General Surgery

Competitiveness: High

A general surgeon has principal expertise in the diagnosis and care of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the abdomen, digestive tract, endocrine system, breast, skin and blood vessels. A general surgeon is also trained in the treatment of patients who are injured or critically ill, and in the care of pediatric and cancer patients. General surgeons are skilled in the use of minimally invasive techniques and endoscopies. Common conditions treated by general surgeons include hernias, gallstones, appendicitis, breast tumors, thyroid disorders, pancreatitis, bowel obstructions, colon inflammation, and colon cancer.

ENTER YOUR CREDENTIALS Customize your General Surgery program list

IMG Profile

Average Stats for a Matched US IMG in 2022:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 236
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 246
  • Research: 3.2
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 5.6
  • Work: 4.4
  • Volunteer: 5.6

Average Stats for a Matched Non-US IMG in 2022:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 238
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 247
  • Research: 4.1
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 18.5
  • Work: 6.5
  • Volunteer: 5.3

Specialty Factors

Every specialty has unique factors they want each candidate to have in their residency application. NRMP conducts regular Program Director surveys to identify which parts of the residency application are most important in differing specialties. Among the information gathered, Program Directors were asked to cite factors they used to select candidates for interviews. They were also asked to rate each factor on a scale from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important).

The Top 5 Most Important General Surgery Application Factors

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. USMLE Step 1 score (96.1%)
  2. MSPE (85.5%)
  3. USMLE Step 2 CK score (84.2%)
  4. Grades in required clerkships (76.3%)
  5. Grades in clerkship in preferred specialty (75%)

Average Importance Rating for Each Factor (scale of 1 to 5)

  1. NRMP flag for match violation (4.9)
  2. Professionalism and ethics (4.7)
  3. Leadership qualities (4.5)
  4. Perceived commitment to specialty (4.4)
  5. Ability to work legally w/o visa (4.4)

Fast Facts

Total Training 5 years
Average Residency Salary $57,973.40
Average Physician Salary $402,000
Average Work Week 59.4 Hours
Peak Interview Months November, January
Key Organizations and Societies: American College of Surgeons
Association of Women Surgeons
American Board of Surgery
American College of Osteopathic Surgeons
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
American Society of General Surgeons
Association for Surgical Education
  • Is one of the only age biased specialties (not older candidate friendly)
  • Preliminary General Surgery positions are typically the most unfilled during Post-Match SOAP
  • It is important to join and network within surgical societies and organizations. Many have student sections which can be very helpful

Match Statistics

Main Residency Match and Post-Match Stats


IMGs Matched

593 /

Number of Programs/Positions


Post-Match SOAP Unfilled Positions

Main Residency Match


Post-Match SOAP

Program Track Categorical Preliminary
Participating Programs 3 145
Filled Programs 3 132
Positions Available 3 537
Filled Positions 3 518


  • Complex General Surgical Oncology
  • Hand Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Surgical Critical Care
  • Vascular Surgery

Additional Info

  • Select General Surgery programs may participate in the supplemental ERAS application. Please visit the supplemental ERAS application webpage for information, guidance, timelines, and resources.
  • The Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) has released recommendations for the 2022-23 residency recruitment cycle. Applicants applying to Surgery residency programs should be aware that programs may require customized personal statements and should review the program requirements listed in MyERAS and/or on the program's website.