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Curriculum and clerkship opportunities

Year 2

Basic surgical skills course

The basic surgical skills course, taken in the Surgery Skills Lab, emphasizes the fundamentals of basic aseptic technique, and theory and applications of clinical practice. The course is a 20-hour progressive lab course with didactic, hands-on skills experience and integration of critical thinking. It encompasses the AOA core competencies of medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism and systems-based practice. Under the direction of surgical residents, surgical nurses and surgical teaching assistants, students are introduced to suturing, knot-tying, surgical instrumentation, donning surgical gown and gloves, tissue dissection, intravenous insertion and other clinical/surgical procedures and equipment. Students completing this course gain competency in clinical and surgery skills that will allow them to confidently approach and excel in their clinical rotation years.

After taking the course, students engage in frequent opportunities of critical thinking throughout medical school by case-based scenarios presented to them in the Human Simulation Lab.

Year 3

Required surgery clerkship

The general surgery clerkship is a four-week required rotation completed in the student’s third year. The office of clinical affairs coordinates the required general surgery clerkship rotations.  For more information on clinical rotations please visit the Clinical Affairs page.

Year 4

Surgery Clerkship Electives

The clerkship elective, completed in the student’s fourth year, presents an opportunity to explore various subspecialties of surgery and to visit potential residency programs. Current students should call the office of clinical affairs, 515-271-1629, to coordinate arrangements with the desired rotation site.

For more information regarding general surgery elective rotations at Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines, contact Lori Wahman.

Surgery elective rotations include:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Ear, nose and throat surgery

Residency and match information