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Department of Surgery Clerkships and Electives

The Department of Surgery offers a mandatory medical student clerkship and surgery electives. Electives are also open to visiting students.

Learn more about the Doctor of Medicine program.

Clerkship Heading link

The Surgery Clerkship is a mandatory eight week curriculum for third year medical students. The learning objectives include recognition of disease states requiring surgery, critical planning for surgical intervention, understanding the principles of intervention, and post-operative evaluation and management of patients. Students spend five weeks on a General Surgery clinical service, two weeks on a Pediatric service, and one week on a General Surgery Night service.

Student responsibilities

Responsibilities of students include assessments and care of inpatients and outpatients, and active participation in surgical procedures. They are graded on performance objectives of Professional Development, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, History Taking, Physical Examination, Clinical Reasoning, Oral Presentation, Written Documentation, Operating Room Preparation and Knowledge, and Surgical Skills. It is expected all students will improve their understanding and practice of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competency skills and these are inculcated into the student performance assessment. The students complete a required core surgical cases log, entering operations in which they have participated. A minimum experience of 45 procedures is required. Students are expected to participate in the education of their team by researching patient care issues and presenting their findings to their teams. Our residents complete the Residents as Teachers course at the school, and add a major component to the student learning.


The Surgery Clerkship final grade is derived from the performance evaluation of the students in the clinical setting and their score on the standardized Surgery examination of the National Boards of Medical Examiners.


Attending physicians and resident faculty mentor the students during the Clerkship. This provides student opportunity for collaboration with faculty on research projects leading to publications/presentation at local, regional and national meetings. Career counseling is also provided to students seeking careers in Surgery.

Electives Heading link

M3 and M4 students are able to take electives. Visit the Peoria campus electives page for full catalogs.