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Trauma Surgery – SHCC

Updated: 4/11/23

NOTE: The rotation fills on a first come, first served basis and tends to fill quickly. There are a total of thirteen spots available to medical students on a first come first serve basis. Spots are generally distributed beginning the January preceding the start of the academic year and equally distributed among students from many medical schools.

If you are approved to take this elective, and then decide to cancel, you must do so 8 weeks in advance of the elective start date.

Students must have completed all M3 Core Clerkships.

The Trauma and Burn unit at JSH Cook County Hospital is a national center of excellence and part of a great tradition of medical education at the Cook County Hospital. The success of the trauma service is largely dependent of the team approach to patient care. The unit trains both surgery and emergency medicine residents from several Chicago area programs. The care of the trauma patient focuses on continuity of care and responsibility remains with the trauma and burn survive from door to discharge. Operations performed by the trauma service include emergent torso and vascular surgery in addition to critical care rehab, and followup. Utilization of other consulting services is a large part of the service experience. The Trauma Burn Unit includes the 15-bed resuscitation area, the 10-bed step down unit and the 12 beds Trauma ICU. The burn unit includes 6 critical care beds and 12 combined trauma/burn/wound step down beds. Patients are maintained on the medical surgical wards as needed. The student will have primary responsibility in conjunction with the resident, fellow and attending staff.  Procedural skills include invasive monitoring,  CVP, diagnostic lavage, chest tube insertion, complex laceration repair and surgical skills. There is a formal didactic schedule including morbidity, critical care, pharmacologic and nutrition conferences, including daily intake and morning report conference.

The Trauma & Burn Unit at the Cook County Hospital admits 5,500 seriously injured patients annually with a significant number due to penetrating injuries. The student is an integral member of the Trauma Team, taking in-house call every 4th night. The student will have ample opportunities to learn skills relative to trauma and burn care, critical care, and resuscitative care.  Students are anticipated to present their patients at morning report, or rounds, scrub in the O.R., and follow-up in the outpatient clinic. A physically and emotionally demanding rotation with excellent teaching. Recommended for students considering surgery or emergency medicine.

The ICU Book by Paul Marino


  • Students are evaluated based on interactions with staff and residents as well as the overall quality and understanding of patient care. Patient presentations are a critical part of the evaluation process.
  1. Students are expected to present in morning report and at bedside
  2. On rounds in the OBS units, Trauma ICU and floor on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Prior to completion of your clerkship in Trauma, please give your school evaluation to Adriana Alvarez in room 1300 Administration Building.
  • Resident are not permitted to fill out your school evaluations.
  • Student evaluations are done once monthly by committee.

**Please note: Students may be charged a fee by Cook County Hospital for this elective.**

Administrative Information Heading link

  • Program Number

    ELEC 701

  • Program Contacts

    Program Director: A. Dennis, D.O., FACS FACOS

    Coordinator: Brandi DeLoatch

  • Program Information

    Location: SHCC – The Cook County Trauma and Burn Unit at Stroger Hospital

    Duration: 4 Weeks
    Night Call: Yes(Q4)
    Weekends: Yes
    Students Accepted: Min.0 ;  Max: 13  (1st come, 1st serve)
    Housestaff Used as Faculty: No
    Total Hours /Week: 83
    Cancelling: must be requested 8 weeks in advance of the elective start date