About Mercy

Mercy Surgery Residency Program

Welcome to the Mercy Medical Center/Des Moines University (DMU) General Surgery Residency Program. Our program is one of the oldest and most respected in the osteopathic profession with a history of preparing outstanding general surgeons who are ready to assume leadership positions in communities throughout the country, as well as compete successfully for fellowship and post-graduate training.

The Mercy Surgery Residency program is a five-year non-pyramidal general surgery program, with four residents at each postgraduate level. In addition to an expansive general surgery exposure, our senior residents rotate through a wide spectrum of surgical subspecialties including vascular, ICU, transplant, urology, surgical oncology and cardiothoracic. Elective surgical rotations are integrated into the fourth year so that further specialty experience can be obtained. For residents interested in an academic surgical career and/or further post-graduate training, an optional potentially funded one-year research program can be pursued between the PGY-3 and PGY-4 years. This year is made even more valuable by our association with Des Moines University, which is in the top tier of osteopathic schools in terms of being the recipient of federal and private funding for medical research.

The clinical faculty in our program instruct and supervise residents in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Faculty members include general surgeons, many with advanced laparoscopic skills, as well as those with fellowship training in colorectal surgery, surgical and GYN oncology, critical care, cardiothoracic and vascular/endovascular surgery. Faculty members also participate in an active surgical obesity program and a busy multidisciplinary breast surgery center. Chief residents graduate with well over 1,250 operative procedures to their credit, as well as hundreds of endoscopies, far in excess of the minimums required by the ACGME and ACOS. The totality of our residents’ surgical experience is well-suited for independent surgical practice in rural and small urban settings, where many of our graduates choose to locate.

While many tend to concentrate on the operative experience in assessing a program, we feel a comprehensive didactic program is equally essential for preparing the trainee to practice state-of-the-art general surgery. The curriculum incorporates case-based learning, evidence-based medicine, and basic surgical science in regularly scheduled conferences including Journal Club, Grand Rounds, Case Presentations, Breast, Mortality and Morbidity, GI/Surgery Multidisciplinary, Vascular and Trauma conferences. While the didactic framework is set by the faculty, its implementation is the responsibility of the chief residents in order to ensure that the curriculum is responsive to the needs of the trainees.

We invite you to explore this site and that of Des Moines University to better familiarize yourself with the wide offerings of our residency program.  We believe you will see that our reputation for excellence in training is well-deserved.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.


Charles Goldman , M.D., F.A.C.S.

Program Director
Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

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