PURPOSE: The General Surgery Clerkship is designed to be an introduction to Surgery and selected surgical subspecialties. Students are assigned to the inpatient surgical wards and clinics. The students are taught the approach to the surgical patient and participate in pre- and postoperative care as well as perform certain invasive techniques safely. By the end of rotation, students are expected to know the indications and the contradictions and the role of ancillary services in managing surgical diseases.

COMPETENCIES: As a result of attending this clerkship, the student should be familiar with and be able to perform the following functions: 1) Perform a complete and competent history and physical examination on surgical patients on the wards and in the Surgical Clinics; 2) Review, record, and communicate clinical observations both in the chart and on rounds; 3) Perform a variety of invasive procedures including nasogastric intubation, venous access, arterial puncture, wound dressing, and closure of simple wounds; 4) Know when to order and how to interpret common diagnostic tests and laboratory results in surgical patients; 5) Be familiar with sterile technique, common operative procedures, and the operating room environment; 6) Detect and anticipate common postoperative complications; and 7) Gain initial exposure to selected surgical subspecialties (site specific). 8) Understand indications per various surgical procedures and their timing.

INSTRUCTIONAL FEATURES: The students are expected to participate in all activities of the service. These include daily rounds with the Surgical Residents, outpatient clinics, teaching rounds, Interdisciplinary Conferences, conferences with the Attending Staff, and informal teaching sessions. Students will be required to take hospital night call according to a schedule developed at each site, but with a frequency not to exceed every fourth night. Students are expected to become familiar with sterile technique, common operative procedures and the operating room environment. "Scrubbing" on actual surgical procedures is encouraged during all phases of the rotation. A didactic lecture series is offered to the students and is given by the faculty in Surgery. The lecture series is attended by students from all sites, occurs on Thursday afternoon and is mandatory. The lecture series is meant to supplement and not rep lace the student's reading and independent study.

ASSESSMENT: Students are evaluated clinically by the Attending faculty and Senior level residents (2/3 of the grade) and have a final examination (1/3 of the final grade).


Program Number: CLER 604
Location: Various Sites as Assigned
Program Director: Amelia Bartholomew, MD

Program Coordinator: Tricia Harvat,
312-996-6765 or 312-996-1734  Fax:  312-355-3722
Duration: 8 Weeks
Night Call: Q4
Weekends: Yes
Students Accepted: All
Housestaff Used as Faculty: Yes
Lectures/Conferences/ Faculty Contact: 6-8
Laboratory/Independent Study: 6-8
Outpatient: 18
Total Hours/Week 36-42

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Key Words: General Surgery pre-and post-operative care, wound management, surgical subspecialties 

Click here to link to the Office of Student Affairs Web Site to view the Reporting Instructions for the Surgery Clerkships.

Updated:  10/1/14