General Surgery

Surgery Clerkship

Clerkship Goals & General Objectives

The overall goal of the Surgery Clerkship is the mastery of basic core competencies that are essential for practice as a competent physician focused on the ACGME core competencies. The Surgery Clerkship will focus on these competencies in the context of the delivery of surgical care regardless of the student’s career focus, and include:

  • Acquisition of a body of knowledge and skills necessary for the recognition and management of patients with disorders that may necessitate evaluation by a surgeon.
  • Development of clinical reasoning skills, manual techniques and algorithmic thought processes used by surgeons.
  • Commitment to ethical principles and behaviors that promote good patient relations and management. These include, but are not limited to, patient education, emotional support, rehabilitation, and legal and financial issues.
  • Development of attitudes and attributes that promote effective patient and professional relationships, including honesty, integrity, reliability and compassion.
  • Recognition and appreciation of one’s own limits, values and need for growth and recognition of one’s own response to critique.
  • Recognition of the constantly evolving nature of knowledge and the value of intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning.
  • Development of personal characteristics including professional appearance and behavior.

Core Clerkship Learner Objectives

Upon completion of the nine-week Surgery Clerkship, the student will be able to:

  • Describe strategies used to identify, assess and manage life-threatening surgical emergencies..
  • Discuss strategies used to assess risk and to identify, prevent and treat post-operative complications.
  • Recognize altered structure and function, pathology and pathophysiology of the body and its major organ systems that are seen in various surgical diseases.
  • Recognize opportunities to assess and treat pain, to ameliorate suffering and to provide support and care for the terminally ill.
  • Recognize the impact of sociological, psychological and other non-biological aspects of health care.
  • Obtain an appropriate history and physical examination in a time-efficient manner for patients with symptoms that commonly indicate surgical referral.
  • Develop a differential diagnosis and treatment plan for patients with symptoms that commonly require surgical referral including an understanding and mastery of the basic skills required to order and to interpret commonly used labs and studies.
  • Perform routine technical procedures commonly required on a surgical service while applying basic sterile technique.
  • Establish effective communication with patients, patients’ families and colleagues.
  • Respect and support the patient’s autonomy, individuality and right to privacy, confidentiality, dignity and quality of life, and freedom from undue discomfort or injury.
  • Recognize ethical dilemmas and avoid conflict between one’s own ethical beliefs and choices made by patients and their families.
  • Recognize potential medico-legal issues.
  • Identify appropriate consultation resources, both medical and non-medical, as well as community resources.
  • Recognize the importance of cost-effective health care, quality assurance and practice guidelines in today’s health care environment, and recognize one’s role as an advocate for access to health care for all patients.


Joann Hayes
Phone: 330.325.6330

Department Chair

Nancy Gantt, M.D.
Phone: 330.325.6330

Department of General Surgery

College of Medicine at NEOMED