The Department of Surgery will issue the grade “Pass” or “Fail” as defined in the UAMS College of Medicine’s grading policy.  Under highly unusual circumstances the department may issue the grade of “I” when work is incomplete at the end of the clerkship or academic year.

Four parameters are used to judge your performance during this clerkship. The relative value of each of these parameters is shown in the following table:

Parameter Relative Value (%)
Rotation Evaluation by Faculty & Residents 40
Standardized Patient/ ASCE/ Oral Examination 25
Written Examination 25
Skills Practicum 10

Summative Rotation Evaluation:

Students will receive written evaluations by faculty and residents on the rotations to which they are assigned. The weighted average of the summative rotation evaluations contributes 30% to the overall grade.

Summative Written Examination:

This is a 50-question multiple choice examination modeled after the American Board of Surgery In-service Training Examination (ABSITE). The summative written examination score contributes 25% to the overall grade.

Summative Oral Examination:

This is a fact based and case-based oral examination designed to allow the student to demonstrate basic surgical knowledge and to analyze and solve selected clinical problems in surgery. A surgical faculty member assigned by the clerkship coordinator will administer this exam. The summative oral examination score contributes 25% to the overall grade.

Surgical Skills Practicum:

This is a practical examination in which the student demonstrate their mastery of basic surgical skills including suture handling and knot-tying, the closure of simple and complex wounds, surgical stapling, and basic laparoscopic skills. The surgical skills practicum contributes 10% to the overall grade.


Attendance at the surgery conferences is mandatory and should take priority over other duties on this rotation. An absence may be excused if the student or a family member is ill. An excused absence must be requested by an email message to the Clerkship Director. It must be granted in writing by the Clerkship Director. If you miss more than 2 lectures or conferences your numerical score will be lowered by 1 point.

“A”, “B”, “C” and “D” grades (and to some extent “F” grades) will be determined by the overall weighted average of the above evaluation tools. The average score has generally been a low “B” or a high “C”. An “F” grade will result if the student’s cumulative score is less than 60 or there is conduct inconsistent with the responsibility and accountability expected of physicians (i.e. dishonesty, repeated unexcused absences, repeated failure to complete assignments, serious and repeated disruptive behavior towards patients or colleagues). The Department of Surgery reserves the right to modify the above criteria, providing that the minimum passing criteria will not be made more stringent. When possible, students will be warned in advance in accordance with College of Medicine policy about the possibility of receiving an “F” grade if a clinical evaluation or formative evaluation suggests academic difficulty. Please note that most of our evaluation tools are completed near the end of the clerkship, leaving little opportunity for warning about deficient performance prior to completion of the clerkship.

Questions or concerns about summative evaluations, examinations or examination scores must be brought to the attention of the clerkship director or the clerkship coordinator in writing or by e-mail. These questions or concerns should be brought at the time they are recognized, and in all instances before the issuance of final grades. Requests for reconsideration of an assigned examination score received after the issuance of final grades cannot be honored. Final grades will not be changed by the Department of Surgery except in the event of a bona-fide clerical error.

For the purpose of questioning or challenging an evaluation or test score or a grade, the matter must be brought to the attention of the clerkship director or clerkship coordinator by e-mail or in writing. Communication with other faculty members does not meet this requirement.