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First Aid for Third Year Clerkships at JMC

General Surgery Clerkship at Lankenau


How did you get there? What is the IDEAL way to get there (if different)?
  • Carpooling is the easiest way, it takes about 30 minutes. Try and avoid I-76, especially on your commute back to center city as there can be a lot of traffic. You can take the R5(Septa regional rail) to Overbrook station and walk about 10 minutes to the hospital. Train costs around $5 and if you take the bus, it is one token and a transfer which is $1 extra.


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 were given around $60 if meal tickets to use at the hospital cafeteria for when you are on call but they can be used anytime. Be aware that you won't get change if you spend less than the amount per ticket. My advice is to go over a few cents and complete with cash. Also, students get a discount of a few cents as well. There typically was one free lunch a week.


How were the 6 weeks divided up?
  • You spend 2 weeks each on the Vascular Service (Deaver), the Colorectal Service (Engel), and the Plastic/Surgical Oncology Service (Smink).
Are you able to request what you want?
  • Since you will spend time on each team, there is no need to request a specific team. However, if you have a particular interest in one team, I am sure that Dr. Walker would be willing to let you see additional surgeries once your team's surgeries are over for the day.


Did you have lectures/didactic sessions at your rotation site?
  • We had a medical student lecture with Dr. Walker every Thursday morning and with Dr. Mann every Friday. These were extremely helpful, not stressful, and well organized. In addition, you attend the resident lectures on Tuesday and Thursday, which are also helpful and informative, but tend to go at a faster pace.
Did you give a presentation? Were you required to do so?
  • Some students were given a trauma vignette and were partnered with a resident for management and specific surgical details. Additionally, some students gave a little presentation at the end of the rotation. Some students reported not giving any presentations while at this site.


What were your hours (roughly)?
  • 5 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sometimes later if the surgeries run late.
Did you get off on major holidays, or were you expected to be there (i.e. Labor Day, Thanksgiving & Friday after Thanksgiving)? Weekends?
  • You are not required to work on major holidays.
What was the call schedule?
  • Call schedule was determined by the secretary, but you were able to trade nights with peers. Call is q5, but can vary. You are also required to take call on some weekends.
In the Hospital, did you feel a part of the ‘team’? Did residents/attendings appreciate you?
  • Very team dependent. The chief residents were extremely welcoming and helpful. While you have to work extremely hard, the residents are very approachable. Some attendings were also very student friendly. Some felt "in the way" at times.
How was the teaching by attendings?
  • It varied depending on the attending. Some attendings did not teach very much, while others loved to teach and ask questions in the OR. You will get exposure to all of the attending. Drs. Mann, Walker and Noone tended to teach more than others.


  • Work hard, and don't get discouraged! The surgery lifestyle is hard, but as long as you keep an open mind, try to read the night before cases, and help as much as you can, your efforts will be noticed!
  • Always ask your intern and residents how you can help and be concise with your morning presentation on rounds.


  • Very nice hospital! The hospital is also small, so you can really keep track of all of the patients, even when you are no longer on their service. Very diverse cases and ability to learn a lot!
  • Most of the residents are nice to students and they don't keep you too late at night.
  • Sometimes the drive in the morning is painful, since you have to leave extremely early.
  • Long hours, weekend call.

Last revised: 01/12

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