Surgery Junior Year Clerkship

The Junior Surgery Clerkship is an eight-week core clerkship designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills relevant to the evaluation and management of patients with surgical diseases that all physicians should possess. It aims to familiarize the medical student with the types of diseases surgeons commonly encounter, orient them to the work-up and differential diagnoses of surgical disease, and management. A goal of the Surgical Clerkship is to equip students who will seek careers in other medical fields, particularly primary care, to have a better knowledge basis about what a surgeon does and what potential future types of disease entities may be referred to a surgeon. In addition, it aims to emphasize teamwork, patient responsibility, and professional behavior as essential qualities for young physicians to develop.

Leander Grimm, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Clerkship Director

Program Description

While on the Surgery Rotation the student will be exposed to various subspecialties of surgery. Students are assigned four two-week rotations. All students will rotate through colorectal, and trauma; another two week rotation will be with General surgery or GI; and the final two week rotation will be broken into two one-week rotations. One week will be at Children’s and Women’s on pediatric surgery or at the Medical Center on CVT and the final will be an elective of the students choosing (options are Anesthesia, Emergency Medicine, ENT, Neuro, Orthopedics, and Plastic).

The student will attend clinic with the Rotation in which they are scheduled, will have intraoperative experiences, and will round each morning with the Residents and attendings as part of their service. Another important part of the rotation will take place through required readings, didactic sessions, conferences, and Team Based Learning sessions.

We anticipate that at the conclusion of the rotation, students will have acquired a valid perspective regarding the role of the discipline of surgery in the care of individual patients at all ages and all stages of the disease processes, and will have acquired an understanding of the relationship of the health care team to an individual patient and to their community.


  • Show effective participation in trauma alert
  • Demonstrate knowledge of sterile technique (scrub on cases)
  • Perform “minor” procedure under supervision
  • Place NG tube/foley
  • Close laceration
  • Remove sutures/staples
  • Evaluate neurologic status / Assign correct GCS score
  • Demonstrate accurate, focused HUP and present on rounds
  • Legible/Complete logical notes
  • Display professional behavior and functioning effectively as a member of a health care team.  

Core Clinical Conditions to be encountered during the Surgery Clerkship:  

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Hepatobiliary Disorder
  • Cancer / Lung, GI, Breast, Endocrine
  • Trauma / Blunt, Penetrating
  • Vascular Disease / Surgical
  • Neurologic Injury /Disorder
  • Lung / Pneumonia / Pneumothorax, Respiratory Failure
  • Sepsis / Shock / Hypoxia
  • Surgical Infections
  • Hernia
  • Postoperative Issues / Pain, Ileus, Nutrition, Infection
  • Colorectal / Gastrointestinal Disorder
  • Other

Student Evaluation

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&P, progress notes, clinic notes, oral presentations

Problem Solving/Clinical Reasoning: Integration and synthesis of clinical data, application of medical knowledge, use of diagnostic resources, judgment, 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 be responsible for a Case Presentation for their peers and an assigned faculty member. Precise information regarding the Case Presentation will be given at the beginning of the Clerkship.  At the end of the Surgical Clerkship the students will take the mini-board shelf examination.

The student’s numerical grade distribution will be calculated as follows:

  • Wards – 50%
  • NBME – 40%
  • Team Based Learning scores – 10%

For further information, contact:


Jill S. Garcia
Clerkship Coordinator
Department of Surgery
Phone (251) 471-7990

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