Third-Year Clerkship

The third-year Surgery Clerkship is an eight-week course that presents medical and surgical approaches to adult disease. Its overall objective is to train a “generalist” physician in the surgical management of adult diseases. Students rotate on a general surgery service for four weeks and then rotate on two surgery specialty services for two weeks each. Clerkship activities include workshops on various surgical topics that are primarily held on the first and fifth Monday of the clerkship.

Click here for the Surgical Clerkship Syllabus.

The surgery core curriculum forms the framework for the clerkship’s activities.

Topic Areas

  • Abdomen
  • GI-Hepatobiliary System
  • Oncology (Breast and Colon Cancers)
  • Trauma and Shock
  • Vascular System
  • Urology
  • Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, Throat)
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Transplantation
  • Surgical Pre-Operative Assessment
  • Post-Operative Complications

The 8-week surgery portion of the clerkship consists of one four-week general surgery rotation and two two-week subspecialty surgery rotations. Surgery clerkship activities include workshops on various surgical topics and department-based clinical activities.

Faculty members are expected to give feedback to medical students at the end of each two-week or four-week surgical rotation during the surgery clerkship.

The purpose of the feedback session is to provide face-to-face feedback about the student’s performance at the conclusion of each 2-week or 4-week surgical rotation. The student’s strengths as well as areas of needed improvement are to be discussed.

It is important to note that the feedback sessions with students are not to be “gripe sessions” in which students argue for grade changes. The primary purpose of each session is to help the student understand his/her strengths and weaknesses as a “physician-in-training.” Debating whether a student should have received an “85” rather than a “75” is an inappropriate topic of discussion for the feedback session. We estimate that the feedback sessions will be from 5 to 15 minutes in duration.

Suggested format for the feedback session with the clerkship student:

  1. Prepare for feedback session
  2. Greet student and explain purpose and goals of meeting.
  3. Student self-critique
  4. Be alert for discrepancies between what you have just learned from the student’s self-critique and what you are about to say.
  5. Provide student with positive feedback.
  6. Provide negative feedback.
  7. Check for overall understanding and the student’s reaction.
  8. Conclude the session in a positive manner.

Morehead Clerkship Rotation

Selected students spend their third year clerkship in Morehead, Kentucky at the St. Claire Regional Medical Center. The Surgery Clerkship at St. Claire consists of eight weeks in which students are assigned to six weeks of General Surgery and two weeks on a surgical specialty of their choice. The specialties offered at St. Claire are urology, orthopaedics, and anesthesiology. Vascular Surgery is included in the six weeks spent on General Surgery rotation. Students wishing to complete two weeks on a specialty not offered by St. Claire will be allowed to return to Chandler Medical Center, but expenses such as travel and living arrangements will not be funded.

All students assigned to St. Claire will be expected to return to the UK campus on the first and fifth Monday during their surgery rotation. These days are predesigned workshop participation days. For the workshops that do not fall on the 1st and 5th Mondays, alternative experiences will be designed. The surgery final exam will require St. Claire students to return to the UK campus for the final day of rotation. All quizzes are placed on Blackboard.

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