University of South Alabama

Senior Medical Student Electives

The surgical electives in the Department of Surgery are designed to give the senior medical student advanced knowledge of surgical diseases and the treatment of those disease processes. In addition, advanced technical experience is provided while on these services.

There are two basic types of surgical electives: Acting Internships and Surgical Subspecialty Electives.

Acting Internships (AI):

The philosophy for acting internships is to provide the student with the experiences of functioning as an intern under the supervision of the surgical faculty. The student will be an integral part of the team providing care for hospitalized patients of the Service, operating at the level of a PGY-1 Resident, with appropriate supervision by house staff and attending physicians.

The student's evaluation will be based upon faculty observation of performance with special regard to his or her fund of knowledge, clinical skills, technical abilities, decision making and judgment.

Surgical Subspecialty Electives:

The students on the Surgical Subspecialty Elective Services will function as members of the Service and will be expected to participate in all activities of the Service as deemed appropriate by senior residents and attending staff. The student is expected to be an active participant in the operating room and participate in the postoperative care of all the patients during their rotation.

Visiting Medical Students

Surgery Junior Year Clerkship

The Junior Year Clerkship in Surgery is a required rotation for medical students.  As Residents and Faculty, we want our junior medical students to gain the very most out of this experience.

While rotating with the Department of Surgery, you will be exposed to various subspecialties of surgery.  This is done so that students will be exposed to as many different disease processes, management techniques, and surgical procedures as possible.  The services that you will rotate on include General Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Pediatric Surgery and the "Specialty Service," which includes Cardiothoracic, Vascular, and Transplant Surgery.  In house call is required and is a necessary component of surgical education.

Student Evaluations

Evaluations for the clerkship are completed by the attending faculty and chief residents of the various services.  The specific areas of evaluation include:

Communication Skills - Written H & Ps, progress notes, clinic notes, oral presentations

Problem Solving/Clinical Reasoning - Integration and synthesis of clinical data, application of medical knowledge, use of diagnostic resources, judgement, establishing priorities

Interpersonal Skills - Team work, communication, empathy, relationship with patients/peers/faculty/residents, response to supervision/constructive criticism

Professional Attributes - Attitude, motivation, integrity, compassion, responsibility, maturity, self-confidence, intellectual curiosity, commitment to self-learning, punctuality/attendance

In addition to rotational evaluations, all students will choose an interesting case that they have participated to produce a formal presentation for their classmates and an assigned faculty member.

Examinations include a written departmental examination, a mini-board shelf examination and an oral examination.

Faculty Expectations

As faculty members, the Department of Surgery expects no less than the most professional behavior while on this rotation.  This obviously includes participation in operative cases, in which the student is familiar with the pathophysiology of the disease entity, participation in all scheduled conferences and promptness in regard to attendance of all scheduled events, and compassionate patient care.  Since medical education at this level and beyond is an individualized process, we also expect students to demonstrate their intellectual curiosity while on service.

Interest Group
Join the Surgery Interest Group-read about it here.


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