Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences


Syllabus - CE 9195


Welcome to the Core Surgery Clerkship at OSU-CHS. This clerkship is offered at the designated "core" hospitals in the OSU-CHS system.


  • Hal Robbins, DO
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
    Core Student Coordinator


  • Joe Harrison, D.O.
    Family Medicine, Core Physician Coordinator


  • C. Michael Ogle, D.O.
    Internal Medicine, Core Physician Coordinator
    580-233-2300 – Integris Bass Baptist Main Switchboard
  • Alex L Jones
    Regional Program Coordinator


  • Douglas Nolan, D.O.
    Family Medicine, Core Physician Coordinator

Oklahoma City:

  • Tim Soults, D.O.
    Core Physician Coordinator 


  • Dr. Elise Hunter
    Surgery, Core Physician Coordinator 
    Contact: CJ Bryan, 580-510-7042 



  • Jason McElyea, D.O.
    Core Physician Coordinator
  • It is the basic surgical experience upon which you are expected to build your future surgical knowledge. This syllabus provides you with basic and essential information for your use while planning for and working on the core surgery service. It is not meant to be your only source of information.
  • This clerkship is conducted under the supervision of the Chairperson of the Department of Surgery and the Associate Dean for Clinical Education. The Chairperson, or his/her designee, will assign the immediate supervisor(s) for each student or group of students. Student activities will be coordinated to combine didactic and practical instruction to optimize educational opportunities. The goal for the clerkship is to prepare the student to work effectively, as a primary care provider, within a multidisciplinary medical team caring for the surgical patient. The curriculum will emphasize the importance of evaluation of potential surgical patients, the appropriate referral to a surgical specialist, and effective communication with both the patient and the specialist. If you have any questions regarding the conduct, objectives or content of the clerkship, please contact your course coordinator, Hal Robbins, D.O., or Michael Thomas, M.D., FACOS, Chairman.

Learning Resources

  • Texts: Students will be given suggested reading from #1 and #2
    • National Medical Series for Independent Study, Surgery 5th Edition, by Bruce Jarrell, MD and R. Anthony Carabasi, III, MD, Publisher:  Lipincott, Williams and Wilkins
    • Essentials of General Surgery, 5th Edition.
    • Sabistons Textbook of Surgery, 19th Edition.
  • Book Club: Lecture topics will be assigned by the course coordinator and the information will be sent to each student at the end of the month preceding their assigned rotation. 100% attendance is required at the lecture series.
  • Students will be responsible for viewing all online surgical lectures. These will be located on D2L.
  • NBOME Websitehttp://www.nbome.org/comat3.asp?m=can This link provides detailed information on COMAT

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Surgery is to:

  • Provide the highest quality of surgical and non-surgical care to patients whom we serve without regard to ethnic, religious or financial status, matching our resources to the patient's needs.
  • Provide the care if we have the resources but never compromise patient safety for ego or money.
  • Arrange for appropriate care if the patient's needs are not met within our department's skill set:
    • Remember that compassion and technical expertise are equally important.
    • Priority for recruitment will be to expand our skill set within the accepted scope of surgical practice.
  • Provide the highest quality surgical education to students at all levels of training.
  • Foster the "physician as lifelong student" philosophy.
    • Educate ourselves each day to prepare us to teach others.
    • Encourage an attitude of curiosity amongst those whom we teach.
  • Contribute to the advancement of osteopathic medicine and medicine as a whole.
    • Participate in research to enlarge the body of scientific knowledge.
    • Strive to advance the "state of the art" each day.

Department Faculty

Laurie Duckett, D.O.FACOS
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Douglas C. Foster, D.O., FACOS
Associate Professor of Surgery
 Nathan S. Roberts, D.O.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery

Brian Diener, D.O.FACOS
Associate Professor of Surgery,
Program Director in General Surgery
Michael Thomas, M.D.FACOS
Chair, Department of Surgery
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Hal Robbins, D.O., FACOS
Assistant Professor of Surgery 
Course Coordinator
Adam Bradley, D.O.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery

Clerkship Objectives

  • The primary objective of the core rotation in surgery is to introduce the osteopathic medical student to the world of general surgery and several of its subspecialties.
  • By the completion of the core rotation, the student should have an appreciation of the similarities and differences between surgery and other medical specialties.
  • The core rotation is intended to give the student the fundamental skills on which to build during later, more advanced elective rotations.
  • The core rotation will place more emphasis on cognitive skills than on procedural and technical skills.
  • The student will develop an understanding of the role of the primary care physician in the care of the patient with a surgical problem.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Primary Responsibility: The student's primary responsibility is to acquire the essential knowledge to make him/her an effective member of the surgical team.
    • Gathering data on the patient
      • The surgical history and physical exam.
      • Essential laboratory and ancillary testing.
      • Accessing important medical intelligence related to this patient.
      • Formulating your own differential diagnosis.
    • Communicating
      • Presenting pertinent information to intern, resident attending, or the group.
      • Comparing your differential diagnosis to that of more experienced team members.
    • Monitoring
      • Observing the clinical course of your assigned patient.
        • Daily rounds.
        • Frequent un-scheduled visits.
        • Chart and information system review.
      • Be prepared to discuss and defend your assessment.
    • Participating – This is expected!
      • Be available to help with or watch procedures or surgeries.
        • Remember, it is more important that you "learn" than "do" at this stage of your development.
        • Students are expected to attend all procedures, rounds and conferences. Check with your surgery resident regarding weekly conferences.
      • Be present and prompt for lectures, rounds, etc.
      • Be an enthusiastic, active learner.
      • Read the appropriate literature and discuss it with your colleagues.
      • Attend cases at all times.
    • Synthesizing
      • Begin to develop the ability to synthesize multiple data points into a coherent explanation for the patient's signs and symptoms.
  • Attendance: ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ATTENDANCE is expected from all clinical clerks. Permission to be absent must be obtained from the course coordinator, and/or the department chairperson and/or the facility director of medical education (DME) prior to any planned absence. Absences for reasonable cause, as determined by the course coordinator, chairperson and DME, will be approved.
    • Absence due to short-term illness, accident, or personal matters (e.g., intern interviews) is expected to be made up by the student. Arrangements for reasonable make up should be made with and approved by the rotation director and the facility DME. It is the student's responsibility to immediately notify the appropriate persons when absence becomes unavoidable.
    • Longer leaves of absence must be addressed with and approved by the Office of Clinical Education and the Dean of the College. Requests must be made in writing following College procedures.
  • Rotation Evaluations:
    • The student is expected to complete the online facility/rotation evaluation form to help improve the quality of the educational experience of their classmates in the future.
    • The rotation will not be considered complete until the online evaluation form has been submitted.
    • A formal evaluation will be required from each preceptor regarding your rotation. Your final grade will not be submitted until this evaluation is received.
  • ACOFP OMT learning modules:
    In order to increase exposure to Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine while on rotation, students are required to complete the assigned ACOFP OMT learning modules by viewing videos, reviewing presentations, and completing the assessment quizzes.  Students can access the web-based ACOFP OMT learning modules beginning on the first day of rotation.  The final assessment quizzes will be available in Examsoft, and must be completed by the final day of the rotation.  Successful completion of the assigned modules is required to pass this rotation.


While you are on the Surgery Core Rotation you will be evaluated by several methods:

  • Surgeons and Surgery Residents: You will work with a number of surgeons and surgery residents. These experiences will form the basis for completing an evaluation form regarding your basic fund of knowledge, clinical competence, technical ability and interpersonal relationships.
  • Advisory Evaluations: You will have advisory evaluations periodically by one of the attending surgeons which will include:
    • Didactic strengths
    • Didactic weaknesses
    • Clinical strengths
    • Clinical weaknesses
    • Areas for improvement
  • Final Grade: Your final grade will be assigned based upon the following: 10% participation in all on-line lectures, 30% book club participation, 60% preceptor evaluation.

    COMAT Examination Remediation Policy
    Beginning July 2012, if a student does not pass the COMAT Exam, they must enter a formal remediation process as described by each course coordinator including entering into a mentorship with a designated faculty member in the department.  The designated faculty member will direct the student to review specific topics of weakness as identified by their personalized COMAT Exam score sheet.  After remediation, the student will be eligible to retake the COMAT Exam.  If the student fails the same COMAT Exam a second time, a letter grade of "I" for incomplete will be assigned and the student will be referred to the Academic Standards Committee for a plan of corrective action.

Orientation to the Service

  • Schedule
    • The typical workday begins at 6:00 a.m. and lasts until the student is excused by the attending supervisor, but may vary at the supervising physician's discretion.
    • The student will have at least two days off in every 14-day period (every other weekend).
    • Students will receive one day mandatory holiday for Thanksgiving and two days of mandatory holiday for Christmas (may be scheduled to coordinate with hospital schedule).
    • A formal orientation will be held on the first business day of rotation.
  • Attire
    • Students may wear scrubs while in the hospital but should NEVER LEAVE THE BUILDING IN SCRUBS.
    • Remember to remove hair covers, masks and shoe covers before leaving the operating room area.
    • Always wear a lab coat or other appropriate cover gown when leaving the operating room area.
    • Remember, you are a professional and should always dress appropriately when in the hospital.
    • Surgery clinic dress is appropriate business casual. Men are expected to have a clean shaven appearance for clinic and hospital. Again, you are a professional!
  • Supervision
    • You will be assigned to an attending surgeons service who with a surgical resident will monitor your performance and progress.
    • You must have direct supervision whenever you are performing any procedure.
    • Remember that you represent the attending surgeon in all of your contacts with patients, family, and friends.
    • Never represent yourself as a licensed physician.
  • Reading
    • It is essential that you read aggressively every day to allow you to master the material. Remember that habits you develop now will be with you forever in your career.

Additional Information

  • The OSU-COM Department of Surgery updates and edits this Surgery Syllabus annually in order to familiarize students beginning their clerkship course in Surgery. As clinical clerkship related policies and procedures change, an attempt will be made to notify students participating in the program. If you have questions pertaining to this syllabus please contact the Chairman of the OSU-COM Department of Surgery.
  • The College is not responsible for any misrepresentation of its requirements or provisions resulting from editorial or printing errors in the preparation of this syllabus or official changes in College policy approved after the printing of these guidelines.
  • Students choosing to do surgery elective will be required to participate in lectures, work one weekend per month or more if desired, meet all attendings and residents, and be available by pager.

It is important for students to recognize and acknowledge that the educational process is fluid and that materials, lectures, presentations, etc. may need to be modified during the course based upon the professional judgment of the attending physician. These modifications are designed to make the educational experience more relevant and meaningful for the student as well as to provide the best and most current information available. Thus the syllabus is an overall guide for the course but is not intended to be all encompassing or exclusive, nor does the syllabus constitute an educational contract between the attending physician and student.

Updated April 2017

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