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Surgery

Surgery offers clerkships for students in the University Park and Hershey tracks at their respective locations.

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Hershey

General Information Expand answer

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The Department of Surgery offers both third-year clerkships as well as fourth-year electives and acting internships. Elective information can be found at the bottom of this page. Find more information on otolaryngology surgical electives here.

Contact us

Dr. Brian Saunders
Director of Undergraduate Surgical Education
Director, Surgery Clerkship and Surgery Acting Internships
bsaunders@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Lureye Myers
Education Coordinator
lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-4451

Hershey Clerkship Expand answer

The surgery clerkship introduces students to the basic principles of surgery and the basic principles of caring for the surgical patient. It is not the purpose of the surgical clerkship to train medical students in the technical practice of surgery or to interest only those students who intend to pursue a career in surgery. Rather, the clerkship is designed to equip all students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes relevant to surgical disease process and patient management that all physicians should possess. Through this exposure, the student will begin to understand the general process of the application of surgical therapy to patients across the age spectrum and in different stages of disease. Furthermore, by participating as a member of the surgical team, the student will experience the professional role of the surgeon as a member of a multidisciplinary team that provides care for and communication about a patient within a complex healthcare system. At all points during the rotation, discussion and attention should be paid toward the quality, safety and value of the care being rendered. It is the responsibility of all team members (students and faculty) to continually ensure a respectful learning environment that is welcoming to the diversity of individuals who make up and strengthen our academic health system.

The clerkship is structured upon the principle that learning is an active process that can be accomplished only by the engaged student. This is facilitated by the identification of learning goals and prospective planning. The role of the faculty and house staff (where applicable) is to provide collaboration, guidance, stimulation and role modeling. All of this is intended to make the student a partner in the community of learners that is academic surgery. During this core clerkship experience, students will learn pre- and post-operative management, participate in surgical procedures and gain exposure to the initial management of traumatically injured patients. Great emphasis will be placed upon the skill of critical thinking and reasoning to arrive at an optimal, evidence-based therapy for the patient.

Concurrent with the foundational and clinical science learning that will occur moment-to-moment while on service and in the course of patient care (inclusive of departmental and service-specific conferences), the clerkship will outline numerous self-study resources including texts, question banks, national curricular PowerPoints, didactic and operative videos, podcasts, and online case-based modules. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate competency in history taking, communication via oral presentation and written notes (H&Ps, progress notes, brief operative notes, post-operative checks) and in physical exam skills.

Assessment and evaluation occurs through verbal and written feedback from faculty and fellows/residents (where applicable), an NBME self-assessment examination, an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), assessment of a group case presentation spanning issues related to all four main pillars of the PSU College of Medicine curriculum, an evaluation of a health systems science reflection and feedback on professionalism. The student will have formative meetings with faculty navigators and a clerkship director during the rotation. A group, end-of-clerkship debriefing and individual faculty and course evaluations will permit the student to provide feedback for individual educators as well as clerkship quality improvement.

The clerkship emphasizes direct student participation in the care of patients. Students will be expected to evaluate and follow inpatients and outpatients. The student is considered to be part of the surgical team. In this role, the student should be versed in the knowledge applicable to the care of the patient, being particularly prepared to address issues of underlying foundational sciences, differential diagnosis, treatment alternatives and operative interventions. Self-reflection is encouraged for professional growth. The student is encouraged to work with faculty to help identify knowledge gaps and resources best suited to fill these needs. Professional behavior at all times is expected. A welcoming, equitable and inclusive learning and care environment for all patients, staff, students and faculty is expected. In addition, the student is expected to accept personal responsibility as a physician-in-training for the care of the patient, acting always under the supervision of the attending and resident surgical team. This supervision is available 24-hours per day.

Locations

  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Mount Nittany Medical Center
  • Kaiser Permanente, Mid-Atlantic

Contact Us

Dr. Brian D. Saunders
Clerkship Director
Associate Professor of Surgery
Director of Undergraduate Surgical Education
bsaunders@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-5272

Dr. Afif Kulaylat
Associate Clerkship Director
Assistant Professor of Surgery & Pediatrics
akulaylat@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-8342

Lureye Myers, MS
Clerkship Coordinator
lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-4451

SURG 710 Expand answer

SURG 710 – General Surgery Acting Internship

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. Mary Santos

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, 717-531-4451

Locations: Hershey, York 

Emphasis: Surgical Oncology, Colon and Rectal Surgery, Emergency General Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Thoracic Surgery

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: Six

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: The Acting Internship (AI) student should function with direct and indirect supervision to gather focused patient information during the history and physical exam in a time effective manner, and use critical thinking and advanced knowledge to guide judgment and medical decision-making in a semi-autonomous fashion. Students will take primary responsibility and be accountable for patient care, management, follow up and reassessment throughout all phases of clinical care from admission to discharge. The AI student will be expected to exemplify professional behavior, communication and teamwork with patients and families, interprofessional care team members and interdisciplinary consultants at the level of a resident intern. Prioritization and timely coordination of patient care activities will be the responsibility of the AI student, including smooth and effective transfers of care, discharge planning and necessary follow up. The AI student will also display appropriate team leadership and teaching activities when applicable.

During this specific AI course, students will be immersed within the specialty of General Surgery, and will use advanced medical knowledge and practice during direct patient care in a collaborative and interprofessional manner.

SURG 711 Expand answer

SURG 711 – Cardiothoracic Surgery Acting Intership

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. Mary Santos

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, 717-531-4451

Locations: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students:

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: The Adult Cardiac Surgery Internship focuses on the unique surgical needs of the Adult Cardiac surgery patients, including general cardiac, heart failure and heart transplant surgery patients. The acting intern will have the opportunity to be exposed to all of the facets of the adult Cardiac Surgery patients. Procedures may either be elective, routine, complex or emergency adult cardiac surgery.

The acting intern will work with all of the members of the Adult Cardiac Surgery Division during the rotation. The acting intern will be introduced to the members of the team during the first day of the rotation though email distribution and personal introduction.

SURG 712 Expand answer

SURG 712 – Surgical Endocrinology Elective

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. Brian Saunders

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, 717-531-4451

Location: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: The Surgical Endocrinology Elective provides one Phase III student learner (with a prerequisite of successful completion of all Phase II requirements) per month the opportunity to focus on a narrow spectrum of surgical diseases. The student will become familiar with the medical and surgical care of diseases of the thyroid, the parathyroids, the adrenals, as well as gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The student will participate in care of patients with inherited endocrine tumor predisposition syndromes. The student will care for patients across the age spectrum, inclusive of pediatric patients. The course will allow the student to integrate into all aspects of care offered by the section of endocrine surgery. The student will interact with specialists in allied health areas including, but not limited to, adult and pediatric endocrinology, radiology, pathology, nuclear medicine, and medical and cancer genetics. The student will evaluate patients in the ambulatory surgical clinics of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, in the emergency room, the inpatient wards and the operating rooms. The student will gain familiarity with routine post-operative care of endocrine surgical patients and focus on early recognition of complications and opportunities for health system improvement in patient safety, quality and value.

SURG 713 Expand answer

SURG 713 – Vascular Surgery Acting Internship

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. Faizal Aziz

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, 717-531-4451

Locations: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all Phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One 

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: The acting intern will become knowledgeable about a variety of vascular surgery topics, including common elective vascular surgical conditions, common urgent and emergency vascular surgery conditions, and congenital anomalies requiring surgery. In addition, the student will be exposed to the vascular trauma patient and workup.

SURG 714 Expand answer

SURG 714 – Transplant Surgery Acting Internship

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. Fauzia Butt

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, 717-531-4451

Locations: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all Phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: The Transplant Surgery Acting Internship will allow development of a complete understanding of the transplant patient, from evaluation to transplant and beyond, including post-op care and management. The acting intern will participate in all facets of a transplant surgery service including deceased donor recoveries, living donor nephrectomies, deceased donor kidney and liver transplantation and living donor kidney transplantation. Elective procedures, such as peritoneal dialysis catheter placement and hepatobiliary surgery, will also be included. Occasionally, a living donor liver transplant may also occur during the month. The AI will learn about the evaluation process, the discussion that occurs during selection committee and how patients are listed for transplantation, as well as how organs are allocated by UNOS. The acting internship also includes post-operative follow-up for patients both in the hospital and as outpatients.

The acting intern will work with all of the members of the Transplant Surgery Division during the rotation. The acting intern will be introduced to the members of the multi-disciplinary team during the first day of the rotation.

SURG 720 Expand answer

SURG 720 – Plastic Surgery Acting Internship

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. John Ingraham

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu717-531-4451

Locations: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all Phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: A clinical experience designed to be an acting internship for one in the fourth year. Emphasis will include outpatient work as well as operating room experience. Clinical rounds, patient consultations, and division conferences are also included. Microsurgery practice and research laboratory work are encouraged. Each student will be helped to develop a manuscript for publication in a basic science or clinical journal.

SURG 721 Expand answer

SURG 721 – Plastic Surgery Elective

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. John Ingraham

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, 717-531-4451

Location: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all Phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: Emphasis will include outpatient work and operating room experience. Clinical rounds, patient consultations and division conferences are also included. Microsurgery practice and research laboratory work are encouraged.

SURG 722 Expand answer

SURG 722 – Hand Surgery Acting Internship

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. Randy Hauck

Course Coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu717-531-4451

Location: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all Phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: The Hand Surgery Acting Internship is designed to give fourth-year students a focused experience in the evaluation and treatment of upper extremity patient complaints. It is primarily an outpatient clinical practice where students can concentrate on the problems seen by clinicians that provide comprehensive hand care.

SURG 740 Expand answer

SURG 740 – Urology Acting Internship

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. John Knoedler

Course coordinator: Danielle Shreiner; dshreiner@pennstatehealth.psu.edu717-531-1131

Location: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all Phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: In-depth experience in evaluation and management of patients with adult and pediatric urologic problems. Specific concentration in pediatric urology, female urology, kidney and ureteral stones, oncology, or kidney stones is available. This fourth year acting internship is for the student who wishes a more intensive exposure to Urology. The time distribution is negotiable and a particular student interest in research or specific area of Urology can be accommodated.

SURG 741 Expand answer

SURG 741 – Surgical Intensive Care Unit Elective

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. John Oh

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu717-531-4451

Location: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all Phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Report to: In Hershey, ICU attending

Description: An Intensive Care Unit exposure to patients after surgery and trauma. Emphasis is placed on teaching the techniques of pulmonary, cardiovascular, neurological, nutritional and pain management. Principles of physiology are emphasized, and students participate in decisions of management. Students will be evaluated by the SICU faculty based on their participation in rounds, knowledge of critical care medicine, contribution to looking up and sharing new knowledge required by the team, procedural skills, eagerness to learn, and involvement in social interactions with the family, etc. of their patients.

The Surgical Intensive Care Unit Acting Internship focuses on the unique surgical and critical care needs of the trauma and emergency surgery patient. The acting intern will be exposed to all of the facets of critical care surgery including bedside procedures, resuscitation, organ support and management of surgical pathology.

The acting intern will work with all of the members of the Surgical Critical Care team during the rotation. The acting intern will be introduced to the members of the team during the first day of the rotation.

SURG 745 Expand answer

SURG 745 – Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Elective

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. Brian Clark

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, 717-531-4451

Location: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all Phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: This course is intended as an elective for fourth-year medical students who have a career interest in surgery or pediatrics. The course is a four-week rotation designed to build upon previous clinical experiences in the surgery and pediatrics clerkships and provide students with a focused exposure to the comprehensive surgical management of congenital heart disease. During this experience, students will have the opportunity to participate in the perioperative care for a variety of patients admitted to the pediatric cardiac surgery service.

The student will work with all of the members of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Division during the rotation. The student will be introduced to available members of the team during the first day of the rotation.

SURG 780 Expand answer

SURG 780 – Pediatric Surgery Acting Internship

Credits: 5 credits

Course director: Dr. Mary Santos

Course coordinator: Lureye Myers; lmyers1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu, 717-531-4451

Location: Hershey

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all Phase II core clerkships and requirements

Maximum number of students: One

When offered: All rotations

Length of course: One month

Description: The pediatric surgery acting internship focuses on the unique surgical needs of the pediatric patient. The acting intern will be exposed to all of the facets of a general pediatric surgery service including elective procedures, routine general surgical emergencies, pediatric trauma and congenital anomalies.

The acting intern will work with all of the members of the Pediatric Surgery Division during the rotation. The acting intern will be introduced to the members of the team during the first day of the rotation.

University Park

UP Clerkship Expand answer

Surgery Clerkship

The surgery clerkship introduces students to the basic principles of surgery and the basic principles of caring for the surgical patient. This is a required clinical experience in medical education at the Penn State College of Medicine. It is not the purpose of the surgical clerkship to train medical students in the technical practice of surgery or to interest only those students who intend to pursue a career in surgery. Rather, the clerkship is designed to equip all students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes relevant to surgical management that ALL physicians should possess. Through this exposure, the student will begin to understand the general process of the application of surgical therapy to patients across the age spectrum and in different stages of disease. Furthermore, by participating as a member of the surgical team, the student will experience the professional role of the surgeon as a member of a multidisciplinary team that provides care for and communication about a patient within a complex healthcare system.

The clerkship is structured upon the principle that learning is an active process which can be accomplished only by the engaged student. The role of the faculty and house staff is to provide guidance, stimulation, and role modeling. Concurrent with the foundational and clinical science learning that will occur moment-to-moment and day-to-day while on service, the clerkship provides several didactic learning opportunities throughout the block. The students will participate in a core conference series consisting of a lectures and interactive case-based discussions. Further, there are skills labs and departmental and service-specific conferences.

The clerkship emphasizes direct student participation in the care of patients. Students will be expected to evaluate and follow inpatients and outpatients. The student is considered to be part of the surgical team. Professional behavior at all times is expected. In addition, the student is expected to accept personal responsibility as a physician for the care of the patient, acting always under the supervision of the attending and resident surgical team.

Locations

Mount Nittany Health-General Surgery
University Drive
905 University Dr
State College, PA 16801

Otolaryngology Group of Central PA
2505 Green Tech Dr.
Suite C
State College, PA 16803

Mount Nittany Health – Ear, Nose & Throat/Audiology-Boalsburg
3901 S. Atherton St.
State College, PA 16801

Penn State Sports Medicine
1850 East Park Avenue
Suite 112
State College, PA 16803

Mount Nittany Health – Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery
100 Radnor Rd
Suite 101
State College, PA 16801

Penn State Health – Vascular
303 Benner Pike
Suite 1
State College, PA 16801

Contact Us

Dr. Paul Sherbondy
Clerkship Director
psherbondy@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
Phone: 814-865-3566