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Chair/David W. Mercer, M.D.
Abbey Fingeret, M.D., MS4 Director
Kimberly Schenarts, PhD/Vice Chair for Student Education
Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577
Room 4538 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. Areas of focus include general plastic surgery, cosmetic and aesthetic surgery, breast reconstruction, pediatric craniofacial, facial trauma, burn and wound. The student will be expected for daily rounds, elective and occasionally emergency operations. Overnight on-call with the senior surgical resident on the service would be beneficial.

Instructor: Dr. Hollins, Dr. Reilly, Dr. Miller, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Wong, Dr. Fletcher.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 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.

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

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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

American College of Surgeons/Association of Program Directors in Surgery/Association for Surgical Education (ACS/SPDS/ASE) Resident Prep Curriculum "Boot Camp" This four-week elective offered at the end of the fourth year is geared towards students who are pursuing a career in general surgery. 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 - exposure to common clinical problems that students can expect to face when they start as an intern - time dedicated to development of time management skills, communication skills, handover skills and discussion about balancing professional and personal demands - sometime will be spent focusing on core pathophysiology topics. Students will be mentored by surgical faculty and residents and education will be provided by 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 Preparatory Curriculum and will receive a letter of completion of a standardized curriculum.

Instructor: Dr. Fingeret.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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.

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

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 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: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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.

Instructor: Dr. Valmont Desa

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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.

Instructor: Dr. Lackner and Dr. Trujillo

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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

Services: Methodist: Drs. Reilly, Winterstein, Buda, Dittrick, Carson and Kolkman/Private Colorectal Surgery (CRS): Dr. Beatty. 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.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1

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

SURG 729 GEN SURGERY-VA 4 Credit Hours

ELECTIVE

Students will be expected to function as sub-interns on the service, including the pre and post-operative management of patients with emergent and elective surgical diseases including benign and malignant hepatopancreaticobiliary, gastrointestinal, cutaneous disorders. The student will be expected to be an active participant in the clinic, operating, room, and emergency department settings. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

Typically Offered: Each four weeks

Capacity: 1

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

SURG 730 LIVER TRANSPLANT SURG 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.

Instructor: Drs. Langnas, Grant, Mercer, Vargas, and Maskin.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 741 COLORECTAL SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

Student will be expected to function as sub-interns on the service, including the pre and post-operative management of patients with benign and malignant conditions of the lower gastrointestinal tract including colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease, benign anorectal disorders, and screening or diagnostic colonoscopy. The student will be expected to be an active participant in the clinic, operating room, and emergency department settings. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team.

Instructor: Drs. Thompson, Langenfeld, and Leinecke.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 742 MINIMALLY INVASIVE AND BARIATRIC SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

This elective is recommended to students interested in a more in-depth exposure to minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Students will be expected to function as sub-interns on the service, including the pre and post-operative management of patients with complex upper gastrointestinal tract disorders, hernia repair, bariatric and metabolic surgery. The student will be expected to be an active participant in the clinic, operating room, and emergency department settings. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team.

Instructor: Drs. Oleynikov, McGride, Kothari, and Tanner.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 743 VASCULAR SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

Students will be expected to function as sub-interns on the service, including the pre and post-operative management of patients with vascular disease to include carotid stenosis, aortic and visceral aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease, arterial embolic occlusive disease, venous thrombosis and venous insufficiency using open and endovascular techniques. The student will be expected to be an active participant in the clinic, operating, room, and emergency department settings. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team.

Instructor: Drs. Longo, Johanning, MacTaggart, Baxter, Pipinos, and Garg.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 744 GASTROINTESTINALI SURGICAL ONCOLOGY 4 Credit Hours

Students will be expected to function as sub-interns on the service, including the pre and post-operative management of patients with malignancy of the gastrointestinal and hepatopancreaticobiliary systems including esophageal, gastric, small bowel, colorectal, hepatic, pancreatic, and perineal carcinomatosis. The student will be expected to be an active participant in the clinic, operating, room, and emergency department settings. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team.

Instructor: Drs. Longo, Johanning, MacTaggart, Baxter, Pipinos, and Garg.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 745 BREAST, ENDOCRINE, CUTANEOUS SURGICAL ONCOLOGY 4 Credit Hours

Students will be expected to function as sub-interns on the service, including the pre and post-operative management of patients with benign and malignant breast, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and endocrine pancreatic diseases along with management of cutaneous malignancy. The rotation functions in a preceptor model with the student assigned to specific Attendings for 2 weeks each to increase continuity and depth of exposure. The student will be expected to be an active participant in the clinic, operating, room, and emergency department settings. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team as well as attending weekly tumor board conferences. Two weekends of call/rounding are expected during the four week rotation. No overnight call is assigned.

Instructor: Drs. Are, Foster, Ly, and Padussis

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 746 SURGICAL CRITICAL CARE 4 Credit Hours

Student will be expected to function as sub-interns on the service, including the pre and post-operative management of patients with critical illness. The student will be expected to be an active participant in the surgical intensive care unit including management of critically ill patients who require hemodynamic monitoring, ventilator management, and have organ dysfunction or failure. Students will participate in daily morning reports and team rounds. Students will observe and may perform procedures under direct supervision including venous and arterial line placement, bronchoscopy, intubation and ultrasonography. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team.

Instructor: Drs. PJ Schenarts, Evans, Stothert, Cemaj, Schlitzkus, Buesing, Goede, Summers, Bauman, and Waibel.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 747 TRAUMA SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

Student will be expected to function as sub-interns on the service and acquire an understanding of the initial assessment, resuscitation and stabilization of a trauma patient. Students will participate as active members of the trauma patient care team, including the pre and post-operative management of patients with acute injury from the initial presentation. Students will participate in daily morning reports and team rounds. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team. Weekday, night and weekend shifts will be assigned.

Instructor: Drs. PJ Schenarts, Evans, Stothert, Cemaj, Schlitzkus, Buesing, Goede, Summers, Bauman, and Waibel.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 748 EMERGENCY GENERAL SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

Student will be expected to function as sub-interns on the service, including the pre and post-operative management of patients with a variety of acute non-traumatic surgical diseases including but not limited to bowel obstruction, visceral perforation, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, cholecystitis, pancreatitis, appendicitis, and diverticulitis. The student will be expected to be an active participant in the clinic, operating room, and emergency department settings. The student will be responsible for preparing a clinical conference for formal presentation to all members of their team. Weekday, night and weekend shifts will be assigned.

Instructor: Drs. PJ Schenarts, Evans, Stothert, Cemaj, Schlitzkus, Buesing, Goede, Summers, Bauman, and Waibel.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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 749 KIDNEY TRANSPLANTATION SURGERY 4 Credit Hours

Student will be expected to function as sub-interns for kidney 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 kidney and pancreatic transplant. In addition, all general surgical procedures on transplant patients 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.

Instructor: Drs. Maskin, Hoffman, and Merani.

Contact: Alex Shull, M4 Student Coordinator, 402-559-5577, Room 4538 MSB.

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.

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.

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.

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.