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First Aid for Third Year Clerkships at JMC

General Surgery Clerkship at Einstein


How did you get there? What is the IDEAL way to get there (if different)? If you took public transportation how much did it cost?
  • You can drive to this site or take the Broad Street Subway line. If you drive, parking is provided for free in one of the Einstein parking lots through the hospital badge issued to you at the start of your rotation ($5 deposit that you get back when you turn the card in at the end). Discount subway tokens can be purchased from the Jefferson bookstore.
  • There are advantages to both means of transport, but if you can drive it does provide more flexibility as many people at the hospital are wary of you taking the subway in the dark. This becomes more of an issue during the winter months when sunset is close to 5 p.m.


If you lived away from campus, how was the housing?
  • No housing is provided as it is close to Jefferson.
Food: Was it paid for? Were there free lunches? Did you get meal vouchers when you were on-call?
  • No food vouchers were provided for the rotation or for the call nights. There was an occasional free lunch but you were mostly on your own. The cafeteria is nice and relatively cheap.


How were the 6 weeks divided up?
  • There are 6 different surgical services but students are only assigned to one of 3 (Blue- mostly General/Breast/colon-rectal, Red- Mostly General/some trauma, White- Vascular). Every student rotates on the Blue service for 3 weeks to allow time to work with Dr. Somers and then the other 3 weeks are spent on Red or White.
Are you able to request what you want?
  • Assignments were given out our first day during orientation.


Did you have lectures/didactic sessions at your rotation site?
  • Wednesday mornings are designated education mornings. Typically the students would attend the Residents didactic lecture from 7-8 a.m., followed by Morbidity & Mortality conference from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. Students would then leave to spend about an hour with Dr. Somers talking through student patient case presentations.
Did you give a presentation? Were you required to do so?
  • A formal presentation was not required but some teams assigned a topic for the student to research and give an informal talk to the team.
  • During the sessions with Dr. Somers, he expected a student to present a patient case to be worked through by the group. Students took turns throughout the 6 weeks preparing and moderating the case. These were very informal and these sessions are some of the most productive in terms of your learning.


What were your hours (roughly)?
  • When not on call, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; sometimes later if OR cases ran late or were added. No weekend hours unless you are on call.
Did you get off on major holidays, or were you expected to be there (i.e. Labor Day, Thanksgiving & Friday after Thanksgiving)? Weekends?
  • Refer to the official clerkship guidelines, but students were given Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving off.
What was the call schedule?
  • You must take four 24 hour calls during the six week rotation, one of which must be a Friday or Saturday night(you can take more weekend nights if you like). All the students were given a blank calendar during orientation and we were able to pick our own dates while discussing preferences with each other. You are only supposed to take one call night a week.
  • Call means you get to the hospital by 6 a.m. and stay at the hospital until after rounds the next morning. If you take call on Tuesday nights, you will not leave until after Wednesday morning lectures and your session with Dr. Somers (usually ends between 10-11 a.m.)
In the Hospital, did you feel a part of the ‘team’? Did residents/attendings appreciate you?
  • Students are expected to spend most of their time scrubbed into OR cases. Depending on the case and the attending, students would either "drive" the laproscopic camera during lap cases or would assist in other ways. The residents are also good with allowing students to close wounds either by suturing or by stapling.
How was the teaching by attendings?
  • As with any rotation, there are attendings who teach a lot and some who do not teach medical students at all. For the most part, with the exception of one or two attendings, most treated students as part of the team and would provide some teaching points during OR cases or rounds.


  • Dr. Somers is in charge of the students rotating there and he is one of the Blue service attendings. When you are on the blue service, make sure to go to his office hours (on Tuesday) at least once. This provides one on one time with him while he performs simple in office surgical procedures as well when he sees his patients.


  • Dr. Somers is a great teacher and is passionate about providing students with a great experience.
  • The computer system at Einstein is quite limited to students. This is not that big of a deal as students on surgery do not do much floor work but it can be frustrating at times when you are not able to view radiological images or access Jefferson study materials.

Last revised: 01/12

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