery > About The Program
About Rush University



The goal of the Rush University/Cook County Hospital Integrated Surgical Residency Program is to allow each resident to fulfill al of his or her potential and have a successful career in whatever surgical endeavor he or she chooses to pursue. Graduates of this program are competent to enter the independent practice of surgery, compete for any postgraduate fellowship they desire or continue on in an academic career. The program continues the tradition of its host institutions in training the surgical leader of tomorrow.


The Rush University/Cook County Hospital Integrated Surgical Residency Program is fully accredited by the Surgery Residency Review Committee of the ACGME to train and graduate eight categorical residents each year. Our program has acknowledged expertise in all areas of surgery and provides residents with graduated supervised responsibility in the clinical practice of general surgery and surgical subspecialties. Furthermore, the combination of the strong traditions of these long-standing teaching institutions with the fresh energy and vitality of a newly integrated program serves to enhance the surgical resident's experience.


Rush Medical College was chartered on March 2, 1837, exactly 10 years before the first general hospital in Chicago, Cook County Hospital, opened. Rush was started in 1843 by a surgeon, Dr. Daniel Brainard. Dr. Brainard also founded Cook County Hospital utilizing Rush Medical College faculty. In 1956, Presbyterian Hospital and St. Luke's Hospital merged to form Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center. In 1971, the medical center formally merged with Rush Medical College to become Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center/Rush University. The Medical Center officially changed its name in September 2003 to Rush University Medical Center.

The first chairman of the Department of General Surgery was Dr. Harry Southwick, succeeded in 1985 by Dr. Steven Economou. Dr. Richard Prinz was the chairman and program director from 1993-2009. The integrated surgical residency began with its first complement of residents in 1994. Dr. Daniel J. Deziel now leads the department as chairman, and Dr. Norman Wool is the Program Director for the residency program.

About The Department Of General Surgery

With one of the busiest programs in the Midwest, surgeons at Rush University Medical Center operate on more patients than are seen at any other hospital in Illinois. General surgeons at Rush offer a full range of surgical care, including expertise in the latest minimally invasive techniques. The department includes physicians with expertise in colon and rectal surgery, surgical care for cancer patients, pediatric surgery, transplant surgery and dentistry.

The program is integrated with John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and affiliated with North Shore Skokie Hospital in Skokie, Illinois. The attending surgeons are not only skilled clinicians, but also expert teachers. Cook County Hospital has long had a reputation for teaching, in addition to being one of the busiest city hospitals in the country. The first trauma service in the country, which has served as a prototype for all the rest, was started at Cook County Hospital. The clinical and scientific scholarship of its staff is widely recognized. Clinical and basic research are carried out at Rush University Medical Center and the Hektoen Institute of Cook County Hospital. Areas of active investigation include tumor and transplant molecular biology and immunobiology, the role of adhesion molecules in metastases, tumor angiogenesis, cryoablation and laser therapy for primary and metastatic disease, pathogenesis of thyroid cancer and the role of translocation in the development of secondary pancreatic infections.


Rush surgical faculty and residents have a strong reputation for teaching, whether it is in the operating room, the clinic, on rounds, on call or in the classroom. General surgery residents are frequently nominated and awarded "Resident of the Quarter" and "Resident of the Year" by Rush medical students. The Rush Medical College Phoenix Award for clinical teaching has been awarded to a general surgery faculty member for the last six years. One of our faculty members has been given the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Association for Surgical Education. Dr. Anthony Kim received the first annual Resident Teaching Award from the American College of Surgeons. The Department recognizes teaching scholarship with letters of commendation and annual teaching awards to residents and faculty. Resident and faculty teaching is frequently reviewed for effectiveness and excellence, and the department's educational specialist offers programs on teaching and learning.


Click here to view the conference schedule (PDF) for July - Nov. 2013. 

About the Department of Surgery at NorthShore University HealthSystem

Jose M. Velasco, M.D., Vice-Chairman
Professor of Surgery, Rush Medical College

The Department of Surgery at North Shore Skokie Hospital includes sections of cardiovascular, dental/oral and maxillofacial, ophthalmology, orthopedic, podiatry, neurosurgery and urology. The department is closely affiliated with Rush University Medical Center and participates in many educational and research activities. Many department members have academic appointments at Rush Medical College. Current areas of investigation include the recently funded "Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Breast Cancer" study. We also will be offering participation in a study of multimodality treatment for locally advanced breast cancer. Our department includes surgeons who are expert in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopic cholecystectomy, laparoscopic hernia repair and laparoscopic splenectomy. We have surgical oncologist who are expert in the treatment of a variety of cancers, and we offer sentinel lymph node biopsy for malignant melanoma.

For more information, contact:

Department of Surgery
Kathy Martin, Office Manager
Phone: (847) 933-6020

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