Saint Louis University

Surgery Clerkship

Dear Year 3 Students:

The eight-week Surgery clerkship is an essential part of your medical education. In addition to the hours spent in the operating room you are expected to attend core lectures and be on all rounds and clinics with your assigned teams and to study and read extensively.

The faculty, residents and staff in the Department of Surgery work together to provide you with an educational experience that will be a great asset to you regardless of what specialty you choose to enter.


Harvey Solomon, MD, FACS
Co-Clerkship Directors, Surgery Clerkship 

 Course DirectorEducational Coordinators


Harvey Solomon, MD, FACS
Schwitalla Hall, Room M556

Frances Copeland

Clinical Sites Used for Third Year Clerkships
John Cochran VA/SLUH
SLUH/SSM HealthCardinal Glennon Children's Hospital

Each eight-week rotation is divided into four two-week sections. Approximately four students are assigned to each section.

Clerkship Overview
The surgery clerkship experience focuses on general surgery, offering students the opportunity to function as members of a surgical team. The basics of general patient evaluation are adapted to the surgical setting to include assessing patients pre-and post operatively. Building on general pathophysiology and clinical medicine, students will apply problem solving and critical thinking skills in determining surgical risk and indications for a range of common surgical procedures.

Students will learn the importance of sterile technique in minor procedures and in the operating room. They will learn basic suturing, wound closure and wound management skills and will have the opportunity to accompany their patients and teams to the OR.

Team Assignments, Makeup, and Organization

Each service is organized generally around morning rounds, daily operating room cases and clinics, and scheduled teaching rounds and conferences.

Students are assigned cases to follow in the hospital and are actively, to participate in their care. Ideally, the patient's initial evaluation, and each step in diagnosis and treatment to the time of discharge and then follow-up in clinic can be observed.

Description of a Typical Day
Students should anticipate making early AM rounds on their patients and being in the operating room often. Afternoon lectures are from 3:00 - 4:30 pm.

Lectures are offered during the duration of the clerkship 3:00 pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The Surgical Grand Rounds should be attended by all students on the surgical service. It is held Wednesday from 7:00 - 9:00 am in Medical School Lecture Hall A. is a conference where cases from the last week are reviewed and students may ask questions.

Evaluation and Grading
The final grade is comprised of the following components: the National Board of Medical Examiner's exam and clinical performance. Clinical performance is a subjective evaluation composite from faculty who interact with you on their services. The evidence log book and the areas of surgical emphasis are also part of clinical performance.

Typical Weekly Schedule

Hour Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
AM 7:00 a.m. Morning Rounds
Clinics and operating room assignments*/Reading
Grand Rounds
  Afternoon rounds/patient followup
3:00 - 4:30 pm
Core Lectures/Presentations
  3:00 - 5:00 pm
Core Lectures/Clinical Grand Rounds


*Clinics and operating room assignment times vary depending on service/rotation schedules.

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