Karen Chojnacki, MD, FACS, who has directed the General Surgery Residency Program for the past three years, was a resident at Jefferson from 1995 to 2000 – and loved it. Following a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at the University of Southern California and a brief stint in private practice, she returned to Jefferson in early 2002, jumping at the chance to capture her “dream job” and buoyed by memories of the institution’s camaraderie and professionalism. “Whoever said ‘You can’t go home again’ didn’t have a home like Jefferson,” she says. “I lead the program that helped make me the physician I am today, and now it’s my turn to give back and help residents develop the careers they want.”
During Dr. Chojnacki’s tenure the program has undergone several changes. Prior to the start of the program, incoming interns must complete the web-based American College of Surgeons (ACS) Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum™ which guides them through common surgical problems. A formal program in bedside procedure training was initiated to train all PGY-1 (first post-graduate year) residents in procedures including central line placement, bronchoscopy, suturing, and foley catheter placement, through lectures and virtual practice in the Laparoscopic and Simulation Training Laboratory. Upon completion of this course, they must be supervised through and attain passing evaluations for a number of these procedures before performing them independently. The overall curriculum has changed to follow the SCORE (Surgical Council on Resident Education) curriculum, a competency based standard national curriculum created by a task force of the ACS and the American Board of Surgery (ABS).
These changes are paying off. “We have one of the best residency programs in the region,” said Dr. Chojnacki, “and since we emphasize research, over 90 percent of our residents secure the fellowships of their choice.”
"On the Job: Dr. Karen Chojnacki, Residency Program Director,"
Jefferson Surgical Solutions: Vol. 6:
2, Article 9.
Available at: https://jdc.jefferson.edu/jss/vol6/iss2/9