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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.

Surgery Rotation

  • Patient Care 1

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

  • Patient Care 2
    Formulate and justify a prioritized problem list and differential diagnosis in a surgical patient.
  • Patient Care 3
    Formulate and justify a plausible plan of care for a surgical patient in the peri-operative time.
  • Patient Care 4
    Describe effective methods for providing patient education for disease process, surgical procedure or peri-operative plans.
  • Patient Care 5
    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).

  • Medical Knowledge 1
    Differentiate normal and abnormal structure, function, growth and/or development in a surgical patient.
  • Medical Knowledge 2
    Explain the etiology, progression and/or prognosis of diseases, injuries and functional deficits commonly seen in surgical patients.
  • Medical Knowledge 3
    Perform and interpret a relevant, problem-focused history and physical examination in a surgical patient.
  • Medical Knowledge 4
    Describe the diagnosis, prevention, treatment or management of common of diseases, injuries and functional deficits commonly seen in surgical patients.
  • Medical Knowledge 5
    Analyze and evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic options using principles of evidence-based medicine.
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement 1
    Respond to clinical questions by independently seeking, analyzing and synthesizing evidence-based answers to advance clinical decision-making.
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement 2
    Seek, accept and apply feedback to clinical practice.
  • Systems-Based Practice 1
    Identify the role and contributions of and establish respectful, effective relationships with the various members of the multi-professional health care team.
  • Systems-Based Practice 2
    Recognize the potential impact of a patient’s social context and analyze how it relates to their current state of health.
  • Systems-Based Practice 4
    Recognize the necessity to comply with national standards to inform patients regarding procedural intervention, specifically the risks and potential complications. (SBP4)
  • Professionalism 1
    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.
  • Professionalism 2
    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.

  • Professionalism 3
    Adhere to ethical and legal principles in all interactions.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills 1
    Communicate effectively with members of the health care team by clearly presenting clinical questions and data from the patient encounter.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills 2
    Communicate effectively with patients and their families by listening attentively, allowing opportunities for questions, and maintaining appropriate eye contact.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills 3
    Modify communication style based upon patients’ reactions and ability to understand.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills 4
    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.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills 5
    Construct oral presentations or written documents representing an organized, focused, account of the student-patient interaction.