The general surgery residency at Ochsner is, to some extent, a hybrid, combining the amenities and resources of an excellent private hospital/clinic with the academic tone of a university program. Our primary mission is to educate and train outstanding young surgeons who are ready to either enter clinical practice or undertake advanced fellowship training. Although our mission is not primarily to train full-time academic surgeons, our alumni include a number of distinguished academic surgeons. The passage from medical student to accomplished surgeon is exciting, and the camaraderie that a surgical resident establishes with his/her peers and faculty lasts for a lifetime. As surgical educators, we are privileged to spend a major part of our lives with a talented, bright and passionate group of young physicians who have set their sights on entering what I believe to be the world's greatest profession: general surgery.