Surgery Clerkship Goals

Achieve a broad based, yet basic understanding of the principles of various surgical specialties, trauma, critical care, or an enhanced exposure to ambulatory general surgery.


  • Be well-read, prepared, prompt, and demonstrate the highest degree of professional integrity and behavior
  • Demonstrate respect for yourself and others
  • Follow appropriate procedure for dealing with conflicts or issues
  • Display initiative and an active interest in learning, regardless of your specialty interest
  • Follow appropriate campus protocol to inform your preceptor and/or coordinator should you be unable to fulfill your clinical obligations

Overall Clerkship Objectives

  • To familiarize students with the types of surgical specialty problems they will encounter.
  • To introduce students to the ambulatory aspects of surgical care that will be key elements of their training and practice.
  • To offer students the opportunity to self-direct their learning in areas they are either particularly interested in, or will need in order to be adequately prepared for their residencies.
  • To offer students the opportunity to learn the intricacies of specialty exams by those best qualified to teach them; knowledge that will guide students in their eventual practice setting.
  • To teach students which conditions can be adequately cared for by primary physicians and when and what needs to be referred to a specialist.
  • To enable students to learn how to manage critically ill patients, emphasizing the pathophysiology and management principles commonly encountered in the care of surgical patients. These experiences will prepare students for common clinical problems encountered during their first year of residency, e.g., the recognition and management of such common problems as heart failure, respiratory failure, renal failure, closed head injury, shock and sepsis.
  • To give students the opportunity to continue to improve their technical skills.

Objectives for all rotations are available from your community clerkship office.

Junior Clerkship Objectives

The Junior Surgery Clerkship (Surgery 608) is an eight-week core clerkship. The curriculum emphasizes basic clinical and surgical skills as applied to a common core of presenting problems. Students will be introduced to (1) pre-operative, ambulatory care of patients with elective, emergent and trauma – related illness, (2) psychosocial issues that are particularly relevant to surgical patients and (3) clinical skills and operating room procedures. This clerkship is designed to assist the student in acquiring basic surgical skills; to know how a surgical problem presents; and to know when to get a surgical consult.

Senior Clerkship Objectives

The Senior Surgery Clerkship is a required four-week clinical clerkship. This clerkship is meant to be an extension of Junior Surgery and will stress the pathophysiology and management of problems commonly encountered in the care of surgical patients. The clerkship is designed to prepare the student for common clinical problems encountered during their first year of residency. The required eight-week clerkships, which includes the Junior Surgery clerkship must be taken and passed prior to taking Senior Surgery. Exceptions to this rule will be dealt with on an individual basis by the Community Assistant Dean’s office, the Block III Director, and in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.

Clerkship Hierarchy

In the clerkship hierarchy charts shown below, CA denotes Community Administrator, CCA denotes Community Clerkship Administrator and CD denotes Community Clerkship Director.

Lead Clerkship Directors (Statewide)


Department Clerkship Administrator (Statewide)













Please note that the College of Human Medicine currently does not accept any international students. Only domestic students will be accepted for visiting rotations.