Goal and Objectives

At the end of this clerkship, students will be able to demonstrate competencies in the basic knowledge, skills and attitudes of an effective clinician in evaluating and caring for surgical problems.

Medical Knowledge

  • List the pathophysiology of general surgical disorders.
  • List the different therapeutic modalities for these disorders.
  • Identify possible surgical complications of general surgical procedures, their clinical presentation, laboratory work-up, and appropriate treatment.

Patient Care

  • Take a history and perform a physical exam on patients who are prospects for surgery.
  • Assemble the necessary data and information necessary for evaluation of patients for routine surgery.
  • Identify common general surgical problems in the inpatient and the ambulatory setting.
  • Selectively order and interpret specific diagnostic studies in the general surgical patient.
  • Develop skills necessary for pre and postoperative care of the surgical patient.
  • Describe the technical steps in the surgical procedures you attend.
  • Resuscitate and care for trauma and critically ill patients.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • Document data, assessment and plans in the patient's record, for example, admission and progress notes, pre and postoperative orders.
  • Communicate effectively with other health care professionals, attending physicians, residents, physician assistants, nurses and other students.
  • Communicate effectively with patients and their relatives.
  • Present surgical patients during teaching rounds.


  • Develop and demonstrate professionalism through compassion for patients, personal integrity and responsibility.

Practice Based Learning

  • Apply acquired knowledge to formulate a therapeutic option for patients.
  • Display intellectual curiosity and willingness to examine assumptions.
  • Base clinical judgment on scientific evidence published and documented in the medical literature.

Systems Based Practice

  • Demonstrate the ability to work as an integral part of a team and interact with other health care professionals other members of the health care team.

Venues and Materials to Help Students Achieve These Objectives

  • Surgical office visits: Students will evaluate patients under the supervision of attending physicians and residents.
  • Inpatient service: Attending physicians and residents will supervise care of pre and postoperative patients.
  • Conferences: Students will participate in discussions of patients who are presented in conferences:
    • Preceptor sessions.
    • Didactic lectures.
    • Emergency room and consult calls.
    • Textbooks and handouts.