Bassett Medical Center General Surgery Residency Personal Statement

Surgical Postgraduate Physician Assistant Program

General Description

This program was developed in 2005 by surgical physician assistants in multiple subspecialties to train PA’s in surgery to have a well-rounded background in general and specialty areas of surgery. The program is run by physician assistants and attending physicians at Bassett Medical Center including a regional network of four affiliate hospitals and 28 community health centers serving an eight-county region in central New York. PA’s spend most of their time in Cooperstown, N.Y. at The Mary Imogene Bassett hospital, a 180-bed acute care, and inpatient teaching facility. Bassett has physician residencies in General Surgery, Primary Care, Internal Medicine and Transitional Year.

Currently, over 20 physician assistants practice within the Department of Surgery, including all of the subspecialties. The post graduate training program is 12-months in duration, with didactic and clinical portions ongoing throughout the year. PA’s will participate in grand rounds, surgical case presentation, surgical subspecialty conference, surgeon-in-chief rounds, Morbidity and Mortality conference, Trauma conference and complete selected readings and/or attend conferences specific to each subspecialty rotation. The PA will be encouraged to be a self-motivated, lifelong learner. PA’s rotate through General Surgery, ICU/Cardiac Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Urology, Gynecology, Otolaryngology, and Rural Surgery. They will have the opportunity to select 1 or 2 electives to complete during the last 8 weeks of the program. PA’s should plan to work 50-hours a week, plus 1 night of call every other week. They will have 3 weeks vacation.

Cooperstown is the home of the beautiful Otsego Lake and Glimmerglass State Park and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The surrounding countryside offers unlimited opportunity for biking, hiking and backpacking, picnics, boating, fishing, swimming, golf and much more. The community’s Clark Sports Center has state-of-the-art recreational and fitness facilities.

Admissions Process and Timetable

One PA is selected each year. Our goal is to accept individuals with specific surgical career goals.


Acceptance is on a rolling basis.

Program Start Date:

Contingent on NYS license and board certification.

Entry requirements:

Applicants must be graduates of an ARC-PA approved program, NCCPA board certified, eligible for NYS license or current license.

Completed application to include 3 reference forms, CV, personal statement, official transcripts from college and PA school, copies of BLS and ACLS or other certification. A personal interview is required.

Financial Information




  • 3 weeks paid vacation, 5 personal days, 4 professional days;
  • PA’s are eligible to join Beneflex, Bassett’s flexible benefits plan for medical, dental, life, accidental death/dismemberment, long-term disability, pharmacy, eye care and HSA spending.
  • Financial support to attend national PA conference;
  • 6 calendar holidays;
  • On-call food allowance;
  • Library services.


Assistance available in finding local housing.

General Surgery

Welcome to the homepage for the General Surgery Program at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York. Bassett Medical Center has a long tradition of medical education, and surgery training has been a major part of that commitment for over 60 years.

Our program offers a true general surgical exposure that is seldom found in modern day university programs. There is, of course, an immense body of general surgical conditions that are encountered. In addition, our trainees have significant surgical exposure to subspecialties such as ENT, plastics, gynecology, and neurosurgery, among others because there are no other surgical specialty residency programs at Bassett.

Our educational curriculum has been closely aligned to the SCORE (Surgical Council on Resident Education) program to ensure we are covering the entire breadth of general surgery on a two-year cycle. Our medical education department also provides for many educational tools such as on-line subscriptions as well as a stipend for educational materials and conferences.

Our residents live and train in a small community, which provides unique experiences and opportunities. It is a wonderful upstate New York lakeside community with a seasonal tourist population and a peaceful year-round life. Most of our residents and several of our faculty walk or bike to work.

One visit will convince you of both our high-caliber program and of the close-knit relationship that the house staff have with each other, something not common in large multi-hospital based programs.

We are compliant with ACGME and New York State Duty Hour Regulations and are committed to preparing you to be a competent general surgeon in five years.

We welcome any and all questions related to our program. We encourage you to consider our program and look forward to meeting you someday in beautiful Cooperstown, New York.

Theodor Kaufman, MD
Program Director


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