Undergraduate surgical education

Home » Specialty Medicine » Surgery » Undergraduate surgical education

Curriculum and clerkship opportunities

Year 2

Basic surgical and medical skills course

The basic surgical and medical skills course, held in the Surgery Skills Lab, provides an introduction to the perioperative environment emphasizing aseptic principles and technique to second-year medical students. The 20-hour progressive lab course includes 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 physicians, residents, and surgery teaching assistants, students are introduced to surgical attire and etiquette, suturing, knot-tying, surgical instrumentation, tissue dissection, intravenous insertion and other medical and surgical procedures. Students completing this course gain competency in the practical medical and surgical 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.

Scroll to Top