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First Aid for Third Year Clerkships at JMC

General Surgery Clerkship at Wilmington Veterans Affairs 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?
  • You must drive to this site. Usual drive times are 40 min out and 1 hour back.


If you lived away from campus, how was the housing?
  • No housing available.
Food: Was it paid for? Were there free lunches? Did you get meal vouchers when you were on-call?
  • Food was pretty poor, and the café is rarely open. Bring snacks.


How were the 6 weeks divided up?
  • There is only one team at the VA. Most days you are in the OR, but 2 afternoons a week you have clinic. Clinic is a good experience because you get your own room and your own patients. There are three attendings, two general surgeons and a vascular/cardiothoracic surgeon, so you will experience a variety of very basic general surgery operations and some chest surgeries. Four to five times a week, students scrub in for surgery.
Are you able to request what you want?
  • No.


Did you have lectures/didactic sessions at your rotation site?
  • There were no on-site lectures, but Dr. Panasuk would invite students and residents to his office for impromptu learning sessions about an interesting patient.
Did you give a presentation? Were you required to do so?
  • There were no formal presentations required, but we gave presentations to residents and one Attending on Surgical Abdomen.


What were your hours (roughly)?
  • 6 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?
  • Yes, no holidays or weekends required.
What was the call schedule?
  • No call.
In the Hospital, did you feel a part of the ‘team’? Did residents/attendings appreciate you?
  • Definitely. Residents and attendings rely on students for the H&P each morning and to know how their patient is progressing.
How was the teaching by attendings?
  • Attendings spend a good amount of time teaching student in the OR, on rounds, in clinic, and outside of those settings, too. Residents were usually good about teaching as well.


  • Hard work and enthusiasm.


  • Light patient load with opportunities to see other sub-specialties like Ortho and Urology.
  • Will likely get some ICU experience.
  • Not enough surgeries for all students to scrub in.
  • No housing.
  • Jefferson and UMDNJ residents that change every so often. Might be difficult to have continuity sometimes.
  • Some Attendings are difficult to interact with and no resident input in grades (this might be a "pro" for some students).

Last revised: 01/12

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