• Objectives

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  • Educational Objectives

    The Student will acquire a working knowledge of the clinical practice of surgery.

    The student will be able to apply the acquired knowledge to the patient’s complaint and outline a therapeutic plan. The student will acquire and be able to demonstrate clinical proficiency in a series of basic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that are used by all physicians who are involved in patient care.

    The student’s attention is directed to the text and associated readings identified within the body of the course: Essentials of General Surgery edited by Peter Lawrence, 4th Edition, 2006 and are expected to read selected chapters from Essentials of Surgical Specialties, Second Edition. Edited by Peter Lawrence, 2000.

    Students are responsible for acquiring the following specific learning objects from the list of disease entities and disorders that can be found in the USMLE Step 2 Examination Booklet:

    1. Understanding the underlying mechanism (Basic science of the pathophysiologic process) of the disease that gives rise to the clinical manifestations.
    2. Know the signs and symptoms of the disease and prepare accurate and complete history and physical examination.
    3. Know the appropriate laboratory and diagnostic modalities appropriate for the particular disease entity.
    4. Competently formulate the diagnosis, differential diagnosis and severity of the problem.
    5. Formulate appropriate therapeutic intervention, alternatives and prognosis with and without intervention.
    6. Know the major complications that may results from the most appropriate therapeutic intervention and how to manage the complications.
    7. Competently communicate comfortably any of this information to the other members of the surgical team, patient’s appropriate family members confidentially, other healthcare providers (when appropriate and confidentially).

    Teaching Components

    There are two teaching components of this course.  The first is the surgical service to which the student is assigned.  The second are the teaching sessions (Student Case Conferences, hospital cases, Surgical Grand Rounds, Perioperative Conference and Morning and ICU Report Conferences).

    *Two students will alternate Trauma admissions.

    Each service is run by a senior or chief resident under the direction of the service attending.  The senior and chief residents are all assistant instructors who are responsible for the clinical management of the patients on the service and the academic conduct of the service.  The teaching service provides both clinical experience and direct instruction in all the academic areas of surgical practice. The surgical technique, clinical assessment and management skills that are integral to daily patient care are presented by the residents.  Every patient is directed by a member of the faculty who actively participates in the educational effort.

    The teaching sessions are designed to provide direct contact with members of the faculty for the discussion or consideration of specific clinical topics.  The morbidity and mortality conference, Surgical Grand Rounds, hospital service conferences, Student Case Conferences and Seminars are all designed to increase the student's cognitive knowledge.

    Course Outline & Goals Statement

    The surgery clerkship is designed to help the student acquire the basic surgical skills needed by a physician, regardless of the student's career choice. To achieve this goal, the department has three clinical goals for this course.  At the successful completion of this course each student will have (1) a fundamental knowledge of surgical disorders, (2) a recognition knowledge of those principles of diagnosis and decision making that is applicable to patients with surgical illness, and (3) the basic clinical skills required for the intraoperative assistance and perioperative support of the surgical patient.

    To achieve these clinical goals, the student will be allowed the opportunity and privilege to participate in the assessment and management of patients with surgical disorders.  This includes but is not limited to perioperative assessment of the patient intraoperative participation in the patient's care, and the postoperative management of the patient's support.  Each one of these is integral to the educational experience.  The criteria for successful completion of the course are the mastery of all these goals.

    Seven different tools are employed within this course:

    1. The text: Essentials of General Surgery edited by Peter Lawrence, 4th Edition 2006 and Essentials of Surgical Specialties, Second Edition, edited by Peter Lawrence, 2000.
    2. Participation on a clinical teaching service.
    3. Attendance at Surgical Grand Rounds.
    4. Attendance at hospital based teaching conferences.
    5. Supervised completion of the clinical skills inventory.
    6. Attendance at and participation in the Student Case Conferences.
    7. Students are required to attend subspecialty mini rotations in Pediatric Surgery at Dr. Stovroff’s office, Urology at Drs. Bennett and Foote urological office and surgical clinic, and Otorhinolaryngology at Dr. Fortson’s Otorhinolaryngologic clinic.


    The assigned text, Essentials of General Surgery by Lawrence; should be used by all students in the course.  It can be completed in the time allotted for the course and contain the basic information required to pass the cognitive component of the course.  It may be supplemented at the request of the specific seminar leaders.  They will service as the information source for the examinations.

    Each Student is Responsible For All the Assigned Reading In the Two Textbooks

    • Teaching Service
    • Surgical Grand Rounds
    • Student Team Presentations
    • Teaching Conferences
    • Student Clinical Responsibilities
    • Resident & Course Evaluations
    • Skills Inventory