Surgical Core Clerkship | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Surgery Education Surgical Core Clerkship

Surgical Core Clerkship

NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s six-week Surgical Core Clerkship introduces medical students to the presentation, evaluation, operative treatment, and follow-up of a wide spectrum of surgical diseases.

By following patients from initial presentation to the operating room (OR) and throughout their postoperative care, students observe the evolution and resolution of surgical disease processes. The clerkship provides students with the opportunity to actively expand their knowledge, develop technical and clinical skills, and initiate relationships with patients, residents, faculty, and staff.

Students receive instruction in the OR and at bedsides, benefitting both them and patients. Our faculty and residents guide and help students make the clerkship a meaningful experience. We hope this exposure to surgery illuminates what it means to be a surgeon at all levels and illustrates why surgery is such an exciting and rewarding career.

Clerkship Structure

During the six-week clerkship, students spend three weeks on a general surgery rotation and three weeks on subspecialty services. Training takes place at two sites:

Among the skills students master during the clerkship are the following:

  • eliciting thorough and pertinent patient histories, conducting complete physical exams, and writing pertinent chart notes
  • interpreting common radiological and laboratory data
  • formulating differential diagnoses and treatment plans
  • identifying basic anatomical landmarks for the most frequent general surgical operations
  • basic surgical skills; making surgical decisions
  • postoperative care basics and evaluation and treatment of common postoperative complications
  • comprehension of common surgical problems and principles
  • understanding of operative technique, surgical anatomy, and pathology
  • knowledge of professional behavior

Mid-Course Evaluation

Following the second or third week of the clerkship, the current senior or chief resident provides unofficial feedback on the student’s performance that does not factor into the final grade. This gives them an opportunity to review their own performance.

Final Evaluation

At the end of the clerkship, tutorial preceptors, faculty members responsible for teaching rounds, attendings on the specialty services, and senior residents evaluate every aspect of the student’s participation in the surgical clerkship. These written evaluations make up 40 percent of the final grade.


Final examinations include an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) and the shelf written examination. A formal history and physical report are also required.

NYU Langone’s Department of Surgery is especially proud of its dedicated faculty and resident teachers. Our superb educators welcome the opportunity to teach students on rounds, in the OR, in the clinics, in impromptu didactic sessions in call rooms, or during formal didactic sessions. Chief residents help students prepare for shelf exams in a fun, non-graded setting with a surgical Jeopardy game.

Contact Us

For questions about the Surgical Core Clerkship, contact Leandra S. Krowsoski, MD, clerkship director, at, Isabelle C. Le Leannec, MD, associate clerkship director, at, or Acacia Sharma, program coordinator, at 212-263-2225 or