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Surgery Clerkship

The surgical block of third-year clerkships is eight weeks of curriculum that involves general surgery and subspecialty surgery. Medical students spend approximately four weeks on one of nine chosen subspecialty rotations available at the school’s clinical partner, patient-care facilities in Indianapolis. Students can also complete the general surgery clerkship at the IU School of Medicine campuses in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Terre Haute or Gary.

Training Objectives

Upon completion of the Surgery Clerkship, medical students are able to complete the following tasks. These training objectives align with the IU School of Medicine MD Curriculum Competencies and Institutional Learning Objectives. This alignment enables faculty and students to understand how current student learning prepares them for the next stage in training and for their ongoing practice and maintenance of certification.

Learn More

Prospective and current medical students can learn more about the surgery clerkship on the Department of Surgery MD Education page.

Perform and interpret a relevant, problem-focused history and physical examination in a surgical patient.

Formulate and justify a prioritized problem list and differential diagnosis in a surgical patient.

Formulate and justify a plausible plan of care for a surgical patient in the peri-operative time.

Describe effective methods for providing patient education for disease process, surgical procedure or peri-operative plans.

Demonstrate surgical skills through faculty or resident verification, including an understanding of the indications, performance steps and potential complications of the skills listed on CANVAS.

Identify and demonstrate aspects of maximal barrier precautions and sterile preparation/technique in the performance of common procedural and operative skills, including Hand Washing, Gloving and Gowning, and Aseptic Technique (Orientation).

Differentiate normal and abnormal structure, function, growth and/or development in a surgical patient.

Explain the etiology, progression and/or prognosis of diseases, injuries and functional deficits commonly seen in surgical patients.

Perform and interpret a relevant, problem-focused history and physical examination in a surgical patient.

Describe the diagnosis, prevention, treatment or management of common of diseases, injuries and functional deficits commonly seen in surgical patients.

Analyze and evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic options using principles of evidence-based medicine.

Respond to clinical questions by independently seeking, analyzing and synthesizing evidence-based answers to advance clinical decision-making.

Seek, accept and apply feedback to clinical practice.

Identify the role and contributions of and establish respectful, effective relationships with the various members of the multi-professional health care team.

Recognize the potential impact of a patient’s social context and analyze how it relates to their current state of health.

Recognize the necessity to comply with national standards to inform patients regarding procedural intervention, specifically the risks and potential complications. (SBP4)

Demonstrate responsiveness to the whole patient by advocating for the patients’ and teams’ needs over their own and treating patients in a fair, unbiased, nonjudgmental manner.

Demonstrate responsibility for one’s own learning through daily preparation, full participation in learning activities, initiative in patient care, and timely completion of clerkship requirements.

Act in a professional manner by demonstrating compassion, respect, honesty, integrity and punctuality.

Adhere to ethical and legal principles in all interactions.

Communicate effectively with members of the health care team by clearly presenting clinical questions and data from the patient encounter.

Communicate effectively with patients and their families by listening attentively, allowing opportunities for questions, and maintaining appropriate eye contact.

Modify communication style based upon patients’ reactions and ability to understand.

Identify the critical components of informed consent that allow a patient and physician to decide together the best course of action for disease, problem and patient management.

Construct oral presentations or written documents representing an organized, focused, account of the student-patient interaction.