Third-Year Medical Students

Eight Week General Surgery Clerkship

Students are assigned to one rotation in each of the following categories:

Core General Surgery Rotation (4 weeks):

  • Boston Medical Center East Newton Campus (ENC): Mozden Service (Surgical Oncology)
  • Boston Medical Center Menino Campus (Menino): Acute Care Surgery/Trauma
  • VA Boston Healthcare System: Primarily West Roxbury VAMC
  • Cape Cod Hospital (CCH): (General Surgery)

Two 2 weeks rotations from the following:

  • Smithwick: ENC (Vascular Surgery)
  • Thoracic Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS): ENC
  • Vascular Surgery, VA Boston Healthcare System: (Vascular Surgery for students doing General Surgery at the VA)
  • Anesthesiology: ENC
  • Acute Care Surgery/Trauma: Menino (2 weeks): Students who are assigned to the 4 weeks of Acute Care Surgery cannot choose this option

Core General Surgery Rotation: Responsibilities are similar at all core hospital locations. Students participate in clinic, the OR, and rounds. Preoperative and postoperative care is emphasized. Night/evening and weekend call are included.

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS): Duties include OR, clinic and rounds. Students will learn diagnosis and surgical management of Bariatric Surgery and advanced laparoscopic procedures.

Vascular Surgery Rotation: Duties are similar to those on the core rotation and include OR, clinic, and rounds. Students will learn to diagnose and treat vascular problems.

Thoracic Surgery Rotation: Duties include OR, clinic and rounds. Students will learn diagnosis and surgical management of esophageal, mediastinal and pulmonary disease.

Menino Acute Care Surgery/Trauma Rotation: Duties include OR, clinic, and rounds. Students will assist with acute care surgery and emergency general surgery, as well as care in the ER and surgical clinics. Students will have overnight call responsibilites.

Anesthesiology: Duties include preoperative assessment and assisting with OR care of patients undergoing anesthesia for a variety of sprocedures. Students take one shift of Acute Care Surgery/Trauma Surgery at Menino Pavilion.

Transportation/Lodging: Cape Cod Hospital Rotation

Housing is provided in a house owned by Cape Cod Hospital near the hospital. The house has four bedrooms and is shared by other health professional students. It has two bathrooms and a full kitchen with the basics. Students must bring bedding, towels and hangers. Meals are not provided, but the ’employee’ discount is significant at the cafeteria.

Contact Ms. Donna Moran regarding orientation on the first day. This includes confirming students credentials and obtaining information, house key, pager and identification badge. A refundable $30.00 cash key/badge deposit is required.

Regarding call: because BU students return to campus following afternoon rounds on thursday and friday didactics, students generally do not take call on weekends. Students may return to CCH sunday night for monday morning rounds. However, a medical student is on call every night and on the weekends. There are other medical students full-time at CCH who generally cover call, but BU students may need to take weekend call at times.

Other Transportation Issues:

Both locations of the VA are slightly outside the city and are best reached by car. Public bus service does not run in the early morning. Car pooling is encouraged. Approximate driving times from Boston Medical Center are:

  • Cape Cod Hospital: 1.5 hours
  • VA Jamaica Plain: 25 minutes
  • VA Roxbury: 40 minutes

Breast Clinic:

All students attend one breast clinic. Students rotating at BMC (both ENC and Menino) are be assigned to attend breast clinic in the Belkin Breast Clinic at Moakley. Students who have core rotations at the VA, and CCH attend breast clinic at those sites.

Friday Lectures:

All students attend mandatory didactic sessions Fridays at BMC throughout the clerkship. The sessions usually run from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm.

Rotation Scheduling:

Students are assigned to the VA or BMC as a core hospital by the Registrar’s lottery. Before the scheduled block, students receive the ranking form via email and rank preferences for the rotation hospitals. The Surgery Education Office works to accommodate preferences within the restrictions of the services and locations. Preferences are reviewed after the deadline and the block schedule assigned. The schedule is sent via email and students have a one week period to request changes. Dates for change requests are listed in the email. Students who do not complete and return the information are assigned to unfilled rotations and forfeit the privilege to request changes to the schedule. Late requests for schedule changes usually cannot be accommodated.

Four Week Surgical Specialty Rotation

The third year schedule allows most students to schedule either one or two four-week blocks of elective time. Students who do surgical subspecialties during that time satisfy the fourth year requirement for a four-week surgical rotation. The Surgical Education Office offers a four-week rotation consisting of two two-week subspecialty rotations. Students rank the subspecialties they wish to do, limited by capacity.

Options include:

  • Anesthesia (BMC or VA)
  • Thoracic Surgery (BMC or VA)
  • Neurosurgery (BMC)
  • Ophthalmology (BMC or VA)
  • Orthopedics (BMC or VA)
  • Otolaryngology (BMC)
  • Plastic Surgery (BMC)
  • Urology (BMC or VA)

In addition, these subspecialties allow students to do four-week rotations in their fourth year. Please contact the Surgery Education office to request more information.

Please contact the Surgery Education office with any questions.

Cullen Carter, MD
Director, Surgery Clerkship

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