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First Aid for Third Year Clerkships at JMC

General Surgery Clerkship at Jefferson Hospital


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?
  • As this is located on campus, most students in the immediate area should have a 5-10 minute walk.


If you lived away from campus, how was the housing?
  • No housing provided.
Food: Was it paid for? Were there free lunches? Did you get meal vouchers when you were on-call?
  • Students received six vouchers ($30 total) for use while on call, though the atrium cafeteria is not open late at night. One student recommended setting up a fast pass meal account on your Jeff ID since that can be used at several locations around campus that are open longer hours.


How were the 6 weeks divided up?
  • The 6 six weeks were divided into two 3-week blocks; each block on a different team. The teams were:
    1. Green (General surgery)
    2. Trauma
    3. Blue (Plastics / Breast / Endocrine)
    4. Cardiothoracic
    5. White (Vascular)
    6. Transplant
    7. Gross Service (Whipple / Pancreas)
    8. Red - Colorectal
Are you able to request what you want?
  • Yes, to a certain extent. Assignments are determined based on a lottery system.


Did you have lectures/didactic sessions at your rotation site?
  • The length and frequency of lectures was team dependent. In addition to the Friday afternoon lectures for all surgery students, there were case presentations by classmates and grand rounds sessions.
Did you give a presentation? Were you required to do so?
  • Most students gave at least one presentation and were required to do so. Case presentations were given to Dr. Isenberg and the other 3rd year students rotating at Jefferson. Additionally, you may be asked to present a topic and/or article for GI conference which are 10-15 minutes and in front of students, residents and attending so be sure you are well prepared.


What were your hours (roughly)?
  • Small variations based on the team assignment but usually anywhere from 4:30/5 a.m.-6/7p.m.
Did you get off on major holidays, or were you expected to be there (i.e. Labor Day, Thanksgiving & Friday after Thanksgiving)? Weekends?
  • Yes, 3rd years were typically given time off during all major holidays. Refer to official clerkship guidelines for specific details.
What was the call schedule?
  • Call schedule is q5. Students reported that switching was typically not allowed but you can talk to Sherry Weitz if you had circumstances beyond your control and needed to change call nights.
In the Hospital, did you feel a part of the ‘team’? Did residents/attendings appreciate you?
  • Students reported feeling part of the team most of the times. This was, of course, resident and attending dependent. Balance helping out your residents with viewing procedures and learning.
How was the teaching by attendings?
  • On average, teaching was good. They are more willing to teach if asked.


  • Try to see 2-3 patients in the morning, figure out what time the intern shows up and if they want the notes done before they get there or if they can start from one end of the list and you start from the other end.
  • Make sure you review how to write a note either with one of the residents or a friend that did well in surgery to make sure it has what is needed. ALWAYS sign your name and date/time your note.
  • Look at the OR schedule the day before and talk with the other students about who wants what surgery. That way you can read up on the surgery and the anatomy the night before. It won't always work out that you get to see the surgery you prepared for but when it does work out you will look good.
  • If possible get to the pre-op area before your residents and attending. Meet the patient and talk to them a little to get some of their history. ALWAYS ask about previous surgical history. Then text your resident to let them know that anesthesia has seen the patient, the attending has come by and signed the consent form and they are ready to bring the patient back to OR room whatever. Doing those kind of things will help your residents be super efficient with their time.
  • At the end of the day ask if there is anything you can do to help before sign out. Doing post-op checks, chart checking, or consults in the afternoon makes you very helpful to your team. I usually was told to go home before sign out for plastics, and not till after sign out for trauma (and when someone tells you to go home, GO! They won't hold it against you.)


  • Colorectal and plastics were very laid back so there was a lot of time for the residents to teach.
  • Close-by.
  • Nice residents.
  • Some opportunities in the OR, depending on when in the year you're there (i.e. if MSIVs are still around).
  • Hours not too bad (depending again on rotation).
  • Only got to experience 2 different specialties.
  • Some rotations don't have much OR time, or have OR time where you retract for hours without being taught anything.

Last revised: 01/12

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