Residents in the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are part of an academic program with diverse surgical training, strong research opportunities and mentors who are national leaders in their fields.
With residency programs in General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Urology and Vascular Surgery, residents in every specialty have access to world-class training. What makes each of these programs truly special is the community and camaraderie.
Dr. Gerull is from Puyallup, WA and attended University of Washington for his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering. His medical school training was completed at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.
From Austin, TX, Dr. Lee received her undergraduate degree, a Bachelor’s in Social Anthropology, at Harvard. She attended Stanford for her graduate studies in medicine.
Why was WashU the best fit for you?
WG: WashU was the best fit for me because I was looking for a program that was well rounded, with incredible training in all subspecialties as well as a welcoming department that was excited to help me grow my research interests.
AL: WashU has been an incredible fit for a number of reasons. I wanted a program where I could become the most technically proficient and clinically sound, and I knew that for me, that meant finding mentors who I connected to and having plenty of opportunities to choose from both clinically and research-wise. WashU absolutely provides both. And, of course, there was that intangible feeling on my interview, when I found myself standing in the CAM and thinking, wow I can really see myself here!
What makes WashU attendings special? Is there a memorable moment with a mentor you could share?
AL: WashU attendings are invested in you as an individual from the beginning. Intern year, attendings will take the time to get to know you in the OR, chat with you in clinic and teach you how to be a better surgeon and clinician. My happiest moment so far was on my transplant rotation. I wanted more than anything to be involved in a pediatric liver case but felt too nervous to jump in after the case had already started. Dr. Doyle (transplant/HPB surgeon) saw me in the corner of the OR, and immediately asked me to scrub in and help bench. For the remainder of the case, she took the time to explain key anatomy to me. I got to see the transplant to the end.
What do you like about research training at WashU? What are your research interests?
WG: My research interests are in surgical simulation and education in addition to foregut surgery clinical outcomes.
AL: Clinical outcomes in transplant surgery.
Do you have a memorable moment from a rotation you could share?
AL: I called Dr. Awad for an add-on redo robotic paraesophageal hernia repair on a Sunday morning. I felt incredibly guilty about the timing but from when we started at 3 pm and until we ended at 11 pm, we had the best time. In addition to plenty of robotic and technical teaching, we talked about life and surgery, and I got time on the robot myself! I remember going home thrilled. It was the perfect day.
What do you like most about your fellow residents? What is your favorite resident team bonding/event/outing and why?
WG: I enjoy that we are able to work hard together in the hospital but also spend time enjoying the many attractions of St. Louis. I enjoyed having a wonderful picnic with fellow residents on Art Hill in Forest Park.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
WG: After graduation, I plan to pursue a minimally invasive surgery fellowship and ultimately work in academic surgery.
AL: A transplant fellowship.
What advice do you have for those applying for residency?
WG: Find what makes you unique and what you can bring to the residency program, and be sure to speak to this in your application and interviews.
AL: Be your truest self. Residency is a long road and you will be your happiest (and your best) when you are your most genuine you.
What is your favorite thing about living in St. Louis?
WG: My favorite thing in St. Louis are the many unique and delicious restaurants.
AL: The food. Any cuisine, you name it, and there’s an excellent option available. And being a 10 minute drive from Ikea.
What are your top 3 places to go in St. Louis?
WG: Olio, Union Loafers and Art Hill in Forest Park.
AL: Tower Grove Park, Up Down (for skee ball) and Indo (nigiri of dreams!).
Is there anything about St. Louis that surprised you?
WG: I was surprised by how hot and how cold it can get here!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
WG: In my free time I enjoy going on walks in Forest Park, only one block away from my apartment!
AL: Reading fiction on my porch with my dog, hiking and running in the nearby parks, and renovating my house very slowly.
Washington University Residencies
To learn more about residency programs at Washington University School of Medicine, visit https://surgery.wustl.edu/education/. For information about the General Surgery residency program, visit http://gsres.wustl.edu/.