Jennifer Yu, MD, MPHS, has been named program director for the Washington University General Surgery Residency. Her appointment begins July 2024.
Yu is an assistant professor in the Section of Abdominal Transplant Surgery within the Department of Surgery. An alum with a long history at Washington University, Yu earned her bachelor’s degree and medical degree at the university. She then completed general surgery residency training, serving as an administrative chief resident, in 2020; a surgical oncology/clinical research fellowship during residency (when she also earned a master’s degree in population health sciences); and an abdominal transplant fellowship, all at Washington University. She currently serves as an associate program director for the residency program.
“Dr. Yu needs no introduction to this department, as she has had a tremendous impact throughout her time as a selfless and dedicated ‘WashU lifer,’” says current program director Paul Wise, MD, who also serves as Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Surgery. “She will do an exceptional job of carrying on the illustrious training traditions of our program while blazing new paths for the future. We couldn’t be more excited for what this means for our training program and the department.”
Throughout her time in the School of Medicine, Yu has received numerous awards, including the 2020 Keith D. Amos Memorial Award, the 2020-2021 from medical students, the 2020-2021 Gregario A. Sicard Teaching Fellow Award for her performance in educating general surgery residents, and multiple Department of Surgery teaching awards as a trainee and as a faculty member. In 2023, she delivered the keynote address at the School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony.
“Dr. Yu has been a part of this family for years. She has demonstrated incredible skill as a surgeon and surgical educator. I look forward to seeing her lead our general surgery residency program for years to come,” says John Olson Jr., MD, PhD, the William K. Bixby Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery.
Department leadership has structured this transition to ensure a seamless education experience for the general surgery residents. Wise will continue in his role as program director through the 2023-2024 academic year. During the 2024-2025 academic year, Yu and Wise will serve as co-directors, after which Yu will lead the program, and Wise will focus primarily on his role as Vice Chair for Education.
“The Washington University General Surgery Residency Program has a long and accomplished history of training future leaders,” says Yu. “As a resident, I experienced firsthand how our program was leading in the areas of surgical education, simulation and skills training, flexibility and early specialization, research, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Since joining the faculty, I have only seen us grow stronger in these and other key domains. For me, WashU is home. As program director, my aim will be to foster that sense of belonging for future generations of trainees while also delivering a robust curriculum of advanced surgical training.”