UAMS Surgery Junior ClerkshipThe goal of the Medical Student Clerkship in Surgery is to provide all of our students the knowledge and experience required to recognize and diagnose common surgical diseases. This is accomplished through an eight week multi-dimensional program involving direct patient care, faculty-lead didactic learning sessions, surgical skills training, and a challenging self-study program.

Clinical Rotations

The core of our Student Clerkship are clinical experiences in which the medical student directly participates in the care of surgical patients as a member of a surgical team consisting of attending surgeons, surgical residents, medical students, and nurses. These clerkships are located at the UAMS Medical Center, the McClellan Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Arkansas Childrens’ Hospital.

The student will rotate for four weeks on one of our six general surgical services and for four weeks on one of our six specialty surgical services. At the completion of this clerkship it is expected that the student will have an in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of general surgery and a surgical subspecialty which complements their career interests. The general and specialty surgery rotations are:

General Surgery Rotations

  • General Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Acute Care Surgery: Trauma and Emergency General Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
  • VA General Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery

Specialty Surgery Rotations

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Transplantation Surgery
  • Breast Oncology
  • UAMS Vascular Surgery
  • VA Vascular Surgery


The student will attend weekly departmental conferences as well as rotation-specific specialty surgical conferences. In addition, the students will attend and participate in faculty-lead student seminars which focus on the clinical features and pathophysiology of common surgical diseases, the differential diagnosis and resulting diagnostic algorithm, and options and strategies for treatment. These scheduling of these seminars is coordinated with the students’ reading assignments and quizzes.

Self-Study Program

There is no better way to learn about medicine than to read about the diseases and problems of the patients that we care for in the clinics, hospital rooms, emergency department and operating room. During this clerkship, the student will be assigned specific topics to read in Peter Lawrence’s textbook, Essentials of General Surgery 5th Edition. These topics serve as the basis for a 10-question quiz administered on Tuesday of each week. The reading schedule is as follows:

Week 1 Fundamentals of Surgical Care Chapters 2, 3, 5, 8, & 9
Week 2 Trauma, Burns, & Critical Illness Chapters 4, 6, 10, & 11
Week 3 Breast, Melanoma, Sarcoma, & Endocrine Chapters 20, 21, & 25
Week 4 Hernias, Esophagus, Stomach, & Duodenum Chapters 12, 13, & 14
Week 5 Small Intestine, Appendix, Colon, Rectum, & Anus Chapters 15 & 16
Week 6 Biliary Tract, Pancreas, Liver, & Spleen Chapters 17, 18, 19, & 22
Week 7 Vascular, Transplantation Chapters 23 & 24