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First Aid for Third Year Clerkships at JMC

General Surgery Clerkship at Frankford


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?
  • Driving is ideal as public transportation is long with a transfer.


If you lived away from campus, how was the housing?
  • No housing was provided.
Food: Was it paid for? Were there free lunches? Did you get meal vouchers when you were on-call?
  • No free food; the food in the cafeteria is fine with decent prices.


How were the 6 weeks divided up?
  • There are 2 general surgery services: One is Golub/Brodsky/Chang (the Jeff service), and the other is Mohamed/LaBassi/etc (the PCOM service). When I was there, there was a new chief of surgery who was shaking things up a bit, but I think ultimately what happens for most people is that your home team is the Jeff team, but Jeff students (unlike PCOM students or Temple podiatry students, who also rotate through Aria) are allowed to scrub for any surgery they like.
  • A typical day starts with pre-rounding at 5:15, usually on 2-4 patients, with running the list at 7 a.m. After that, you scrub cases or follow the intern, whichever you prefer. For every case you scrub, you must write the postop note (unless the note must be written later than, say, 6:30 p.m.). When you're not scrubbing, you're doing whatever your interns or residents need you to do, which is mostly checking on other patients or going to informal lectures or meetings. Sometimes, the residents will hold informal teaching sessions, which is always nice. A typical day ends at 7 p.m. There is no call.
Are you able to request what you want?
  • You can scrub for any surgery on any service you want to be on, but it's up to the attending if you follow the patient after. So, yes. If it's happening, you can see it.


Did you have lectures/didactic sessions at your rotation site?
  • Yes, there were teaching sessions, but they were more off-the-cuff/socratic than at Jeff. They're still good! There were more formal ones every week, involving 2 hours in Dr. Golub's office, but residents frequently used any downtime to talk through a typical surgical case.
Did you give a presentation? Were you required to do so?
  • Yes and yes.


What were your hours (roughly)?
  • 5:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
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 official clerkship guidelines.
What was the call schedule?
  • No call required of students.
In the Hospital, did you feel a part of the ‘team’? Did residents/attendings appreciate you?
  • Depends on the resident, depends on the attending. I found that for the most part, if I did things without being asked to, or informed the resident that I was going to do something ("I'm going to write the post-op note at 2" vs "Should I write a post-op note at 2?") they treated me more as a valuable team member. Some attendings let me do quite a bit, others less so. In general, the more initiative you show, the more freedom you get in terms of things you can do.
How was the teaching by attendings?
  • Ok. Some better than others. Most good teaching done by residents.


  • If you're going to scrub a case, take 10 minutes to read up on the anatomy involved to be prepared for pimp questions. Tell your resident that you're going to go do something instead of asking, or just do it and say it's done ("I'm going to write the post op note at 2" vs "Should I write a post op note at 2?" vs "I wrote the post-op note already" at 2:30pm). Know your material, inside and out. If your attending asks you what might case something, start with most likely and progress towards least likely. Do not proceed in the order of causes as given by the mnemonics in Step 1, because then Dr. Chang will decide you're actually a moron (but he doesn't care). When you show up doesn't matter as long as you get everything done. Don't be afraid to advocate for your patients. You can do so by making your concerns sound like a question, or you can just speak up. Surgeons love a straightforward, thoughtful comment as long as it is both actually straightforward and actually thoughtful.
  • Same as anywhere and with any rotation. Do your work, get along with your team, read up and show you willingness to help out.


  • Dr. Golub appreciates a good sense of humor. The OR staff are wonderful. Be nice to them, they'll be nice to you, and ultimately they can be the gatekeepers to how much you get to do on a case. You have a LOT of freedom on this rotation, within the restrictions of taking care of your obligations first. Use it. You can scrub 4 cases in a day if you want (I did), and since there's no 4th years you can have your run of everything. Scrub something with Dr. Coll (urology). He's a blast and loves teaching.
  • More laid back than Jeff. Still good variety of general surgery cases.
  • Try to read your attendings. Some may be a bit brusque and some may prefer that you not write notes for them. Use your best judgment to avoid stepping on anyone's toes.
  • Not as much variety as Jeff.

Last revised: 01/12

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