Common trunk surgery

The Center for Surgery at the University Hospital Zurich is now providing basic training in all surgical fields for assistant doctors – otherwise known as common trunk.

Common trunk is a two-year basic training course organized by the Center for Surgery for various medical specializations: specialist in surgery with the surgical foci general and trauma surgery, vascular surgery, thoracic surgery and visceral surgery, hand surgery, cardiac and vascular surgery, maxillofacial surgery, plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, and urology.

In this two-year period, candidates have the opportunity to work closely with qualified specialists and acquire in-depth knowledge in these fields. After completing common trunk training, graduates can then further specialize in a specific surgical field at the University Hospital Zurich.

Objectives of common trunk

  • Structured basic training in the Center for Surgery as a means of providing junior surgical staff with systematic support
  • Attractive further education programs in the Center for Surgery (common trunk – early specialization within the departments)


The further education candidates carry out four rotations of a duration of six months each (two years in total). The departments have drawn up their own further education curricula for the rotation. This curriculum consists of basic theoretical and practical knowledge of surgery and is oriented towards the requirements to be fulfilled for the relevant medical specialization (see specific of requirements). The further education candidates are fully integrated into the department's operations during the rotation (incl. on-call and weekend services) and participate in internal departmental training and the weekly surgical and gastroenterological grand rounds. The respective departments are responsible for ensuring that labor laws are complied with. Two weeks' holiday must be taken per rotation.

Specification of requirements / courses

Specification of requirements/courses

Tasks during a rotation incorporate all responsibilities in the relevant rotation department and are defined in a specification of requirements. The candidates can practice their skills on simulators in the Surgical Skill Center.

The candidates can take part in the following courses:
Suture course (Aesculap courses)
Simulator course (

Specification of requirements for the various departments (PDFs in German):

Specification of requirements for Department of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery
Specification of requirements for Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery
Specification of requirements for Department of Thoracic Surgery
Specification of requirements for Department of Trauma Surgery
Specification of requirements for Department of Urology
Specification of requirements for Department of Surgery and Transplantation

Aims for further education candidates

Aims for further education candidates

  • Acquisition of basic surgical knowledge
  • Partial completion of the external specialist catalog of operations

Steering group

Common trunk training is managed by a steering group consisting of one delegate from each participating department. The steering group selects candidates, reviews the training courses, draws up the rotation plans and improves the training program. The relevant departmental representatives are responsible for managing and training the common trunk-track candidates for their department.

Steering group members

Florin Allemann, MD (Department of Trauma Surgery representative)
PD Jan Plock, MD (Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery representative)
Samuel Käser, MD (Head of Steering Group, Department of Surgery and Transplantation representative)
PD André Plass, MD (Department of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery representative)
Marko Kozomara, MD (Department of Urology representative)
Didier Schneiter, MD (Department of Thoracic Surgery representative)


Please send your complete application documents (CV, certificates/grades, letters of reference) to:

University Hospital Zurich
Department of Surgery and Transplantation
Geraldine Bielke
Rämistrasse 100
8091 Zurich

or via email as a PDF to

Please contact Dr. Samuel Käser on +41 44 255 160 33 51 for any questions.

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