Also part of the UPMC family:

​General Surgery Residency at UPMC Horizon

General Surgery Residency

UPMC Horizon's general surgery residency program was approved by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) in 1973, making it one of the oldest Osteopathic residency training programs in the country.

The program has now transitioned to ACGME accreditation and is approved for 2 residents per year. 

General surgery residents will interact on patient care with residents from the family medicine residency program.

Instruction is provided through:

  • Didactic lecture
  • Online training modules
  • Bedside instruction
  • The continuity care training experience

General Surgery Residency Curriculum

First Year

The first year provides incoming residents with a solid introduction to the breadth and diversity of surgery. The requirement, as outlined below, can be fulfilled at the base hospital, UPMC Horizon, with the following exceptions: two months of out-of-house rotations in the ICU/CCU at UPMC Presbyterian as well as pediatrics at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Rotations typically involve possibly one or two other senior residents, along with an attending physician and possibly a medical student. This allows our residents to receive one-on-one ratio training.

Residents also spend a one half-day session, per month, at our Outpatient Continuity of Care Surgical Clinic.

A resident’s call schedule typically includes one weekend day and/or night.

First Year

  • Burns/General Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Surgery (6)
  • ICU
  • Internal Medicine 92)
  • Pediatric Surgery

Comprehensive Longitudinal Experiences

  • Surgical Clinic
  • Monthly Journal Clubs
  • Weekly General Surgery protected education/conference
  • Weekly Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference (present cases)
  • Laparoscopic training modules
  • Quarterly Surgical Morbidity and Mortality Conference (present cases)
  • Bimonthly multidisciplinary educational conferences (interns only)
  • Quarterly Surgical Specialty Review Committee

Other First Year Experiences

  • ACLS
  • ATLS
  • Central Venous Catheterization Training – WISER Institute

Second Year

The second- through fifth-year curriculum offers more surgery rotations, along with the required rotations by the ACGME, in order to achieve a greater educational experience in general surgery. 

A resident's call schedule continues to be 1-2 weekend days per month (call from home). This schedule may vary month-to-month, depending on the out-of-house rotation schedule and vacations.

Second Year

  • Acute Care Surgery/TICU (UPMC Presbyterian)
  • Breast Surgery
  • General Surgery (5)
  • Thoracic/Vascular Surgery
  • Urology
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Elective (2)

Comprehensive Longitudinal Experiences

  • Surgical Clinic
  • Monthly journal clubs (organize and present article)
  • Weekly General Surgery protected education/conference
  • Weekly Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference (present cases)
  • Laparoscopic training modules
  • Quarterly Surgical Morbidity and Mortality Conference (present cases)

Third Year

  • Acute Care Surgery (UPMC Hamot)
  • Breast Surgical Oncology (Magee Women’s of UPMC Hamot)
  • General Surgery (2)
  • Hepatobiliary Surgery (UPMC Montefiore)
  • Pediatric Surgery (UPMC CHP)
  • Surgery (2)
  • Vascular/Thoracic Surgery (2)
  • Elective (2)

Other Third Year Experiences

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)/Basic Life Support (BLS) renewal
  • FES and FLS Certification

Fourth Year

  • Acute Care Surgery/Trauma (UPMC Hamot)
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Breast Surgery
  • Colorectal
  • Endocrine Surgery (UPMC Montefiore)
  • General Surgery (2)
  • Vascular/Thoracic Surgery (2)
  • Elective (3)

Fifth Year — All at Base Hospital

  • General Surgery (6)
  • GI Endoscopy
  • Vascular Thoracic Surgery (5)

Continuity Training Experience for General Surgery

The continuity training experience, within the continuity of care surgical clinic, provides the resident with a training environment equivalent to that of a private practice.

The continuity of care clinic is conducted by several surgical physicians who have a lifetime of experience to share with each resident.

Goals of General Surgery Continuity Training

The goals of the continuity training experience are to provide:

  • A safe environment with adequate mentoring
  • A broad and diverse patient population
  • Exposure to standard in-office testing capabilities
  • Comprehensive coding and billing instruction
  • Better patient continuity that will develop a competent, confident, and compassionate surgical physician

Residents spend one half day per week in the surgical clinic during their PGY-1 year and 2 half days per month PGY-2 through PGY-5 training years.

Residents are actively involved in:

  • The inpatient and outpatient care of their patients
  • Specialty follow-up
  • Insurer reimbursement

Our graduates seeking general surgery positions are often recruited to practices across the country.

Those residents whom do not go on to community based general surgery have been successful in acquiring the fellowship of their choice including Trauma/Acute Care Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Breast Surgery, Minimally Invasive/Bariatric Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

General Surgery Residency Audition Rotations

A variety of options are available for audition rotations:

  • Four-week audition rotations from May 1 through Sept. 30
  • Two-week audition rotations from Oct. 1 through Jan. 10 (due to interview season)
  • Shadowing experience during the interview season

Applications to set up an audition or shadowing experience will be accepted starting February 1st. Please contact the UPMC Horizon Graduate Medical Education office via email at shermanpj@upmc.edu with your completed form.

In the meantime, please complete the paperwork on the Medical Student Orientation page.

If you wish to shadow, please complete the paperwork on the Job Shadow page and email to shermanpj@upmc.edu.

How to Apply to General Surgery Residency

The UPMC Horizon residency programs participate in ERAS® (the Electronic Residency Application Service.  

General Surgery Residency Program Interview Agenda

The Interview day will begin on Fridays around 8 a.m. with applicants participating in a portion of the core didactic lectures followed by a tour of the hospital. The applicants will have lunch with the Program Director, faculty, and residents, followed by individual interviews (20 minutes per panel interview) with a faculty panel. The interview day will end with an optional dinner at a local restaurant around 6pm with members of the faculty and General Surgery residents.

General Surgery Residency Program Faculty

Jon Henwood, DO, FACOS
Director, UPMC Horizon General Surgery Residency Program

Education: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Internship and Residency: Doctors Hospital
Certification: American Osteopathic Board of Surgeons
Joined Faculty: 1996

Dr. Henwood received his medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed an internship and residency at Doctors Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. He became general surgery program director in 2010 after previously serving as assistant program director.

Dr. Henwood has served on many committees at UPMC Horizon, including Medical Care, Cancer Conference, and Medical Executive. He also served as chairman of the Department of Surgery. Dr. Henwood currently serves on the National Board of Medical Examiners-Part II test construction, residency in-service exam test construction, as the medical director of vascular surgery, and on Credentials Committee. At the national level, he is chairman of the Cardiothoracic and Vascular Division of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, as well as the board of governors. Dr. Henwood also was selected as "Physician of the Year" by the 2008 UPMC Horizon intern class.

Dr. Henwood lives in Hermitage with his wife, Kathleen, and their children.


Christopher Esper, DO, FACOS
Assistant Director, UPMC Horizon General Surgery Residency Program

Education: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Internship and Residency: UPMC Horizon
Certification: American Osteopathic Board of Surgeons
Joined Faculty: 2008

Dr. Esper received his medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed general surgery internship and residency training at UPMC Horizon, followed by a  fellowship in vascular surgery at Cleveland Clinic-South Point Hospital, Cleveland.  He accepted the position of general surgery assistant program director in October 2011.

Dr. Esper lives in Hermitage with his wife, Michele, and their twin daughters.