General Surgery


Training Programme Director: Miss Kath Grant

Programme Support Officer: Jon Adcock

General Surgery comprises the sub-specialties of Upper & Lower Gastrointestinal Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Breast Surgery, Hepatobiliary Surgery and Endocrine Surgery.  At present the training program is generic for the first two years, ST3 & 4, after which trainees choose a sub-specialty and training becomes more focused. Initial experience (ST3 & 4) is general in nature and usually involves experience of breast and vascular surgery as well as emergency surgery and abdominal surgery. Training is supervised by an Educational Supervisor allocated for a year in the local trust and the Programme Director Mr Paul Gallagher  who is responsible for the entire training programme.

Health Education North East offers a unique Surgical Skills Training Course through the Newcastle Surgical Training Centre that will run throughout the duration of the training programme and will provide experience of laparoscopic and open techniques.

Why choose General Surgery?

General Surgery offers a variety of opportunities in a range of very different specialties. It covers a broad and challenging range of conditions and has the opportunity to deal with a variety of trauma and other emergencies.

Changes in surgical techniques provide on-going challenges and development even for consultant surgeons in this field.

As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?

This is a large geographical region and trainees can rotate to hospitals in Carlisle and Northallerton depending on their training requirements. Out of Programme experience for research or clinical fellowships is encouraged. There are a variety of research opportunities available within the region.

The General Surgery training programme offers training opportunities in all sub-specialties. There is a large Liver Transplant and Hepaticopancreaticobiliary Unit in Newcastle and 2 units offering training in Oesophagogastric Cancer. Oncoplastic Breast training is provided by breast and plastic surgeons and there is also a sub-specialist Endocrine Unit. Training in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery is provided throughout the region with opportunities for exposure to intestinal failure and abdominal wall reconstruction.

The programme runs a cadaver-based technical skills course that runs throughout training and becomes more specialist as trainees become more senior. This is tailored to sub-specialty interest.

What our trainees say:

"Throughout the training programme surgical training benefits from experience in a number of medium and large district general hospitals and larger tertiary centres supported by enthusiastic trainers. Intermediate training (ST3-5) focuses on the acquisition of general and emergency skills rotating through a variety of 6 moth or year long posts within the region exposing registrars to a variety of approaches and techniques. Sub specialist training (ST5-8) focuses on a specific area of practise in specialised units. 

Upper GI trainees benefit from the opportunity to train in all major sub-specialities. Oesophagogastric training is provided between 2 large regional resectional units with high numbers of cancer resections. Benign training is provided in a number of units with exposure to complex laparoscopic work and similarly there is a number of bariatric centres including the highest volume unit in the UK. Hepatobiliary surgery is provided at the Freeman hospital with exposure to a wide range of HPB practice and novel therapies as well as solid organ transplant. Colorectal trainees benefit from training in the region with the highest percentage of laparoscopic procedures in the UK with most units having dedicated laparoscopic theatres and experienced laparoscopic trainers. Breast and endocrine training is provided through 3 large screening units with training in both established and novel reconstructive procedures. There is endocrine practice at various hospitals and a tertiary endocrine surgical unit at the RVI. 

Throughout training is supported by a monthly regional teaching programme cyclically covering the FRCS curriculum every 3 years together with cadaveric training modules. In ST3 and 4 these focus on generic skills and in ST5 trainees move to dedicated sub-specialist training modules culminating in a trauma surgery course in ST8. This training is included within the regional study budget. Time out of programme for research or other experience as well as flexible training are fully supported and excellent opportunities for research in all areas are available within the region."

Current vacancy information    (links to HEE website recruitment page) 

To find out more about our region and Trusts please visit the Find Your Place website.

No events to display.

Useful links

Information for Current Trainees

Access essential information on regulations, study leave, certification, assessment and the curriculum.

Information for trainers and educators

Development and guidance on becoming a trainer, standards for trainers, essential documentation for clinical and educational supervision including guidance for GP trainers,  Trust and out-of-hours supervisors, plus news about the latest courses and conferences.


Potential Applicant

Visit our Recruitment website to find out what it's like to be a GP trainee in the north east and north Cumbria.