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Surgery and subspecialties clerkship

Clerkship and Subspecialties

Contact: Rebecca Bellini, UME Administrative Director, Department of Surgery
Location: SUNY Upstate Medical University
Department of Surgery, Room 8602
750 E. Adams Street, Syracuse, New York 13210
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 315 464-6248

The Surgery Clerkship is a required course for all medical students in their third year. The goal of the course it to introduce students to the medical management of surgical disease and the principals of caring for the surgical patient. It 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.

The Clerkship Schedule

In order to maximize rotation opportunities, the Surgery and Emergency Medicine Clerkships work together to share a 10 week, longitudinal, clerkship block.  However, 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 (7 credits) in duration.

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

  • Daily rounds: Inpatient - writing progress notes, presenting patients history and physical exam findings, and assessments and plans, writing student orders, and assisting in the admission of new patients and the completion of discharge plans.
  • Clinic: Outpatient - performing history and physical exams, and assisting with initial patient evaluations and diagnoses.
  • Operating Room: (Under the supervision of attending) students will be expected to assist in surgical procedures, contribute to the patient’s pre- and post-operative evaluation phases., and learn the how's, when's, and why's of completing informed consent.   

The General Surgery portion of the schedule:

One, three-week General Surgery block is required, but most students are typically scheduled for an additional two weeks, for a total of five weeks of General Surgery.
Depending on site location, the following General Surgery services may be offered:

  • Acute Care Surgery (ACS)
  • Advanced Laparoscopic (AdLap)/Bariatric
  • Breast
  • Burns
  • Cardiac
  • Upstate Community Hospital (Colorectal, General Surgery, Vascular)
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU)
  • Surgical Oncology 1 (Hepatobiliary)
  • Surgical Oncology 2 (Colorectal)
  • Thoracic
  • Transplant
  • Trauma
  • Vascular
  • Veterans Administration Hospital (VA) (General Surgery, Vascular)

The Subspecialties portion of the schedule:

A one two-week Sub-specialty block is required, but students may take an additional two weeks of a second sub-specialty if space allows. 
Depending on site location, the following sub-specialties services may be offered:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Urology

Orientation: Skills Training/The Operating Room

Students are required to attend their clerkship groups orientation activities.

Core Didactic Sessions

Core didactic sessions are required.  They include Wise MD Case and Skills Modules and Core Sub-specialty lectures.

Direct Observation of History and Physical Exams

 Students are required to be observed taking a minimum of two histories and two physical exams

Discharge Planning - Interprofessional Education

Students are required to complete a Discharge Planning Card after working with a member of the healthcare team that does not include a General Surgery resident or attending.