General Surgery Clerkship


Director: Shimae Fitzgibbons, MD

Coordinator: Yodit Yermane

Clerkship Learning Objectives:  

  • Demonstrate the ability to work up a patient in the emergency room with an acute surgical problem by obtaining an accurate history, performing a directed physical exam, obtaining appropriate labs and imaging studies and developing a differential diagnosis which will be presented to the supervising resident or attending. 
  • Prepare for cases in the operating room by reviewing the appropriate anatomy and evaluating the patient in the pre-operative period.  Explain the indications for the procedure discuss the risks and expected outcomes of the operation, and identify important anatomical landmarks intraoperatively. 
  • Evaluate patients in the surgical clinic and present to the attending a coherent, concise summary of the patient’s subjective and objective finding, including interpretation of pertinent radiological studies, and formulate an assessment and plan. 
  • Participate in the operating room, by demonstrating correct sterile technique, assisting in surgical cases and performing procedures such as suturing and knot tying under the observation of the resident and attending. 
  • Write appropriate postoperative orders and care for the patient postoperatively, specifically demonstrating the ability to manage pain effectively.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior in his or her interaction and communication with nursing and ancillary staff, patients and their families, other students, residents and attendings as assessed by 360 degree evaluations. 
  • Present his or her patients on rounds with the team, and demonstrate that he or she knows the patients better than anyone else on the team; set aside time to learn more about his or her patient’s problems and be prepared to teach this information to other students, residents and attendings.
  • Participate in interactive case-based lectures and use independent study time effectively as measured by a passing grade on the Board exam. 
  • Describe the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the most commonly seen surgical problems, and discuss the indications for operative intervention. 

Required Clinical Experiences:  

  • Specialty Focused H&P (while observed by faculty member)
  • Informed Consent
  • Sterile Scrub Technique
  • Surgical Timeout
  • Post-Operative Handoff
  • Surgical Complications
  • Surgical Site Infections
  • Post-Surgical Pain Management
  • Pre-Op Decision for Surgery
  • Post-Op Inpatient Recovery
  • Post-Operative Wound Care
  • Post-Operative Clinic Visit
  • Post-Operative IV fluid management
  • Midpoint Feedback


  • Clinical evaluations
  • Standardized Patient OSCE Examination
  • NBME Shelf Examination