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Anatomy and Surgery Intensive (ASI) – UI Health

Updated: 05/29/2024

*AY24-25:  offered ONLY March 31–April 26, 2025


Students must have completed all M3 Core Clerkships and have M4 status.  Preference will be given to students matching to General Surgery. Any remaining slots will be available on a first-come basis to those matching to other surgical specialties and to Interventional Radiology and Emergency Medicine.


This course is designed for the M4 student pursuing a career in a surgical discipline, particularly General Surgery, or in a discipline involving significant interventional procedures, such as interventional radiology or emergency medicine. It is intended to extend the fund of anatomic knowledge through day-long, specialty-specific, cadaveric dissections, focusing on anatomical relationships required for the practice of surgery or for interventional procedures. A second component is intended to confer skill certifications as set forth by the American College of Surgeons (ASC) and to provide exposure and practice in the fundamentals of laparoscopic and robotic surgery so that the graduating student is fully prepared to handle a surgical internship.


Anatomy (on a specialty-specific basis)

  1. Identify normal anatomic structures and their spatial relationships through en face & sectional cadaveric dissection. Includes execution of some interventional procedures on the donor bodies.
  2. Correlate internal anatomy topographically with surface landmarks and/or vertebral levels
  3. Differentiate the spectrum of normal anatomic variations from pathologies
  4. Recount and describe some key pathologies associated with specific organs or anatomic sites
  5. Identify major pathological manifestations in body systems as randomly encountered during dissection, eg, hemorrhage/hematoma, neoplasia, cysts, effusions, fractures, calculi, herniation, trauma


Wet Lab Certifications as per the American College of Surgeons (ACS)/Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) Criteria of Competency

  1. Airway skills: Practice and perform endotracheal intubation, cricothyroidotomy, open tracheostomy, percutaneous tracheostomy
  2. Arterial anastomosis: Perform proper vascular techniques; identify aortic anatomy
  3. Bleeding control: Identify the principles of control of bleeding and perform proximal and distal control of vessels
  4. Bowel Anastomosis: Perform and Practice hand-sewn anastomosis
  5. Bowel Anastomosis: Identify components of stapled anastomosis and techniques used
  6. Chronic Wound care: Identify the conditions required for a minimum of 8 different methods of treating wounds including skin grafts, biologics
  7. eFAST exams: Interpret FAST scans on a series of simulated conditions and furnish an accurate diagnosis
  8. Knot tying: two-handed and one-handed
  9. Laparotomy: Perform open laparotomy and closure
  10. Mock Pages: Students will receive one page per week by cell phone
  11. Mechanical Ventilation: Identify ventilatory parameters and define appropriate parameters according to clinical needs
  12. Skin flaps: Identify the components of a properly designed skin flap for wound closure and perform different types of skin flaps for skin closure
  13. Surgery Set-up: Prepare an emergent patient to the operating room, perform a time out, and prep and drape the patient for emergent surgery
  14. Surgical Biopsy and Excision: Identify, gather, set up minor surgery without any assistance and perform a mock excision of a small lesion including local anesthetic, skin incision and skin closure
  15. Surgical Instrumentation: Identify surgical instruments and their proper use
  16. Suturing: Perform simple interrupted, running, horizontal mattress, vertical mattress, subcuticular interrupted and running sutures Thoracostomy Tube Insertion: Demonstrate the 7 steps of Chest tube insertion
  17. Surgical Olympics: Perform individually or as a team member in surgical skills according to OSAT criteria
  18. Writing Orders: Demonstrate the ability to write admitting orders, transfer orders to the ICU, transfer orders to the floor from the ICU, and discharge orders


Non-Wet Lab ACS/APDS Certifications (Individual & Small Group Learning)

  1. Adverse Events: demonstrate the ability to describe an adverse event to a family member and next steps
  2. Compartment syndrome: identification and management of extremity and abdominal compartment syndromes
  3. Death Certification: Perform death certification
  4. Discharge Planning: Perform discharge planning
  5. Electrolyte and Arterial Blood Gas Abnormalities: Identification and treatment
  6. Informed Consent: Perform informed consent
  7. Patient Hand-off IPASS: Perform patient handoffs and the I-PASS method
  8. Post-Operative Pain: Evaluate and define a management plan for post-operative pain
  9. Professionalism: Identify and ways to avoid non-professional behavior
  10. Radiologic Imaging I: Identification of trauma-related abnormalities observed on Chest X-rays
  11. Radiologic Imaging II: Systematic strategy to interpret Abdominal and Pelvic CT scans for surgery
  12. Sepsis: Identification of sepsis and initial management strategies
  13. Shock: Identify type of Shock and define associated treatment/management
  14. Social Media: Define elements of social media that can be detrimental to your professional career
  15. Surgical Hemostasis: Identify strategies to obtain surgical hemostasis

Additional Certifications and Training

  1. Advance Trauma Life Support (ATLS) for certification
  2. Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) for certification
  3. Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery (FRS) culminates with simulated robotic cholecystectomy and pig lab robotic cholecystectomy
  4. Perform in a team of two or three M4 students: robotic cholecystectomy, an open laparotomy, splenectomy, and perform wound closure in a pig lab


I) Dissection Labs: Students will perform faculty-supervised, specialty-specific, cadaveric dissections.

II) Large Group Discussions: Students will demonstrate to the class/faculty aspects of their dissection at the end of each lab session. Additional large group discussions will focus on specific surgical management scenarios encountered as a surgical intern that require urgent or emergent care.

III) Small Group Discussions:  Throughout the elective students will break into small groups with a facilitator to discuss various topics that require reflection. These activities will focus on instruction, discussion and supervision of ACS competencies.

IV) Independent Learning:It is expected that the student will complete several independent learning online modules as well as independent practice of surgical/interventional techniques in preparation for certification. They will also be expected to review relevant anatomy/approaches prior to each dissection lab.

V) Wet Labs: Planned activities using simulators, mannequins or live pigs will be used to allow students to practice invasive patient procedures.

VI) Minimally Invasive Lab Practice: Practice is encouraged with 10, two-hour sessions of practice on laparoscopic and robotic simulation reserved for ASI students.


Over the 4 weeks students will be assigned to complete 10 all-day, anatomic dissection sessions (2-3/wk) alternating with 10 all-day, surgical management/wet lab/procedure practice sessions (2-3/wk).The final week will include a live pig lab in which the student will serve as the operating surgeon (with guidance) for either a robotic cholecystectomy, open splenectomy, operative treatment of life-threatening hemorrhage, tracheostomy or chest tube insertion.


Performance in the Anatomy component will be evaluated immediately after each dissection lab via narrative assessment based on knowledge and quality in dissection; quality of large group, anatomy peer-teaching; and professionalism. Students must complete the dissections and activities associated with all five Anatomy Competencies at an 80% level. The Surgery component requires satisfactory completion of 80% of the surgical competencies (30 of the total 37). Optionally, the student may choose to obtain ACS certification which requires the skill to be performed according to ACS standards. Evaluation of all surgical skills will be categorized as either “certified” or “not-certified.” The student has the choice to have course certifications reported to the matched institution’s Residency Program Director. The final grade is reported via the College’s standard, non-clinical “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” elective grade form based on a 60%:40% weighting of the Surgery: Anatomy components, respectively.

Administrative Information Heading link

  • Program Number

    ELEC 515

  • Program Contacts

    Program Co-Directors:
    Surgery component – Amelia Bartholomew, MD, MPH, FACS &
    Anatomy component – Norm Lieska, PhD

    Coordinator: Tricia Harvat

  • Program Information

    Location: at UIC — Cadaver Dissection Laboratory (703 CMWT), the Surgical Innovation Training Laboratory (SITL) & the Biological Resources Laboratory (BRL)
    Duration: 4 Weeks
    Lectures/Conferences/Faculty contact: 14hrs/wk
    Night Call: No
    Laboratory: 19hrs/wk
    Weekends:  One Saturday for Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) Certification
    Students accepted: Min. 6, Max. 18
    Housestaff used as Faculty: Yes — Fellows in Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery
    Total hours/week: ~42