Third Year Electives (MS3)

All third year students are required to complete a five week course in clinical surgery. This course is designed to help the student understand the fundamentals of etiology, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases commonly requiring surgical care. Students will improve their ability to question and examine patients and to construct an appropriate symptom list and plan of action. In addition to clinical work, students will participate in research and learn to utilize current surgical literature. This five week course also covers the basics of preoperative decision making, operative conduct, and postoperative care through participation in the day-to-day activities of a surgical service, which prepares students for a senior clerkship during which they will be an integral part of a clinical service without special didactic sessions or other interruptions.

Students will participate in the following ways:

  • Patient evaluation and management
  • Patient workups/presentations
  • Teaching sessions
  • Teaching rounds
  • Student-led seminar
  • Taking call

The sites for the rotation include the following locations:

In addition to the third year clerkship courses, there are five two-week elective courses offered:

Introduction to Cardiothoracic Surgery

3 Credits

This course introduces students to the treatment of adult cardiac and thoracic surgery, which includes valvular and coronary heart disease, aortic surgery, surgery for arrhythmia, heart transplantation, lung resection, esophageal surgery, and mediastinal procedures. Students work with house staff and faculty and are responsible for patient workups, assisting in operations, and postoperative care in the ICU and on wards. Students rotate one week in cardiac service and the second week in thoracic service. There will be opportunity to scrub in on heart surgery cases and experience both didactic and one-on-one teaching with faculty. Preliminary reading in cardiac and thoracic surgery is recommended.

Introduction to Pediatric Surgery

3 Credits

Students will participate with faculty and residents to gain experience in preoperative, operative, and postoperative care of pediatric patients with general surgical diseases. During this two week rotation, students will have the opportunity to scrub in to cases and participate in didactic teaching sessions. Students may have the opportunity to rotate at either OHSU or Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

Introduction to Vascular Surgery

3 Credits

Students will participate with the University or VAMC vascular surgery service, which includes operating room experience, as well as inpatient and outpatient work. During this two week rotation, students will gain familiarity with the workups of common vascular disease processes. Students will be able to participate in didactic teaching sessions during the rotation.

Surgical Nutrition

3 Credits

Students will spend 5-10 hours per week in discussion/didactic sessions with faculty in addition to 20-30 hours per week of clinical responsibilities. Students will be expected to take overnight call on a schedule determined by faculty availability. Student responsibilities include patient workups, participation in operations, and postoperative care rounds with surgical, wound care, nutritional, and multidisciplinary teams. Didactics and discussions will focus on topics and literature relevant to surgical nutrition. While performing clinical duties, special emphasis will be placed on care of patients with special nutritional needs. At the completion of the rotation, students will be able to design and implement a plan for nutrition management for a patient throughout the course of their surgical procedure.

Surgery Research

3 Credits

Students participate in self-arranged surgery research. At the completion of the rotation a 2-4 page summary of the research performed will be submitted. Summaries should include a background of the selected research topic and the purpose of the research, as well as a description of the actual research experience.  This includes the research methods and results sections.  The summary should also describe methods used for statistical analysis.  Use of preliminary data to write an abstract is encouraged.  Students should also include a plan for eventual submission and presentation of their work.  To participate in this elective, please examine the MS3 Surgery Research Elective Instructions (46.6 KB) for information regarding approval and completion.