As a member of the surgical team, the medical students assigned to surgery will attend all of the major departmental conferences as well as those specialty conferences specific to their rotation. In addition, there are a variety of surgery student seminars which will focus on the clinical features and pathophysiology of common surgical diseases, the differential diagnosis and resulting diagnostic algorithm, and options and strategies for treatment.

Departmental Conferences

Surgery Morbidity & Mortality (every Tuesday, 7 – 8 AM)

This is a 55-minute discussion of the management of patients who experienced post-operative complications on the surgical services. In general, these patients will have either a particularly interesting and educational disease process or complicated clinical course. The cases presented are chosen by senior faculty for their educational value and are presented by the resident involved in the care of the patient.

Surgical Grand Rounds (Tuesday, 8 – 9 AM)

This is a formal 45-minute presentation of the state-of-the-art management of a surgical disease given by a faculty member or a visiting professor. A 10 – 15 minute period of discussion follows the presentation.

Specialty Surgery Conferences

  • Trauma Conference
  • Vascular Conference
  • GI Conference
  • Breast Conference

Student Seminars

Each Tuesday is reserved as an educational day for the students, in which they will have a combination of didactic, interactive, and student-lead sessions.  Condensing these sessions into a single day minimizes the time students spend absent from the hands-on clinical learning environment.  The Tuesday seminars include:

Bullpen (Tuesday, 9:15am)

This is a 7-week 60-minute conference in which each student will present the history, physical examination, and diagnostic studies of a patient for whom they were caring.  This is a faculty-facilitated group discussion, focused on the clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, diagnostic algorithm, and therapeutic strategies important in the patient’s particular disease.  In addition, this conference allows the students to hone their patient presentation skills.


Weekly Quiz and Review (Tuesday, 10:30 am)

After students complete their weekly quiz, the correct answers are provided by a faculty member along with the reasoning.  Incorrect answers are also discussed to help develop a more complete understanding of the topic and improve test-taking skills.


Faculty Didactics (Tuesday, 12:30-4 pm)

These sessions cover a variety of critical topics for the students’ surgical knowledge, as well as assisting with NBME Surgery Subject Exam preparation.  Topics include:


  • Common Surgical Complications
  • Burns
  • Trauma
  • Shock
  • Critical Care
  • Endocrine Surgery
  • Dysphagia and Reflux
  • Hernias
  • Jaundice and Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Colorectal Disease
  • Breast Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Pediatric Surgery



Additionally, there are didactic sessions aimed at exam preparation and career development:

  • NBME Reviews
  • Oral Exam Preparation
  • Reflective Practice
  • Career Planning


There are also several combination didactic and hands-on sessions for student education including:

  • Scrub Technique
  • OR Etiquette
  • Suture Lab
  • Vascular Rodeo

Additional required seminars occur on other days of the week:

Mentor Group Discussions

This is a 5-week 50-minute interactive, faculty-lead discussion of a basic topic in surgery.  One faculty member meets with four to five students and works through the clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, diagnostic algorithm, and therapeutic strategies of a common surgical disease or clinical problem.


SICU Rounds (Thursday, 3 pm) with Dr. Frederick Bentley, Chairman

This is a weekly bedside session in which Dr. Bentley discusses complex aspects of critical care management, and is universally acclaimed by the students for its educational value.



In addition to the daily clinical learning environment (OR, inpatient hospital units, outpatient clinics) and required conferences, there are other required aspects of the Junior Clerkship Curriculum which help to provide a full educational experience.

QStream App

This is a mobile space-based learning application containing review questions on the clinical features, pathophysiology, differential diagnosis and resulting diagnostic algorithm, and treatment of surgical disease.  A small set of questions will be sent to each student daily for completion.  All questions must be answered correctly to complete the Clerkship.

Surgery Checklist

Each student will receive a Patient Log and Clinical Skills Checklist at orientation.  This contains various surgical skills to be attempted or witnessed during the rotation, and specific types of surgical procedures in which each student must participate.  This ensures that the Clerkship experience is balanced regardless of individual rotation assignments.  The list of surgeries is based on the most commonly performed surgeries nationally, thus a student must be aware of their general principles.

In-Hospital Call

Students will be assigned overnight calls at UAMS during the clerkship regardless of the location of their current rotation.  The student on call each night is to complete their clinical duties with their primary team, take call at UAMS, then return to their primary rotation the following morning, at which time students will round with their team and be dismissed.  Call will consist of carrying the trauma pager, responding to Level 1 trauma activations, and scrubbing on any general surgery cases that go on during the night.