Surgery and subspecialties clerkship

Clerkship and Subspecialties

Contact: Rebecca Bellini, Academic Program Administrator, MSIII and MSIV
Location: SUNY Upstate Medical University
Department of Surgery, Room 8602
750 E. Adams Street, Syracuse, New York 13210
Phone: 315 464-6248

The Surgery Clerkship introduces students to the medical management of surgical disease and the principals of caring for the surgical patient. The course is designed to enable students to recognize problems of a surgical nature, to understand the relevant pathophysiology, and to give some familiarity with the risks and benefits involved with surgical therapy.

Daily Schedule

Students will be expected to participate, as part of the team, in all contributions to the management of patient care including:   

  • Daily rounds: writing progress notes, assisting in the admission of new patients, and writing student orders.
  • Clinic: performing history and physical exams, assisting with initial patient evaluations, and participating in pre and post operative evaluations discussions.
  • Operating Room: under the supervision of attending, students will be expected to assist in surgical procedures, as well as contribute to the patient’s pre and post operative evaluation phases.       

Orientation: Skills Training/The Operating Room

Students are required to attend initial orientation that includes suturing and knot tying training.  They are also required to watch the "Upstate Surgical Scrub" video and "Welcome to the OR" presentation. 

Core Didactic Sessions

Core didactic sessions are required through Wise MD Case and Skills Modules and Core Subspecialty lectures.

In the 2016/17 academic year, the Surgery and Emergency Medicine Clerkships combined time to create a 10 week longitudinal clerkship block. Both clerkships are still considered independent with their own grading systems, requirements, and objectives.

The Surgery Clerkship portion of the 10 week block is 7 weeks in duration

General Surgery

A 3-week (*to 5 week) General Surgery block
Depending on site location, the following General Surgery services may be offered:

  • Acute Care Surgery
  • Advanced Laparoscopy
  • Burns
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • SICU
  • Surgical Oncology 1 (Hepatobiliary)
  • Surgical Oncology 2 (Breast, Thyroid, Plastics, Colorectal)
  • Thoracic
  • Trauma
  • Vascular
  • As well as general surgery services at affiliated sites including Community General Hospital and the VA Hospital

*An additional 2-weeks of General Surgery, or a 2-week block of the Surgical Specialties listed below, may be offered depending on site location.

  • Consults
  • Transplant


If the additional two weeks of General Surgery is not chosen, students will be schedule for two, 2-weeks blocks of two of the sub-specialties listed below.  (**Otherwise, at least one, 2-week sub-specialty block is required).
Depending on site location, the following Sub-Specialties services may be offered:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Urology

The Emergency Medicine portion of the 10-week block is 3 weeks in duration
-One, 3-week block of EM