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Resident Spotlight - Dr. Josh Geiger

Josh GeigerOur Vascular Surgery Residency Program offers a robust and cohesive program for resident education and research, preparing trainees to understand both the art and science of vascular surgery in a wide-range of training environments. Dr. Josh Geiger reflects on how the DeWeese Endowment has shaped his own experience as a resident. 

What lead you to vascular surgery?

My fascination with the cardiovascular system, desire to treat complex patients and solve complex problems, and the longitudinal patient care provided by vascular surgeons attracted me to the field. We take care of complex anatomical problems and often in very sick patients. This requires critical thinking before and during cases. Also, vascular surgeons can provide the most advantageous surgical options to patients since we have both open and endovascular skills in their toolbox. 

What does it mean to complete your training at URMC? 

I am very fortunate to complete my residency at the University of Rochester from both a training and family perspective, as my whole family is in the Buffalo area and my wife is a Rochester native. Additionally, my support as a resident have been amplified by the faculty and residents here. As a Rochester student, I placed this residency at the top of my rank list because of the mentorship, collegiality, and unconditional support the faculty have for the trainees. This has only become more apparent as I progress through my training as I have been supported to achieve my goals and am pushed to become the best technical vascular surgeon I can be.

What has been your greatest takeaway from your experience as a trainee? 

For me, mentorship and leadership have emerged as two key themes throughout this process. The training program focuses on creating surgeon leaders, wherever they practice. The program does this by focusing on early technical skill development that generates confidence in its trainees early on. As a result, residents are comfortable leading the clinical team as well as the operative team from more junior levels, allowing time to further focus on leadership qualities and skills. Our curriculum includes formal and informal education on business, leadership, and health system content that few other residents learn. These topics are vitally important for the success of any surgeon after graduating from a training program and aid in the ability of our graduates to be surgeon leaders. I was fortunate to have, and still have, great mentorship within the department, and as I progress, I find myself becoming a mentor to medical students and junior residents. 

How do you feel this experience is preparing you for the future of medicine?

The field of vascular surgery is on the cutting edge of medical device technology. This is inherent to the field, as vascular surgery is frequently evolving and will look very different by the time I retire. Rochester is heavily involved in device research and clinical trials, which means that residents get to see the implementation of developmental technologies and participate in the unique management these patients undergoing these procedures require. The program teaches us to embrace new technologies with a healthy degree of skepticism in preparation for independent practice.