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Medical Student Education

The IU School of Medicine Department of Surgery trains third- and fourth-year medical students on the fundamentals of surgical knowledge and care. A 3G Sim Man at Fairbanks Simulation Center offers a simulated patient experience that includes acute problems for students to perform a focused assessment, form an apposite diagnosis and execute the appropriate treatment.

Patient Experience

Medical students learn hands-on through clinical practice at five locations in downtown Indianapolis.

Clinical Partners

Third-Year Clerkship

The surgical block during the third-year clerkship is eight weeks of curriculum that involves general surgery and subspecialty surgery. During the general surgery rotation, students spend approximately four weeks on one of nine chosen subspecialty rotations available at the IU School of Medicine clinical facilities in Indianapolis and St. Vincent’s Hospital. Medical students can also participate in the general surgery clerkship at the IU School of Medicine campuses in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Terre Haute or Gary. The final week is spent on anesthesia service to complete the rotation.

Although no specific guidelines apply to work hours for third-year medical students, the Department of Surgery honors ACGME guidelines for duty hours. The surgical clerkship coordinator reviews student logging data in MedHub weekly to determine work-hour violations and adjusts student exposure in observance of work-hour limitations. In addition, PDA logging allows the department to shift students to needed areas of exposure when deficiencies in experience exist.


IU School of Medicine Surgery Clerkship

The IU School of Medicine Department of Surgery trains third- and fourth-year medical students on the fundamentals of surgical knowledge and care.

Fourth-Year Electives

The Department of Surgery offers fourth-year clinical electives at IU School of Medicine’s five clinical partner locations on the Indianapolis campus, and these rotations expose medical students to subspecialty areas of surgery, including hepatobiliary, pancreatic, minimally-invasive, breast, plastic, thoracic, cardiovascular, and transplant procedures through one-month electives. Students are integrated into the resident team and aid in all aspects of patient care and operative intervention. Additional electives are available for specialized experiences in ICU care, pediatric surgery, burn surgery and trauma surgery.

  • Surgical Research Electives
    The Surgical Research Electives offer an introduction to surgical research in clinical settings. Surgical faculty offer opportunities in basic science and clinical research. Participation in the research work of the surgery team’s laboratories for general surgery, pediatric surgery, cardiovascular or transplant surgery expose medical students to ongoing bench, translational and clinical research projects. While the research focus of each lab vary among investigators, studies may involve in vitro or in vivo as well as human clinical trials and retrospective case review models. Students may be exposed to and perform basic biochemical techniques including ELISA, Western Blot, and other processes. In addition, after appropriate training, a student may participate in animal studies which may involve surgical procedures. Students in the surgery team’s fourth-year electives may participate in clinical studies that are ongoing at the time of the rotation, and they will participate in group lab meetings and have individual meetings with the primary investigator of the lab in which they’re rotating.
  • Surgical Internship Preparation Elective
    The Surgical Internship Preparation Elective prepares medical students for surgical internships. This didactic elective is offered to fourth-year students during the spring of each year as a preparation for surgical internship. On a small-group demonstration and discussion basis, students can refine suturing skills, experience invasive techniques such as endoscopy, broaden trauma assessment acumen, and expand techniques for the evaluation of scientific literature.

    The Surgical Internship Preparation Elective curriculum includes a Residents as Teachers lecture series; Cadaver Labs expereince for reintroducing surgical anatomy to perform common operations at the intern-level; Common Techniques, including thoracostomy tube, central line placement, chest tube placement and advanced airway management; Surgical Patient Simlulation Scenarios done at Fairbanks Simulation Center with a 3G Sim Man; Laparoscopic Skills Training on Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) trainer boxes; Ultrasound in Trauma Session introducing the Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (FAST) method to students; Mock Pager Scenarios; Lecture Series covering various surgical topics; and lunch sessions with the interns and lunch with chief residents.