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Surgery Clerkship

This eight-week clerkship is designed to train students to recognize physical conditions and disease processes that represent surgical emergencies, to provide an understanding of when surgical consultation is appropriate for patients and to introduce the student to the principles of surgery as practiced by all surgeons regardless of specialty. The clerkship is administered by the clerkship directors as an interdepartmental effort of the departments of Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery and Urology.

During the clerkship, the student will have a four-week rotation in abdominal surgery and a four-week, in-depth "selective" subspecialty experience. Students can be assigned to NMH, Lurie Children's Hospital or the VA during the clerkship.

The didactic curriculum that supplements the clinical experiences includes a series of presentations on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. There will be interactive sessions, physical exam sessions, case-based sessions and lectures. Students also participate in faculty-led seminars that cover topics affecting surgeons in all specialties. Small-group skills sessions are led by our nurse educator during the clerkship. Complementary experiences include a suture and tubes and drains session during orientation, an OR Simulation during orientation, IV/ABI skills instruction, an online learning module for order writing and a discussion on ethics in surgery.

 Program Objectives (Competencies)

 Clerkship Goals & Objectives

At the end of the four-week experience, students will be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate proficient history-taking and physical examination skills
  2. Develop and discuss appropriate patient care plans
  3. Work up and manage common postoperative complications
  4. Develop appropriate management plans for patient complaints
  5. Properly counsel patients and obtain proper surgical consent
  6. Present a clinical case scenario reflective of adaptive thinking
  7. Demonstrate professional communication skills utilizing SBAR methodology
  8. Demonstrate skills in appropriately handing off care of patients
  9. Behave with honesty, integrity, respect and compassion toward all patients, families, allied health professionals and colleagues
  10. Ask for and give appropriate and timely feedback to team members in a non-confrontational or non-defensive manner; demonstrate ability to create a well-articulated plan for improvement
  11. Perform appropriate wound care for patients
  12. Demonstrate mastery level performance on knot tying, suturing, chest tube insertion (mannequin), central line insertion (mannequin), performing the FAST exam 

Find comprehensive Surgery Clerkship Goals and Objectives.

 Assessment & EPAs

 Required Clerkship Clinical Experiences (Clerklog) & Tools

 Policies & Procedures


Joseph Posluszny, MD

Nitin N Katariya, MD
Associate Director

David Odell, MD
Associate Director

Sue Santacaterina
Nurse Educator



Jason Burke
Galter 3-150
Phone: 312-926-9411
Fax: 312-926-7404