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First Aid for Third Year Clerkships at JMC

General Surgery Clerkship at Methodist


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?
  • Some drove and some take the subway. Parking is free ($20 deposit) and it is about a 10-15 minute drive. For the subway, take the Broad St line south to the Synder Ave. station which is 2 blocks away from the hospital. You have a bit more flexibility if you drive as the subway does not start running until 5 a.m.


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?
  • They give you 7 $5.00 vouchers and 7 $3.50 vouchers. The food is pretty cheap, so it is fairly easy to stay under the number. There is grand rounds (for the entire hospital, not specifically surgery) every Wednesday which provides lunch, but you rarely go to it because you are rarely out of the OR in time.


How were the 6 weeks divided up?
  • The entire team is one Chief resident (6th year), a 2nd year resident, and 2 students. There is an intern who does night float, whom you rarely work with and only really see at sign out. You are on the General Surgery service all six weeks and get exposed to the bread and butter of general surgery (appendectomies, cholecystecomies, hernia repairs, small bowel obstructions). You also cover the Vascular Surgery patients and consults. On Tuesday mornings you have office hours with Vascular Surgery, and on Thursday mornings you alternate office hours with a General Surgery attending and a Vascular Surgery attending. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, you observe Vascular surgery procedures if any are scheduled.
Are you able to request what you want?
  • No because there is only one service - General surgery with a little exposure to Vascular Surgery.


Did you have lectures/didactic sessions at your rotation site?
  • There are a few lectures you need to organize yourself. These lectures are Ventilation management, Radiology, Surgical Pathology, and Anesthesia. Organizing them yourself entails the students contacting the attendings who give the lectures and setting up a time that works for both parties. They were extremely helpful. Other than that, the residents about once a week lectured the students on a general surgery topic. It was very informal and impromptu. They lectured us when they we had some downtime.
Did you give a presentation? Were you required to do so?
  • Yes, you are required. Dr. Palazzo (one of the General Surgery attendings) wanted to implement student presentations every Tuesday (meaning both students had to give a presentation every Tuesday). However, this did not always happen, and I only gave 2 presentations throughout my rotation. I had my rotation Aug-Sept, so I do not know if he has gotten more consistent with the Tuesday presentations. The presentations were about 10-15 minutes and were about 20 powerpoint slides long on general surgery topics that Dr. Palazzo assigns you (Gallbladder disease, hernia repairs, etc.).


What were your hours (roughly)?
  • You have to have your patients seen by signout at 7 a.m. So you need to get to the hospital with enough time to see your patients. I arrived at the hospital at 5:45 a.m. I was usually told to go home around 5 p.m. The latest I ever stayed was 9:30 p.m. one time when an emergency surgery started at 5:00 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?
  • Labor day weekend was given off. Students are typically given the Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving off as well. Refer to official clerkship guidelines for actual time off.
What was the call schedule?
  • Refer to official clerkship specific guidelines.
In the Hospital, did you feel a part of the ‘team’? Did residents/attendings appreciate you?
  • Yes you definitely feel like part of the team. Since there are only 2 residents and 2 students, you definitely feel like part of the team.
How was the teaching by attendings?
  • The attendings for the scheduled lectures were great. As for the Surgery Attendings, they all liked to teach during the procedures and office hours, but there was no didatic lectures with the Surgery attendings.


  • Be enthusiastic. Get your work done on time, Be reliable and dependable. Ask questions (though not for the sake of asking questions) and be eager to learn. It wouldn't hurt to carry some commonly used supplies in your white coat (alcohol swabs, gauze, tape etc.) for when you change dressings. The list is generally not that long so know each patient and the plan for the day pretty well so if a resident or attending asks you to refresh their memory you can. If the attending is giving instructions LISTEN because sometimes the resident can miss something and you can be a real rock star if you are able to recall what the attending said. Also the cafeteria closes at 1:30 p.m., so if your residents switch while you are on you the service make sure you let them know. They will definitely appreciate it.


  • Methodist is very close and accessible. The hours cannot get much better for surgery. The entire atmosphere at Methodist is very relaxed. You get very good exposure to the bread and butter of general surgery. You work with the same 3 attendings (Dr. Koniaris, Dr. McCairns, Dr. Palazzo) so they really get to know in the OR, and if you are trustworthy, you get to practice a lot of surgical skills.
  • Cafeteria closes at 1:30 p.m., and you are rarely out of the OR by then.

Last revised: 01/12

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