The SCRUBS program is a medical student surgery interest group at Michigan Medicine that aims to provide mentorship, early clinical exposure, and research opportunities at all levels of medical training.

Who We Are

SCRUBS is a medical student-run organization focused on offering a well-rounded perspective of a career in surgery through early clinical exposure, mentorship, and research opportunities. We offer a wide variety of programs within these areas of focus to create opportunities to explore these different perspectives.

Through our many programs, we aim to achieve the following:

  • Integrate medical students into the Department of Surgery
  • Provide equitable access to opportunities in the department
  • Create a sense of community for students interested in surgery.

In particular, we are focused on being intentional about supporting students underrepresented in surgery and creating a culture of collaboration, inclusivity, and empowerment. Our program is newly revamped, and we are excited to offer a new selection of programs and partnerships to SCRUBS members.

Our Programs

Surgery Olympics

The SCRUBS Surgery Olympics is a 14-week program dedicated to developing mentorship, research, and clinical skills within the realm of surgery. This program is geared towards University of Michigan M1 students with an interest in surgery to provide early exposure to the surgical specialties.

Four University of Michigan M1 students are paired with a M4 mentor and a faculty advisor to work together to complete a research project, learn technical skills, and compete to win the coveted Surgery Olympics trophy. Teams submit abstracts and present at our Surgery Grand Rounds.

In 2020, we coordinated a virtual University of Michigan Surgery Olympics with 17 teams of over a 100 M1s, M4s, and faculty participating. We had virtual research seminars, skills sessions, and teams performing research. Of the M1s who participated in this year's Surgery Olympics, 62% identify as women, 58% non-White (23% URiM), 12% first-generation college, and 18% low-income.

Lunch & Dinner Series

These series provide faculty and residents in the Department of Surgery with the opportunity share their experiences and advice regarding their specialties with SCRUBS members. This series takes place in an informal setting in which mentorship and knowledge sharing can take place in a casual discussion. Students have the chance to grab a bite to eat as faculty members and residents talk about their career in surgery with the group. We have currently moved these sessions to be virtual.

Skills Sessions

SCRUBS skills sessions are times set aside for junior medical students to learn technical skills to best prepare them for their clerkship rotations. Students work in groups as a faculty member, resident, or M4 student provides guidance on how to master surgical skills. We now provide virtual surgical sessions over Zoom.

Research Opportunities

Separate from Surgery Olympics, we provide M1s opportunities to work with surgery faculty members performing research to have early exposure to mentorship and research. SCRUBS members are encouraged to reach out to us, so we can connect them to faculty members looking for assistance on a research project. This offers M1 students the chance to gain invaluable research experience in the field of surgery.

M3 How to be a Sub-I Panel

Our M4s give advice and answer questions for M3s about to embark on their Sub-Is. The panel assists in preparing medical students for their sub-I by providing guidance on how to choose a sub-I, tips on how to best prepare, and insight on how to be successful while on service.

M4 Match Panel

Our M4s who recently matched into a surgical specialty share their experiences and insight with medical students. This annual panel provides medical students interested in pursuing surgery the opportunity to ask questions and gain advice about matching from fellow medical students who just went through the process.

Diversity in Surgery Series

During this series, faculty and residents share their experiences, insight, and advice to students. We started this program in June 2020, with the inaugural event titled "Changing the Face of Surgery: URM residents". This event featured a panel of residents from a variety of surgical specialties, including: Shukri Dualeh, MD; Chloe Powell, MD; Javier Santiago, MD; Valeria Valbuena, MD; Glenn Wakam, MD; Terrence Pleasant, MD.


SCRUBS has partnered with the following resident and faculty-led initiatives to strengthen and expand the opportunities for students to learn more about the Department of Surgery:

  • LEAGUES: Members of our leadership team are also part of the leadership team for this 4-week national surgery pipeline program for students passionate about DEI in surgery.
  • Anastomosis: Students in SCRUBS are encouraged to apply to this longitudinal mentoring program for M2 students who are underrepresented in medicine, first generation, low income, or lacking connections to the Department of Surgery, in which students are partnered each with a group of residents and faculty mentors.
  • Doctors of TomorrowWe are providing virtual skills sessions for this program, which supports Cass Tech High School students from underrepresented communities who plan to pursue careers in healthcare.

Please email the SCRUBS leadership team at [email protected] if you are interested in joining SCRUBS or would like to participate in one of our programs.

Follow us on Twitter @UMichSCRUBS for updates about our programs!