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Chair/David W. Mercer, M.D.
Lisa Schlitzkus, M.D., MS4 Clerkship Director
Kimberly Schenarts, PhD/Vice Chair for Student Education
Beverly Vaughn, Student Coordinator, 402-559-4718
Room 4536 MSB

Surgical specialties are clinical rotations which allow students the opportunity to combine all of the knowledge that they have accumulated during the first three years of medical school.  A thorough knowledge of anatomy, pathophysiology and clinical decision-making is essential to prepare for and execute operative procedures.  In the operating room gross pathology can be observed and histologic pathology later reviewed.  This pathology can be correlated with preoperative imaging and physical exam findings.  The physiology and pathophysiology of disease and their effect on all body systems is observed pre-operatively, intra-operatively and during the post-operative recovery periods.  The spectrum of other areas of medicine that can be seen in surgical patients include infectious disease, endocrinology, cardiology, pulmonology, immunology and pharmacology.  Surgical specialties offer exposure to both adult and pediatric patients.  All of these electives are geared towards graduated responsibility in patient care as students progress to functioning at the level of an intern. 

As you contemplate your career choices, you can feel confident that a surgical elective during your fourth year will contribute to your medical education and your development as a physician, whatever field of medicine you choose to pursue.  The Department of Surgery offers elective rotations in a number of areas of surgery.  These include General Surgery, Urology, Oral Surgery, Neurosurgery, Pediatric Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Endocrine/Breast Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery.  Other areas of surgical interest can be found through the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Ophthalmology, Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology. 

If you have a career interest in a surgical subspecialty, we would recommend including some of the following as electives:

  • One to two electives on a General Surgery or subspecialty field based at UNMC or one of the affiliated hospitals.  In addition, a rotation in other surgical specialties (such as neurosurgery, urology and orthopaedic surgery) may be beneficial. 
  • Two to three electives in non-operative areas of medicine, especially in those fields that represent patients with diseases that are often treated with surgical and medical approaches. 
  • One to two electives in fields that represent areas of medicine that partner with surgeons in the care of their patients such as radiology, anesthesiology or pathology.

Members of the faculty of the Department of Surgery would be pleased to give you advice regarding your selection of electives, regardless of your career path – surgical or non-surgical.  Please see the list of advisors in the front of this handbook. 

Electives

The electives are designed to build on the foundation achieved in the primary clerkship.  The student is an active participant in the professional team caring for patients.  Professional communication, relation of the surgical problem to the basis of disease, the details and technique of diagnosis and treatment, are the focus of increasing involvement with patients through the pre-operative and post-operative periods in conjunction with the faculty.  The primary clerkship is a prerequisite for all electives in the Department of Surgery. 

SURG 710 PLASTIC SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

This elective experience is designed to expose senior students to the principles of plastic surgery and possibly enhance any interest they may have in the field.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 2, Clinical 35, Other 3

Instructor: Dr. Hollins, Dr. Reilly, Dr. Miller and Dr. Johnson.

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1

Visiting Student Information: Visiting Students are not to contact faculty or clinical departments prior to acceptance through VSAS. Doing so is considered a professional breach and may disqualify the student from being offered a rotation.

SURG 720 UROLOGY CLERKSHIP 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

Students are active participants in the team caring for patients. Students will be exposed to genitor-urinary tract disease recognition, diagnosis, and therapy and be encouraged to partake fully in the pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative management of these patients.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 2, Clinical 35, Other 3

Instructor: Dr. LaGrange, Dr. Kim, Dr. Deibert, and Dr. Villanvera.

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: Variable

Visiting Student Information: Visiting Students are not to contact faculty or clinical departments prior to acceptance through VSAS. Doing so is considered a professional breach and may disqualify the student from being offered a rotation.

SURG 721 SURGICAL SKILL IMMERSION 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

This four week elective offered at the end of the fourth year is geared towards students who are pursuing a career in a surgical specialty. The goal of the elective is to prepare students for the practical aspects of a surgical internship so that they will be able to thrive in the surgical world. The elective will consist of didactic, practical and simulated scenarios. There will be dedicated time in simulation facilities, cadaver labs and practical skills mastery. There will be exposure to common clinical problems that the student can expect to face when they start as an intern. There will be time dedicated to development of time management skills, communication skills, handover skills and discussion about balancing professional and personal demands. There will be some time spent focusing on core pathophysiology topics. There will be mentorship from surgical faculty and residents. There will be education from nursing, pharmacy and other allied health professionals. We will utilize the American College of Surgeons/Association of Program Directors Surgery/Association for Surgical Education Resident Prep Curriculum and you will receive proof of completion of a standardized curriculum.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 2, Clinical 35, Other 3

Instructor: Dr. Schlitzkus

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: April

Capacity: 20

Visiting Student Information: This course is NOT available to visiting students.

SURG 722 PEDIATRIC SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

On the pediatric surgical service students should consider the physiology, pathology and surgical care of a variety of surgical problems. The expectation is to work up, scrub and make rounds on as many patients as possible. Attendance at teaching conferences on Tuesday and Friday mornings is expected. Students may be asked to give a presentation at a conference. This is generally no more than 30 minutes and would involve a patient cared for by the service. Students are expected to come in on 1 day each weekend.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 2, Clinical 35, Other 3

Instructor: Dr. Raynor, Dr. Cusick, Dr. Jones, and Dr. Abdessalam

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 2.

Visiting Student Information: Visiting Students are not to contact faculty or clinical departments prior to acceptance through VSAS. Doing so is considered a professional breach and may disqualify the student from being offered a rotation.

SURG 725 CARDIAC SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

During this elective, the student will function as a sub-intern. They will participate in the pre-operative evaluation of cardiac surgical patients, the surgical procedures and the post-operative management of these patients. At the end of this rotation, the student should have an understanding of the diagnostic procedures used in evaluating cardiac and pulmonary disease, indications and contraindications for surgery in these patients, a thorough acquaintance with intra-operative cardiopulmonary bypass, invasive hemodynamic monitoring, and ventilator management, as well as a familiarity with pharmacological agents utilized in the care of these patients. The student will be expected to be available for daily rounds, cath conferences, elective and occasionally emergency operations. Overnight on-call with the senior surgical resident on the service would be beneficial.

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1

Visiting Student Information: Visiting Students are not to contact faculty or clinical departments prior to acceptance through VSAS. Doing so is considered a professional breach and may disqualify the student from being offered a rotation.

SURG 726 ORAL SURGERY CLERKSHIP 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

The elective is designed to acquaint the student with the technique of oral examination, diagnosis, treatment planning and surgical management of oral disease processes.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 3, Clinical 37

Instructor: Dr. Leon Davis

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1

Visiting Student Information: This course is NOT available to visiting students.

SURG 727 THORACIC SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

During this elective, the student will function as a sub-intern. They will participate in the pre-operative evaluation of thoracic surgical patients, the surgical procedures, and the post-operative management of these patients. At the end of this rotation, the student should have an understanding of the diagnostic procedures used in evaluating thoracic and pulmonary disease, indications and contraindications for surgery in these patients, radiologic and pathologic evaluation of thoracic malignancy, invasive hemodynamic monitoring, and ventilator management, as well as a familiarity with pharmacological agents utilized in the care of these patients. The student will be expected to be available for daily rounds, cath conferences, elective and occasionally emergency operations. Overnight on-call with the senior surgical resident on the service would be beneficial.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 2, Clinical 35, Other 3

Instructor: Dr. Lackner and Dr. Trujillo

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1

Visiting Student Information: Visiting Students are not to contact faculty or clinical departments prior to acceptance through VSAS. Doing so is considered a professional breach and may disqualify the student from being offered a rotation.

SURG 728 GENERAL SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

Students selecting an elective at Methodist Hospital will be assigned to a teaching service of their choice when possible; however, in the interest of optimal educational experiences, it may be necessary to assign students to unfilled positions. Hospital assignments are made through the Department of Surgery. Services: Methodist: Drs. Rose, Reilly, Winterstein, Buda, Dittrick, Eakins, and Kolkman ; Private Colorectal Surgery (CRS): Dr. Beatty

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 2, Clinical 35, Other 3

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1

Visiting Student Information: This course is NOT available to visiting students.

SURG 729 GEN SURGERY-UNMC/VA 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

Students selecting an elective on General Surgery at UNMC will be assigned to a teaching service of their choice when possible, however, in the interest of optimal educational experiences, it may be necessary to assign students to unfilled positions. Hospital assignments are made through the Department of Surgery. This elective is recommended to students interested in a more in-depth exposure to general surgery. Students will be expected to function as sub interns on the service, including the pre- and post-operative management of patients and the taking of first call in the hospital for the service under the direct supervision of their chief resident. The student will be expected to be an active participant in the operating room, outpatient clinic and emergency room. The student will meet at least weekly with one of the attending staff on an individual basis, at which time they will be responsible for discussing either a specific aspect of surgical management or reviewing some interesting case. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team. Services: Colorectal-Drs. Thompson, Langenfeld, and Kingston; MIS/Bariatric-Drs. Oleynikov, McBride, Kothari, and Tanner; Vascular-Drs. Longo, Johanning, MacTaggart, Baxter, and Pipinos; Surgical Oncology-Drs. Are, Foster, Ly, Thayer, Padussis, deRosa, and Silva-Lopez; OVAMC-Dr. Carlson; Surgical ICU-Drs. Schenarts, Evans, Stothert, Cemaj, Schlitzkus, Buesing, Goede, and Summers; Trauma/Emergency/General Surgery-Drs. Schenarts, Evans, Stothert, Cemaj, Schlitzkus, Buesing, Goede, and Summers

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 2, Clinical 35, Other 3

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 7 (1 per service)

Visiting Student Information: Visiting Students are not to contact faculty or clinical departments prior to acceptance through VSAS. Doing so is considered a professional breach and may disqualify the student from being offered a rotation.

SURG 730 TRANSPLANT SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

This elective is available to all students interested in a career in surgery with a special interest in solid organ transplantation. Students will function as a sub intern for the transplant patients only and will be intimately involved in all phases of the transplantation procedure; both donor and recipient operation, pre- and post-operative management and regulation of immunosuppressive drugs. Students will be exposed to patients undergoing liver, small bowel, kidney and pancreatic transplant. In addition, all general surgical procedures on transplant patients and hepato-biliary operations will be a part of the rotation. The student must be available at all times throughout the rotation due to the unpredictable nature of transplantation.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 2, Clinical 35, Other 3

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1

Visiting Student Information: Visiting Students are not to contact faculty or clinical departments prior to acceptance through VSAS. Doing so is considered a professional breach and may disqualify the student from being offered a rotation.

SURG 736 PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

This elective is designed for the student planning a career in neurosurgery, pediatrics, neurology (adult or pediatric) or neuropathology. Students with specific areas of interest, such as neonatal intraventricular hemorrhage, brain neoplasia, or neuroembryology, are especially encouraged to apply for this elective. Although there is more than ample time devoted to neuroradiology and neuropathology conferences, the principle thrust of this elective is to coherently integrate the student into the practice and theory of pediatric neurosurgery. Broad clinical exposure including patient clinics, operative experience, etc. is afforded to the student along with in-depth literature analysis.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Synchronous 1, Clinical 39

Contact: Kellie Devney; kdevney@unmc.edu; 402-559-9605; UT1 4140 (Zip 2035)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1 Location: Children's Hospital Omaha

Visiting Student Information: Visiting Students are not to contact faculty or clinical departments prior to acceptance through VSAS. Doing so is considered a professional breach and may disqualify the student from being offered a rotation.

SURG 738 NEUROSURGERY CLERKSHIP 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

This elective offers the student experience with respect to diagnosis, treatment and management of patients with neurological surgical disease under close supervision of the faculty.

Contact: Kellie Devney; kdevney@unmc.edu; 402-559-9605; UT1 4140 (Zip 2035)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1

Visiting Student Information: Visiting Students are not to contact faculty or clinical departments prior to acceptance through VSAS. Doing so is considered a professional breach and may disqualify the student from being offered a rotation.

SURG 760 OFF CAMPUS ELECTIVE 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

Special off-campus electives at other medical centers can be arranged for an extraordinary learning experience not regularly available within the department. An Off-Campus Elective Application form must be submitted for this experience. The primary concern is to identify a responsible and acceptable faculty-in-absentia who can assure an active clerkship and offer an evaluation of performance.

Credit Hour Breakdown: Off Campus: 4 Cr Hours; Clinical 40

Prerequisite:  Off-Campus Approval form completed

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: Variable Location: Variable

Visiting Student Information: This course is NOT available to visiting students.

SURG 766 PRECEPTORIAL SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

Many members of the active faculty have indicated a willingness to share a preceptorial clerkship with a student. The list of faculty is maintained in the Department of Surgery. This involves surgeons on our faculty in active practice in Council Bluffs, O'Neill, Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Omaha and can be arranged with the member of the faculty and certified by the Department of Surgery. Positions are available at Lincoln Veterans Administration Hospital. Bear in mind that each member of the faculty will set their own individual student limit. A responsible and acceptable faculty-in-absentia, who can assure an active clerkship and offer an evaluation of performance, must be identified prior to approval. An evaluation of the student's performance will be required upon completion and the student is responsible for assuring that the department receives the evaluation.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Clinical 40

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: Variable Location: Variable

Visiting Student Information: This course is NOT available to visiting students.

SURG 790 RESEARCH GEN SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

This elective offers students an opportunity to work with faculty members in clinical investigations of surgical disease in ongoing bench research projects. Definitions of problems and programs of learning will be decided upon discussion with faculty.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Research 40

Prerequisite:  Pre-arranged with designated faculty

Contact: Beverly Vaughn; bvaughn@unmc.edu; 402-559-4718; UT3 1336 (Zip 1045)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: Variable

Visiting Student Information: This course is NOT available to visiting students.

SURG 799 NEUROSURG CLIN RSCH 1-12 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

This elective offers students an opportunity to work with faculty members in clinical investigations of neurosurgical diseases or participate in ongoing bench research projects. Definitions of problems and programs of learning will be decided upon discussion with faculty.

Credit Hour Breakdown: 4 Cr Hours; Research 40

Prerequisite:  Pre-arranged with designated faculty

Contact: Kellie Devney; kdevney@unmc.edu; 402-559-9605; UT1 4140 (Zip 2035)

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: Variable

Visiting Student Information: This course is NOT available to visiting students.