UNM Department of Surgery


StudentsThe goal of the surgery clerkship is to introduce the student to the principles of caring for the surgical patient. This goal is accomplished by allowing the student to participate in the care of patients in the various stages of evaluation and treatment by surgeons. These stages include but are not limited to the preoperative office or clinic visit, inpatient admission, operative procedure and inpatient and outpatient recovery.

Through this exposure, the student will begin to understand the general process of the application of surgical therapy to patients in a wide variety of stages. Furthermore, by participating as a member of the surgical team, the student will observe the role of the surgeon as a member of the multidisciplinary team that provides care for the patient.

The clerkship is structured upon the principle that learning is an active process which can be accomplished only by the student. The role of the faculty and housestaff is to provide guidance, stimulation and example.

  • Obtain an accurate medical history;
  • Perform an appropriately focused physical examination;
  • Accurately interpret and synthesize the history and physical findings ;
  • Develop a rank ordered list of differential diagnoses;
  • Develop a plan for further investigations to confirm the diagnoses ;
  • Discuss initial diagnostic impression and proposed workup plan with the patient.