Quick Facts

Saint Joseph Hospital has one of the busiest general surgical programs in Denver with approximately 15,000 operative procedures performed annually. Chief residents graduate with an average of 1,300 major cases. More surgery is done at Saint Joseph Hospital than can be covered by all the residents, affording residents the unique opportunity for a broad experience in the major components of general surgery. In addition to the cases scheduled in the main operating room, residents perform minor procedures in the clinic and have the opportunity to scrub cases at the ambulatory surgery centers. Residents work directly with surgical attendings trained in general surgery and a variety of sub-specialties.

Program Features

  • 5-year program, 5 residents/year
  • Considerable opportunities to work with the local medically underserved community
  • Diverse case-mix
  • Progressive autonomy through the resident-run Rainer Clinic
  • Unopposed surgical education (no fellowships centered at SJH
  • Partnership with Denver Health (Level I trauma center), Children's Hospital, and UC Health
  • Dedicated robotics curriculum
  • Quality Improvement and Research support
    • Global surgery opportunities

Surgical Experiences

  • Acute Care/Trauma surgery
  • Elective General surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Transplant surgery
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Surgical oncology
  • Breast surgery
  • Bariatric/MIS surgery
  • Vascular surgery
  • Critical care
  • Endoscopy

Salary and Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • Health insurance (Kaiser) provided at no cost to the resident, affordable dental and vision coverage
  • Free covered parking
  • Meal stipend when on-call, access to Doctors Dining Room for 2 hot meals a day and drinks/snacks
  • $3,500 education fund per categorical resident (may be used for loupes, board exams, study material)
  • DEA and state medical license reimbursement
  • Retirement savings benefits through SCL Health
  • FLS, FES, ACLS, and ATLS courses provided, completed early in training


  • Saint Joseph Hospital
    • Residents spend the majority of their time at SJH among multiple acute care and elective surgical services.  During rotations at Saint Joseph Hospital there are also opportunities to participate in cases at the nearby ambulatory surgery centers.  Outpatient clinics are held across the street at Midtown Office Building and Franklin Medical Offices.
  • Denver Health Medical Center
    • Residents are afforded the invaluable opportunity to rotate at Denver Health Medical Center, one of the busiest trauma centers in the nation, admitting over 2,700 trauma patients per year. St. Joseph Hospital residents rotate at Denver Health Medical Center in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit during their PGY II year. PGY III and IV residents rotate for two to three months on the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery service. Residents are responsible for the assessment and management of trauma and acute care general surgery patients under the guidance of nationally-recognized traumatologists. For more information about trauma care at DHMC, please reference the medical center’s website.
  • Children's Hospital Colorado
    • Children's Hospital Colorado is a regional pediatric center and admits more than 6,000 patients yearly. PGY II residents work closely for two months with a large staff of pediatric surgeons managing all aspects of pediatric surgery, including transplants and burns. The Children's Hospital is about a twenty minute drive from Saint Joseph Hospital.
  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center/University Hospital
    • UC Health at Anschutz Medical campus provides PGY II residents with a month long experience in liver, kidney and pancreas transplant surgery.<
  • Medical Center of the Rockies
    • PGY IV and PGY V residents rotate for 1-3 months at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, CO, approximately an hour north of Denver. Residents rotate with a 10-physician group of general and minimally invasive surgeons. The rotating SJH resident is the only surgical resident coverage at the 166 bed hospital, providing optimal operative experience. A one bedroom apartment is provided free of charge to rotators.


Resident Life

St. Joe’s surgery residents truly embrace the phrase “work hard, play hard.” With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, there is ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors outside of clinical responsibilities. The illustrious Colorado mountains are a haven for hiking, biking, fishing, climbing, skiing, and snowboarding. Numerous ski resorts are within a couple hours of Denver and are a popular weekend destination. 

Additionally, there is always something to do in the city. St. Joe’s is uniquely situated near downtown Denver, where there are a great variety of restaurants, cafes, breweries, and more. When residents are not in the hospital, there are myriad opportunities to enjoy the arts, culture, food, and other unique experiences that the city has to offer
  • Peruse the offerings at one of our renowned museums (Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Clyfford Still Museum...to name a few).
  • Catch a performance at the world class Buell Theatre or Ellie Caulkins Opera House. 
  • Utilize the expansive park system including multiple large parks within a short walk or drive from the hospital (City Park, Cheesman Park, Washington Park).
  • Visit the Denver Botanical Garden which is not only a work of art in itself, but hosts many events such as concerts in the summer and a light display around the holidays.
  • See your favorite bands perform at both intimate and large concert venues (Red Rocks Amphitheater, Ogden Theater, Pepsi Center, Fillmore Theater, or enjoy a picnic with friends at the weekly Jazz in the Park during the summers)
  • Take the family to the Denver Zoo or Aquarium. Or drive down south for a unique experience at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

The residents genuinely enjoy spending time with each other which is highlighted by some of our program events.  Examples include resident breakfasts, hosted quarterly throughout the year, a holiday party complete with an annual Ugly Sweater Contest and White Elephant gift exchange, Women in Surgery happy hours, and Spring Fling, the culminating graduation event which includes dinner, awards, and hilarious skits put on by the residents themselves. The residents find every opportunity to explore and enjoy all that Colorado has to offer.  We are confident that this wonderful location has something that appeals to everyone.

Medical Students

Third- and fourth-year medical students interested in general surgery can apply to our residency program for a third-year clerkship or fourth-year sub-internship.

Clerkships (MS3)

The General Surgery Residency Program at Saint Joseph Hospital has third year clerkships available for the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CUSOM) and Rocky Vista University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RVU-SOM) students.

Students are assigned to one of the general surgery services during their clerkship, along with general surgery residents and attendings. Duties include consulting on new patients, writing notes, pre-operative evaluations of patient problems, scrubbing into cases in the operating room, and post-operative clinical management. Students also attend clinic on a rotational basis with their team. Student work is evaluated by attending surgeons, along with senior residents, though the majority of the student’s time is spent immersed as a member of the resident team.

Surgery Sub-internship (MS4)

We offer sub-internships to fourth year medical students nationwide who are enrolled in LCME or AOA accredited institutions. You will be placed on either an Acute Care Surgery service or Elective General or Specialty Surgery service at our main campus at St. Joe's Hospital, along with a team of residents and attendings. Applicants are required to meet the same criteria for our ERAS application for residency.

Applications can be submitted through VSLO, please utilize the SURG-8000 elective. Applications submitted via email or other formats will not be eligible for consideration.

Please visit the following website to apply:


We also strive to improve access to surgical education to underrepresented in medicine (URiM) students, therefore are offering several scholarships listed under the Visiting Students Underrepresented in Medicine Surgery Scholarship: VSURiM SURG 800 elective. If applying for this scholarship, please do not submit a duplicate application for the SURG 8000 elective. Please see the section below for more information.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Become an Intern! This includes floor work, seeing consults, changing dressings, pulling drains, helping answer pages, and whatever else makes you indispensable to your team’s success.
  • We also want you to go to the operating room and gain technical knowledge and experience, however, this will help you learn how to juggle floor and OR responsibilities and time management skills.
  • Leadership development and mentoring roles are important throughout your training. Consider the more junior medical students below you and help guide them through their rotation. You were just in their shoes. You will spend the next 5 years in a progressive teaching model (aka residency), so we encourage intentional acquisition of those skills at this stage of your training.

Housing and Parking:

  • Housing and parking Housing should be arranged prior to arrival by the student if you are traveling from outside the area.
  • There is an option located adjacent to the hospital, the Saint Christopher Inn, 720-917-9900 https://www.sclhealth.org/locations/saint-joseph-hospital/saint-christopher-inn/
  • Additional options vary based on availability and can be found through online home rental services.
  • All lodging expenses are the responsibility of the student except those who receive the Visiting Students Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) Scholarship.
  • Parking is garage-based and free for all visiting students.

Visiting Students Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM)

We encourage 4th year students who are interested in doing a sub-internship at our institution and also come from a background underrepresented in medicine to apply for our Visiting Students (URiM) Scholarship.

Eligible candidates from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine as defined by the AAMC criteria (https://www.aamc.org/what-we-do/equity-diversity-inclusion/underrepresented-in-medicine) are strongly encouraged to apply. St. Joe's General Surgery Residency has a long history of dedication to the medically underserved and strives to expand opportunities for underrepresented populations pursuing a career in surgery as well. Selected candidates will receive a stipend to cover a portion of their travel and housing expenses while here on their 4th year sub-internship. Candidates must commit to a 4-week sub-internship between May 2023 and January 2024 in order to receive the stipend. This scholarship will be offered to up to two (2) candidates in the 2023-2024 academic year.

This opportunity is listed as a separate VSLO elective: VSURIM – SURG 8000. Please do not submit a duplicate application for the Surg 8000 elective. There is an additional requirement of a short essay (<200 words) indicating why you are applying for the scholarship. This may be uploaded along with your personal statement on the VSLO website.

The candidates selected to receive this scholarship will be notified by May of the application year.

Please email Sarah Flores at sarah.flores@imail.org with further questions.