Drexel University

General Surgery Pathway

Drexel University College of Medicine

Curriculum through Class of 2019 only. For students graduating Class of 2020 and beyond, please see new curriculum link.


REVIEW FOR PATHWAY 2018-2019: Surgery Pathway Breakout Agenda 2018-2019

Introduction

To assist students with planning their fourth-year rotations to better meet their educational needs and career goals, the Department of Surgery has developed a discipline-based pathway in General Surgery. The pathway, or set of recommendations regarding the selection of rotations, is designed for those students interested in pursuing General Surgery or one of the subspecialties that require General Surgery training. The goals of the pathway are to build upon the clinical experiences of previous years and to provide a broad experience that will best prepare students for specialized training. To this end, the Department has designed a pathway that requires a number of rotations to be completed outside of the surgical disciplines, but allows students to select rotations based upon their strengths, weaknesses, previous experiences, and career goals.

The General Surgery Pathway has been designed based on the following contemporary principles of adult education. Adults prefer to be self-directed; they need to know why the learning experience is important and how it will be useful to them in real life situations; they feel the need to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to real life situations soon after the learning takes place; they tend to be problem-centered (or task-oriented); and they are motivated to the greatest extent by internal, as opposed to external, rewards.

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Sites and Personnel

Drexel University College of Medicine

Pathway Director
Drexel University College of Medicine
Michael S. Weingarten, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Professor of Surgery
Hahnemann University Hospital
Department of Surgery
245 N. 15th Street, Mail Stop 413
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: (215) 762-4005
Fax: (215) 762-8699
e-mail:  msw34@drexel.edu

Tricia Grey
Manager, Surgical Clerkship
Hahnemann University Hospital
245 N.15th Street, 7th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192
(215) 762-2065 Phone
(215) 762-3058 Fax
e-mail: tag25@drexel.edu

Co-Director/Associate Directors:

Site

Co-Director/Associate Director

Office Contacts

Allegheny General

Donald P. Atkinson, M.D.
Allegheny General Hospital
420 East North Avenue, Suite 304 East Wing
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Phone: (412) 359-4068
Fax: (412) 359-6732

Shannon Petsch
Phone: (412) 359-3836
Fax: (412) 359-3878
shannon.petsch@ahn.org

Philadelphia Area

Michael S. Weingarten, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Professor of Surgery
Hahnemann University Hospital
Department of Surgery
245 N. 15th Street, Mail Stop 413
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: (215) 762-7008
Fax: (215) 762-8699
e-mail:  msw34@drexel.edu

Tricia Grey
(215) 762-2065 Phone
(215) 762-3058 Fax
e-mail: tag25@drexel.edu


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Goals and Objectives

The goals of the pathway are to build upon the clinical experiences of the previous years, to provide a broad experience that will best prepare students for surgical training, and to assist students with planning their fourth-year rotations to meet their educational needs and career goals. Objectives for the required rotation in General Surgery are listed under the specific description of that rotation.

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Description of Pathway

Click here for a summary table of the General Surgery Pathway.

Academic Advisement

Each student who selects the General Surgery Pathway will work closely with the Pathway Director and Pathway Advisors who will provide guidance throughout the fourth year. Assistance will be provided to help the student design an individualized assortment of rotations that will best complement the student's previous experiences and performance, fulfill the student's interests, and meet the student's career goals.

Students in the General Surgery Pathway will also be advised in reference to effective teaching techniques, principles of research methodology, communication with consultants, effective teamwork, the holistic approach to patient care including psychosocial aspects, and communication with patients and their families.

In addition, specific guidance regarding preparation for the residency application process, including letters of recommendation and selection of the residency programs best suited to the student's past performance and future aspirations, will be offered by the Department Chairman, Pathway Director, and Pathway Advisors.

General Surgery Requirements

In addition to the Medicine and Neurology rotations required by the school, students in the General Surgery Pathway will be required to take one rotation in General Surgery at one of several specified sites. Students will select two or three additional surgical rotations from a specified list, two nonsurgical rotations from a specified list, and one to two additional nonsurgical rotations. Each of these requirements is described below. No more than three rotations may be taken outside the Drexel University College of Medicine system of affiliates, and no more than 16 weeks may be taken in any one discipline. Key individuals responsible for educational activities within the Pathway are listed under the Pathway Directors and Associate Pathway Directors.

General Surgery Rotation

The third required rotation in the General Surgery Pathway will be a four-week rotation in General Surgery at one of the Drexel clinical campuses. At Hahnemann, the department will entertain students' requests for specific services based on their interests. Rotations at these sites will be structured to provide comparable experiences and will have uniform goals and objectives, requirements, and evaluation processes.

The four-week rotation in General Surgery has been designed using a preceptorial model and will provide an advanced clinical experience in which the students will work closely with residents and attending surgeons, as full members of the management team. The experience will include initial patient evaluation, pre- and postoperative care, and intraoperative exposure appropriate for the level of training. Students will also have the opportunity to perform advanced bedside procedures. The rotation will include teaching in ambulatory environments such as clinics and physician offices, and the basic sciences will be integrated into the clinical material throughout the rotation. Supervision will be provided by the residents and attending surgeons. Students will be expected to participate in daily rounds with residents and attending surgeons, participate in outpatient care, attend all conferences of the service, and take in-house call every third night.

The goals and objectives for the rotation state that students, following satisfactory completion of this rotation, should be able to

  1. rationally consider the options available in the management of common surgical emergencies,
  2. apply principles underlying pre- and postoperative care of general surgical patients,
  3. appropriately care for various gastrointestinal tubes, catheters, drains and dressings,
  4. perform, under supervision, minor bedside procedures including skin suturing, and
  5. independently search the literature regarding various surgical problems.

These goals and objectives will build on those covered during the third-year Surgery Clerkship.

All attending surgeons and residents will be encouraged to provide the students with formative feedback on a regular basis throughout the rotation, as well as summative feedback at the end. The feedback might include comments regarding fund of knowledge, histories and physicals, progress notes, communication skills, data synthesis, initiative, self-directed learning, professionalism, etc.

Clinical performance of students will be evaluated by attending surgeons and residents using the criteria established on the school-wide, fourth-year evaluation form. Grading will be according to school guidelines.

Rotations in Surgical Disciplines (One Surgery Subinternship with a maximum of 16 weeks)

Someone applying Based upon their educational needs and interests, students should select two to three rotations from the surgical rotations listed below. Any two of these rotations will provide the additional foundation in Surgery needed to prepare for entrance into a training program. 

  • Burns
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Trauma and Critical Care
  • Vascular Surgery

Rotations in Nonsurgical Disciplines (Recommend Selecting two)

Based upon their educational needs and interests, students will select two rotations from the nonsurgical rotations listed below. 

  • Anesthesiology
  • Applied Anatomy
  • Cardiology
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Nephrology
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Pulmonology
  • Pathology

Free Electives in Nonsurgical Disciplines

Based upon their educational needs and interests, students may select nonsurgical rotations. These selections may include rotations from the above Nonsurgical Discipline list.

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Textbooks and Learning Resources

Textbooks that will be helpful in the General Surgery rotation and other surgical rotations, as well as throughout the pathway include Principles of Surgery (Schwartz, Editor); Scientific Principles and Practice (Greenfield, Editor: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Publisher); and Textbook of Surgery (Sabiston, Editor). As adult learners, students will be strongly encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and seek knowledge independently using a variety of resources. Students will be expected to use various on-line databases to access the most recent information regarding relevant clinical topics.

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Evaluation of Department Rotations

At the conclusion of rotations offered by the Department of Surgery, all students will be strongly encouraged to complete anonymously a formal evaluation form assessing the quality of their experiences. Students will be asked to evaluate the various components of the rotation such as rounds, operating room and ambulatory site teaching, and didactic conferences as well as the attending surgeons and residents. At the conclusion of the fourth year, students will be asked to complete an evaluation form soliciting their assessments of the effectiveness of the General Surgery Pathway. This evaluation process will be designed and used to complement the school-wide system. In addition, informal verbal feedback from the students will be encouraged throughout the year.

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Other

Administration of the Pathway

The overall authority and responsibility for medical student educational programs in Surgery will rest with the Department Chairman. This individual will provide ongoing guidance, direction, and resources for the Pathway Director and the Division of Surgical Education to ensure the effective development, implementation, and evaluation of various educational programs.

The Pathway Director will be responsible for oversight of the General Surgery Pathway, the students enrolled in the pathway, and the fourth-year rotations that have been formally approved by the Department of Surgery. This individual will monitor the use of the pathway by students, evaluate its utility in meeting the students' educational needs and career goals, and recommend any needed changes in the structure and administration of the pathway. Guidance to assist each student in selecting appropriate rotations in accordance with the pathway requirements and the student's needs will be provided, along with oversight for monitoring progress throughout the year and advisement regarding the residency application process. Finally, the Pathway Director will be responsible for all development, implementation, and evaluation processes relating to the fourth-year rotations being offered by the department across all sites in the system. The Academic Director of Surgical Education will be responsible for assisting the Pathway Director in the above activities.

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Revised 12/22/2017 -- Specific questions or comments about the content of this page may be directed to the Division of Clinical Education