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Clerkship Application


General Surgery

The general surgery clerkship is offered year-round to third and fourth-year medical students. Two or three medical students are accepted for each four to six-week rotation.

This elective provides the student with an opportunity to obtain knowledge and gain experience in the primary components of general surgery. Students are assigned to general surgery rotations that include vascular, trauma, and GI experiences. Their responsibilities include patient assessment, assisting in the operating room, providing postoperative patient care, participating in teaching rounds and educational conferences, and occasionally on request can taking call with assigned general surgery residents. In addition, the students maintain a daily operative log and corresponding reading list.

Service Options (based on availability)

GSI: Vascular Surgery

The student will rotate on a service that emphasizes the care and management of patients with peripheral vascular disorders. Characterized by a high volume of patients requiring care for their vascular complaints, the service treats patients with carotid, vertebral-basilar, great vessel, lower extremity vascular insufficiency, and aneurysmal disorders.

The student will be exposed to the fundamentals of invasive and non-invasive diagnostic procedures and will fully participate in the initial evaluation of the patients' vascular status and subsequent interventional procedures. Operative technique, evolving modalities of treatment and the importance of meticulous postoperative care, will be emphasized in this rapidly evolving field of general surgery.

GSII: Gastrointestinal Surgery

The student will rotate on services devoted to the broad spectrum of general disorders managed by general surgeons. Endocrine, breast, gastrointestinal, abdominal wall, and skin disorders managed routinely by surgeons will be encountered. Special emphasis will be placed on the initial evaluation and decision-making processes involved prior to the operation. Exposure to endoscopic diagnostic procedures will be provided, as well as recent endoscopic therapeutic innovations.

The student will serve as an important member of a team that treats those diseases commonly requiring operative intervention, without the fragmentation of services that is often encountered in “quaternary care” institutions.

GSIV: Trauma Surgery

The student will be a member of the trauma service, which is exclusively dedicated to the care of trauma victims admitted to UPMC Mercy, a designated Level I Trauma Center serving the tri-state area. With 1,500 annual admissions, the rotation will emphasize the fundamentals of initial evaluation, resuscitation, operative intervention, and coordination of subspecialty efforts.

The student will be given ample opportunity to participate fully in therapeutic and diagnostic efforts, as well as general surgical and subspecialty operative procedures. The presence of full-time trauma faculty in-house on a 24-hour basis ensures a consistent teaching environment.