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Specialization in General Surgery




3 years

General Description

The medical specialization in General Surgery aims to train and certify general surgeons to an excellent level. Graduates of this program will be able to generate scientific knowledge, optimize the use of technologies and contribute to clinical research.

Specialists in General Surgery will be capable of carrying out activities of health promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, from adolescence to old age. They will work towards the common good, with a focus on people and their surroundings, and will be guided by ethical and Christian humanist principals that call for care of the mental and physical integrity of their patients.

General Surgeons will have the knowledge and skills necessary to address acute and elective surgical issues in ambulatory and hospital care environments, with varying degrees of complexity. They use the clinical and/or scientific method and methodological tools from biomedical and social sciences and research to aid in their decision-making, undertaking ongoing self-directed study.

Additionally, General Surgeons will be trained to carry out basic clinical research and to apply essential contexts to undergraduate-level teaching. They will be capable of leading healthcare teams, using management tools and working across multiple disciplines to overcome challenges and achieve objectives. They will take into consideration the rational use of existing resources, promoting rapid and high-quality care. They will relate to their patients with empathy and assertiveness, taking their social and cultural surroundings into consideration and providing care that puts the physical and emotional wellbeing of the person first.


To provide human capital with an optimal academic and humanistic training to meet the demand for specialist in general surgery, at universities in the north of Chile and UCN in particular. Graduates of this program will be deeply committed to the social values that bring prestige to their profession.

Specific Objectives

  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge of surgical problems in adults (natural history of diseases, physiopathology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic and therapeutic processes and surgical techniques).
  • Diagnose common pathologies associated with surgery, taking the patient, their family and surroundings into consideration using the clinical method.
  • Formulate patient monitoring plans including laboratory testing, medical imaging and other procedures that are cost-effective for the patient and the health service.
  • Treat common pathologies in ambulatory and hospital care, responding rapidly to emergencies and acute pathologies within the scope of the specialization.
  • Demonstrate skill in the execution of procedures associated with the specialization (tracheal intubation, central venal catheters, arterial lines, incision and drainage of cavities).
  • Carry out surgical interventions taking into account the best evidence available and the cost-benefit relationship of such procedures.
  • Educate patients in strategies to prevent disease and promote health.
  • Demonstrate communication skills allowing for solid doctor-patient relationships and proper channels of communication with healthcare teams and peers.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills, clinical reasoning, self-directed learning and ongoing study applied to clinical issues.
  • Demonstrate an ethical and professional attitude in relationships with patients and healthcare teams.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary healthcare teams, facilitating the development of complementary skills in their members and taking positions of leadership.
  • Use basic teaching skills for undergraduate-level teaching.

Acquire basic elements of clinical research.

Candidate Profile:

Medical professionals licensed to practice in Chile.

Plan of Studies

The first year of the program focuses on resolving medical and surgical problems, with an emphasis on pathologies of the gall bladder, hernias and peripheral vascular complaints as well as pre- and post-operative care, cardiopulmonary reanimation and measures for the prevention and control of hospital infections. Students will also acquire surgical skills for low-complexity operations.

The second year of the program focuses on sup-specializations within surgery and the acquisition of higher-level surgical skills.

The third year of the program will consolidate an integrated approach to adult surgery.

This is a full-time program requiring exclusive dedication from residents, who will be supervised throughout the course of study.



Applicants should hold a degree in Medicine and Surgery allowing them to practice medicine in Chile.

This degree may be one of the following:

  • A degree in Medicine and Surgery from a Chilean university. Students who have graduated earlier in the year but who have not yet received their definitive degree certificate may present a certificate from their university.
  • A degree in medicine and surgery from outside Chile that has been properly authorized by the Chilean authorities and allows the holder to practice medicine in Chile. Candidates should submit:
  1. National medical qualification.
  2. National medical exam for candidates who received their degree outside Chile or graduated from a Chilean university after 2010.
  3. A letter of recommendation from a university professor (not necessarily from the field of specialization).
  4. A personal letter of no more than two pages, explaining the candidate’s reasons for choosing the specialization.
  5. Curriculum vitae, to include the following:
  • Identification
  • Graduating year
  • University
  • Transcript of course and internship grades
  • Scientific publications
  • Presentations at scientific conferences and seminars
  • Teaching and research assistantships
  • Other activities: professional and social

Shortlisted candidates should take a psychological test. In cases where the Health Service participates in the selection process, candidates must also comply with the prerequisites indicated by this body.
Applications for Medical Specializations
Faculty of Medicine
Telephone: (051) 2 205923


Dr. Osvaldo Iribarren Brown
Head of Program General Surgery
Telephone: (56-51) 2205923
Email: osvaldoi@ucn.cl

Dr. Nicolás Velasco Morandé
Director of Postgraduate Studies
Telephone: (56-51) 2206810
Email: nvelasco@ucn.cl
Website http://medicina.sede.ucn.cl/


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