Surgery is an eight-week clinical clerkship that has now completed its sixth year of presentation at the COM. The clerkship is divided into an initial 6 week period devoted entirely to General Surgery, followed by a two week selective in Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, or Urology, to be chosen by the student in conjunction with the Campus Dean. There are no variations in assigned time across sites.
The broad objectives of this clerkship are to acquaint the student with the contributions that surgery offers to the management of disease, to develop the basic skills of surgical history taking, physical examination, and construction of a differential diagnosis, to participate and assume responsibility in the evaluation and care of surgical outpatients and inpatients, and to acquire practical experience in procedures inside and outside the operating room under close supervision by Clerkship Faculty.
The stated objectives and competencies are accomplished and monitored through two principal approaches. First, an apprenticeship-style experience with two or three Board Certified Surgical Faculty working in a one-on-one learning environment with the student providing the student with practical experience in surgical conditions and surgical practice. Clerkship Faculty are selected for their interest in teaching, and for their ability to provide access to a practice situation treating a broadly diverse population of surgical conditions. Each of the Clerkship Faculty is board-certified, and has undergone one-on-one orientation to the goals of the curriculum by the Clerkship Director, as well as attending multiple hours of faculty development, emphasizing teaching skills, the FSU College of Medicine, model, and instruction on evaluating students
Secondly, this tutorial-style teaching is supplemented by a didactic curriculum, consisting of prescribed reading topics, performance of problem-based and clinically correlated computerized Med Cases, discussion of a series of Ethics cases, and weekly teaching conferences held by the regional Clerkship Director. Finally, each student prepares a 1000 word paper on a controversial surgical topic of their choice, using an evidence-based approach.
The weekly meeting with the Clerkship Director provides the didactic backbone of the clerkship, as well as evaluative oversight of the student and his/her experience with the Clerkship Faculty. Each student presents a case to the Clerkship Director each week, and this case, including participation in the weekly reading assignment, Ethics cases, and Med Cases, are considerations in student evaluation. These weekly sessions are constructed to cover the educational objectives of the College of Medicine and the surgical clerkship. In addition, the Clerkship Director reviews the CDCS patient log data on each student's clinical experiences, ensuring that both adequate exposure to a wide variety of cases and adequate levels of participation are occurring.
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