Rotation – Surgery

Avg. time commitment – 50-60 hours/week

Clerkship Director
Ralph Corsetti, MD

Clerkship Coordinator: Brittany Copeland

Residency Program Director: George Furman, MD

Dress Code

  • Scrubs at most times
  • OCS scrubs when outside the OR
  • Some surgeons may prefer clinic dress when you’re in clinic – ask your resident

Typical Schedule

Different services have different schedules

Most days start at 5-6 and end by 4-6.

  • 0500-0600 – pre-rounds with intern/resident
  • 0600-0730 – various morning conferences
  • 0700-1700 – procedures on some days, clinics on others
  • Monday is lecture day
  • Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) conference on Wed morning at 0630 on 8th Floor Clinic Towers where Vascular and Cardiothoracic Surgery is located (follow your resident)!

Relevant locations

  • The general surgery operating rooms are on the 2nd floor
  • The operating rooms for urology are on the 1st floor of the Merrill Hines Building (south of the hospital elevators)
  • The general surgery clinics are on the 8th floor of the Clinic Tower

Recommended pocket resources

  • Stethoscope
  • Penlight
  • Suture removal
  • 4×4 gauze pads
  • Surgical Recall

Most used clinical skills

  • Tying knots
  • Suturing
  • Abdominal exam
  • Reading imaging studies
  • Examining surgical wounds for proper healing
  • SOAP Presentation
  • Systems-based presentations in the ICU

Recommended Study resources

  • Surgical Recall
  • Dr. Pestana’s Notes (Shelf Prep)
  • UWorld Step 2 CK QBank
  • Blackboard lectures for MCQ/SAQ exam
  • Essentials of General Surgery by Peter Lawrence
  • Squirrel Notes


  • Problem Oriented Medical Report (POMR) – 10%
  • Clinical Case Presentation (CCP) – 20%
  • Exam, short answer – 40%
  • Exam: MCQ – 30%
  • PASS/FAIL: CPA x4; You MUST pass this portion in order to pass the rotation

Pearls for success

  • Pre-reading is important in every rotation, but in surgery it is very important. Find out each afternoon what the next day’s cases (EPIC Master Daily List) are and pre-read about the anatomy and surgical details of those cases.
  • If you have intelligent questions for the surgeon, it will impress him or her
  • Again, you WILL get pimped on anatomy – so review it! Your resident or intern may be kind enough to tell you ahead of time what questions a specific surgeon likes to ask. Most surgeons ask the same questions time after time.
  • Perhaps more than any other rotation in Year 3, there is a big gap here between what you learn every day at Ochsner and what is on the UQ written exams. Spending 60 hours/week on service at Ochsner may not help you as much as you’d think on the UQ exams. The exams come from the Blackboard resources, so study those well.
  • One way to give your mark a boost is to get a good grade on the POMRs. Pick simple cases and carefully dissect each of their surgical components. Ask your resident to review your write-up the day before you turn it in.
  • Not getting to do much in the OR? Then ask. Be polite, respectful – but definitely ask.