You are the future of the surgical field, and we want to support you with the skills and experience you need to succeed.


The Department of Surgery offers the following electives for fourth-year medical students:

  • Breast Surgical Oncology
  • Burn Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Hand Surgery
  • Neurological Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Surgical Critical Care
  • Trauma
  • Urology

To Apply:

All LCME/COGME participating schools must apply through VSAS/VSLO. If your school does not participate in VSAS/VSLO, contact us through the contact us form on this page to inquire about rotation dates, required documents and application process.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Applications must be submitted 75 days in advance
  • Minimum requirements: No failed classes, no more than 3 C’s
  • DO students accepted

Thank you for your interest in the clinical electives available for medical students in the Department of Surgery at Valleywise Health.

Faculty: Dr. Ian K. Komenaka

Length of time: 4 weeks

Offered: July through May

Maximum enrollment: 1

Patient care elective: Yes

Pre-requisite: MS3

Goals:
The main goal of this program is to provide the student with the opportunity to become familiar with one of the most common general surgical problems: patients with diseases of the breast.

Major emphasis is placed on evidence-based medicine and the multidisciplinary approach to the oncologic patient. Patient care includes work-up of the cancer patient, from initial biopsy to discussion of treatment options and post-operative care. Daily discussion of classic journal articles which have dictated or changed management happens throughout the rotation.

Depending on the month of the rotation, discussion includes surgical management of the breast, surgical management of the lymph nodes, adjuvant chemotherapy, adjuvant hormonal therapy and targeted biologic therapy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, adjuvant radiation therapy, ductal carcinoma in situ, and breast cancer risk assessment and prevention.

Format:
Students will participate in the management of oncologic patients requiring multidisciplinary care for their breast cancer. A variety of education opportunities will be provided by patient care in the clinic, daily discussion of classic journal articles, and operative techniques.

Evaluation Methods: 
Evaluation of each student will occur at the midpoint of the rotation and at the end of the rotation.

Faculty: Dr. Kevin N. Foster, Dr. Marc Matthews, Dr. Michael Peck and Dr. Arpana Jain

Length of time: 4 weeks; Maximum length of 8 weeks

Offered: August through May

Maximum enrollment: 1

Patient care elective: Yes

Pre-requisite: MS3

Goals:

  • Become familiar with initial evaluation, resuscitation and treatment of all types of burns.
  • Participate in daily patient critical care, including treatment of wounds and invasive monitoring.
  • Participate in operative procedures to provide coverage for burn wounds.
  • Participate in daily teaching rounds with faculty and residents.
  • Attend and participate in burn clinic, which is held three times weekly and at which time 30 to 35 patients are seen per clinic.
  • Participate in educational conferences, including electives and weekly formal Burn Grand Rounds.

Format: 
Will participate as a member of the burn team in patient resuscitation, initial management, ward rounds and conferences and operative care.

Evaluation Methods:
Will be evaluated by the directors based on clinical performance.

Faculty: Dr. Ross Goldberg, Dr. Paul Del Prado, Dr. Robert Dixon, Dr. Keith Paley, Dr. Paola Pieri, Dr. Sydney Vail and Dr. Samuel Weimer

Length of time: 4 weeks; maximum length of 6 weeks

Offered: August through May

Maximum enrollment: 2

Patient care elective: Yes

Pre-requisite: MS3

Goals:

  • To provide exposure to and increase understanding of surgical disease processes and their treatment.
  • To develop the ability to diagnose patients presenting with surgical disease and outline a treatment plan appropriate for the disease.
  • To develop skills for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, minor surgery and surgical assisting.

Format:

  • The student will function at the sub-intern level, working with the residents and attendings of the Surgery service.
  • The student will be given responsibilities commensurate with their education and abilities.
  • The service will provide exposure to a wide variety of general and laparoscopic surgeries, as well as cholecystectomy, hernia surgery and gastrointestinal surgery.
  • The student will be given the opportunity to scrub into the procedures as a member of the surgical team, participate in ward rounds, clinics, and all educational conferences and activities.

Evaluation Methods:

Will be evaluated by residents and faculty in daily work situations during teaching rounds and in didactic conferences. Students will be provided with counseling and written evaluation.

Faculty: Dr. Scott Swanson, Dr. Paul Zidel, Dr. Benjamin Wei

Length of Time: 4 weeks

Offered: August through May

Maximum enrollment: 1

Patient care-elective: Yes

Goals:
The student will learn how to address patient, perform examination, and devise and execute a care plan.

To provide exposure to and increase understanding of Hand anatomy, pathology and its treatment.

To develop ability to diagnose patients presenting Hand injuries and outline an appropriate treatment plan.

To develop skills for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, minor surgery and surgical assisting.

Format:

  • The student will function at the sub-intern level, working with the Residents and Attendings of the Hand Surgery service.
  • The student will be given responsibilities commensurate with their education and abilities.
  • The service will provide exposure to a wide variety of Hand surgeries.
  • The student will be given the opportunity to scrub into the procedures as a member of the surgical team, participate in ward rounds, clinics, and
    all educational conferences and activities.

Evaluation Methods:
Evaluation of each student will be issued a quiz pre and post rotation used as measure of self-evaluation by Dr. Wei. Each student’s performance will be
discussed during and at the completion of this clerkship.

Faculty: Dr. Iman Feiz-Erfan

Length of Time: 4 weeks

Offered: August through May

Maximum enrollment: 1

Patient care-elective: Yes

Goals:
The student will learn how to address patient, perform examination, and devise and execute a care plan.

To provide exposure to and increase understanding of Neurosurgical pathology and its treatment.

To develop ability to diagnose patients presenting Neurosurgical conditions and outline an appropriate treatment plan.

To develop skills for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, minor surgery and surgical assisting.

Format:

  • The student will function at the sub-intern level, working with the Residents and Attendings of the Neurological Surgery service.
  • The student will be given responsibilities commensurate with their education and abilities.
  • The service will provide exposure to a wide variety of Neurological surgeries.
  • The student will be given the opportunity to scrub into the procedures as a member of the surgical team, participate in ward rounds, clinics, and
    all educational conferences and activities.

Evaluation Methods:
Evaluation of each student will be issued at the end of the rotation. Each student’s performance will be discussed during and at the completion of this clerkship.

 

Faculty: Dr. Michael Guttenplan, Dr. Daren Kest

Length of time: 4 weeks

Offered: August through May

Maximum enrollment: 1

Patient care elective: Yes

Goals: 

The student will learn how to address patient, perform examination, and devise and execute a care plan.

To provide exposure to and increase understanding of Otolaryngology disease processes and their treatment.

To develop ability to diagnose patients presenting with Otolaryngology conditions and outline an appropriate treatment plan.

To develop skills for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, minor surgery and surgical assisting.

Format:

  • The student will function at the sub-intern level, working with the residents and Attending’s of the Otolaryngology Surgery service.
  • The student will be given responsibilities commensurate with their education and abilities.
  • The service will provide exposure to a wide variety of otolaryngology surgeries.
  • The student will be given the opportunity to scrub into the procedures as a member of the surgical team, participate in ward rounds, clinics, and
    all educational conferences and activities.

Evaluation Method:
Evaluation of each student will be issued at the end of the rotation. Each student’s performance will be discussed during and at the completion of this clerkship.

Faculty: Dr. Salvatore Lettieri, Dr. Elizabeth Ferguson, Dr. Eugene Sidoti

Length of time: 4 weeks, 3 weeks; Maximum length of 4 weeks

Offered: August through May

Maximum enrollment: 1

Patient care elective: Yes

Pre-requisite: MS3

Goals: 
Introduce the student to the clinical practice of plastic and reconstructive surgery. This will be provided in a multi-specialty clinic setting where the emphasis is on patient care. Students will enhance their understanding of the principles of plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Format:

  • Students will evaluate the activities of the two surgeons involved, and the student will be assigned to what is deemed the most interesting and rewarding activities of the two surgeons.
  • If there are other interesting activities during the rotation in some of the other surgical specialties, the student will be permitted to attend and observe these activities.
  • A one-to-one direct teaching will be utilized.
  • The student is required to live in the Phoenix metropolitan area during this period of time.
  • The student will also be supervised and taught by senior level Plastic Surgery Residents who will be part of the evaluation process.

Evaluation Method:
Evaluation by the plastic surgeon on the usual form will be forwarded to the medical school.

Faculty: Dr. Sydney Vail, Dr. Paola Pieri, Dr. Marc Matthews, Dr. Justin Chandler, Dr. Thomas Wertin and Dr. Alexzandra Hollingworth

Length of time: 6 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 weeks; Maximum length of 6 weeks

Offered: August through May

Maximum enrollment: 1

Patient care elective: Yes

Pre-requisite: MS3, successful completion of Surgery rotation

Goals:

The goal of this program is to provide the student with the opportunity to become familiar with an approach to the severely ill pre- and post-operative surgical patient.

Major emphasis will be placed on active daily involvement in diagnosis and management of SICU patients, allowing further understanding of multiple organ and major system dysfunction. In selected patients, opportunity will be provided (under faculty supervision) for refinement of technical and diagnostic skills, including placement of hemodynamic monitoring equipment with interpretation of resultant data, intubation, bronchoscopy and other endoscopic procedures.

Format:

Students will participate, under faculty supervision, in the management of surgical patients requiring intensive care. A variety of educational opportunities will be provided, including daily faculty rounds, supervised procedures, guided literature review and seminars. Direct faculty involvement and student interaction in patient care will be emphasized.

Evaluation Methods:

Evaluation of each student will be issued at the end of the rotation. Each student’s performance will be discussed during and at the completion of this clerkship.

Faculty: Dr. Sydney Vail, Dr. Paola Pieri, Dr. Justin Chandler, Dr. Thomas Wertin, Dr. Marc Matthews and Dr. Alexzandra Hollingworth

Length of time: 4 weeks; Maximum length of 8 weeks

Offered: August through May

Maximum enrollment: 1

Patient care elective: Yes

Pre-requisite: Successful completion of MS2

Goals:

  • Learn and identify the correct sequence of priorities to be followed in assessing a patient with multiple injuries.
  • Identify and discuss key components and rationale for obtaining the patient’s history and history of trauma incidents.
  • Learn guidelines and techniques to be used in the initial resuscitative and definitive care phase in the treatment of the trauma patient.

Format:

A clinical clerkship under the supervision of senior level house staff and surgical faculty.

Evaluation Methods: 

The evaluation methods include daily contact with the medical and nursing staff, allowing for ample opportunity to provide written evaluation of the student’s performance during the rotation.

Urology Chief: Dr. Kaveh Homayoon

Faculty: Dr. Khaled Fareed

Length of time: 4 weeks; maximum length 6 weeks

Offered: August through May

Maximum enrollment: 1

Patient care elective: yes

Pre-requisite: Successful completion of MS3

Goals:

The goal of this program is to provide the student with experience in all phases of the care of the urological patient. The student will be provided the opportunity to participate in all clinical activities in outpatient clinics, emergency room and in the hospital.

Exposure to urological procedures – both in the operating room and emergency room – will be part of this elective experience. The students will have the opportunity to provide hands-on care to urology patients and minor procedures under direct supervision of Urology staff.

Research activities (under staff supervision) are available with the objective goal for presentation of the results in a scientific meeting or publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Evaluation Methods: 
Based on performance of patient evaluations, ward responsibilities and participation in surgical activities. Elective evaluation form will be used.

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