Medical student education is a top priority for the Department of Surgery. The goals of our program are to:
- Ensure that all students obtain fundamental knowledge in the surgical sciences.
- Provide exposure to surgical specialties.
- Mentor students interested in a career in surgery.
As a medical student, you'll learn from surgery faculty throughout all four years of school, including as instructors, administrators, counselors, and research mentors.
For questions about medical student education in the Department of Surgery, please contact Karla Robinson, medical student program coordinator.
A third-year medical student clerkship gives you the surgical knowledge and clinical skills you'll need as a physician, regardless of your ultimate choice in specialties.
Medical students rotate on the following services:
- Endocrine surgery
- Gastrointestinal surgery
- Minimally invasive surgery
- Otolaryngology/head and neck surgery
- Pediatric surgery
- Plastic surgery
- Surgical critical care
- Surgical oncology
- Thoracic surgery
- Transplant surgery
- Trauma/burn surgery
- Vascular surgery
Your training ground is the University of Michigan Medical Center or the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. As an M3, you'll learn:
- How to perform a thorough, focused history and physical examination on patients with acute and chronic surgical problems.
- The indications for and limitations of surgical treatment.
- How to master routine pre- and post-operative care and the resuscitation and evaluation of the hypovolemic or traumatized patient.
- How to develop an awareness for the potential post-operative complications of surgical therapy.
- Surgical technical skills.
Medical students participate in the pre-, intra-, and post-operative care of multiple patients, and assume on-call responsibilities.
M4 Rotations and Residency Preparation
Department of Surgery clinical electives and programs will help prepare fourth-year medical students as they apply for residency.
These opportunities build your surgical expertise and your leadership skills as you prepare for the next step in your training:
- Visiting Students (VSAS): We offer clinical electives to visiting medical students to rotate on the University of Michigan Medical School’s fourth-year surgery electives. We coordinate electives in general, vascular, plastic, and cardiac surgery. Please apply through the AAMC VSAS process.
- Surgery Leadership Weekend: This program, held in May each year, teaches surgical leadership skills and reviews what you need to know about the surgical residency application process. All U-M medical students going into surgery and select external students are eligible to attend. External student applications are solicited in February and March through emails to clerkship directors and medical school deans.
- Boot Camp: Fourth-year students going into surgery are expected to rotate on the surgery boot camp course, currently held during Period 10 (February-March). This course — one of the first of its kind and now a national model — simulates intern duties for senior students planning a career in surgery. It includes didactic and hands-on training, including surgical anatomy on cadavers and a mock paging program. It also offers a chance to improve procedural skills in the U-M Clinical Simulation Center.
Academic Surgical Development Program (ASDP) — SCRUBS
ASDP, also known as SCRUBS, aims to train a highly diverse group of the most promising undergraduate and medical students to become the future leaders of surgery through research, teaching, mentorship and shadowing opportunities.
This program offers a core curriculum as well as a practice-based program that provides hands-on research and leadership training. Opportunities include shadowing, faculty dinners, mentorships, technical skills development, research and clinical programs, and participation in the Association of Women Surgeons and Women in Surgery activities.
Learn more about ASDP-SCRUBS.
Prospective Medical Student Opportunities
If you're considering a career in medicine, you can get a sense of the University of Michigan Medical School and how to prepare for your medical education with these programs:
- Shadowing Program: U-M and non-U-M students can ask to shadow faculty in a clinical setting to learn more about day-to-day life as a physician. Current U-M medical students have the option to observe in the operating room.
- Health Sciences Scholars Program: University of Michigan freshmen can join this learning community to enrich their first year with insights into careers in health sciences.
- Untours: The Department of Surgery offers a unique take on medical school tours during U-M's Interview Day. Experience our “untour” and see all of the surgery education opportunities that Michigan has to offer.
Learn more about our Academic Surgeon Development Program.
We're here to answer any questions — get in touch!
Find out what the U-M Clinical Simulation Center has to offer.
Learn more about medical education at the University of Michigan.