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Surgery, Thoracic (Arizona)


This clerkship is offered at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. Students are supervised directly by Mayo staff consultants, residents, and physician assistants in both the outpatient and inpatient settings.

Specific goals

  1. Develop basic skills to correlate cardiovascular and respiratory physiology in a clinical setting, with an emphasis on postoperative critical care.
  2. Learn applicable anatomy and physiology while participating in surgery.
  3. Learn how to correlate radiographic and laboratory findings with physical findings.
  4. Gain experience interviewing patients, assessing physical findings, and reviewing those findings with a consultant. Use these skills to develop a cohesive patient assessment and plan.
  5. Gain knowledge about a broad range of  Thoracic conditions including thoracic oncology, esophageal disease, chest wall deformities, etc.

Activity outline

In clinic, students take histories and perform physical examinations on multiple patients weekly. New patient evaluations and interesting cases are stressed. After reviewing each case with the consultant, students will place a note in the EMR, assist with ordering necessary tests and procedures, follow up on results and present recommendation and plan to the consulting staff.

On the inpatient side, students are expected to round on selected post-operative patients in the hospital. They attend daily rounds to present these patients to consulting staff. After rounds, presence at surgical cases is expected. Students should see hospital thoracic surgery consults and participate in indicated procedures for these patients. Students are not required to take on-call duty.

Students are expected to attend appropriate thoracic teaching conferences (i.e., tumor board) and present patients they are following at these conferences. As part of the rotation, a 10-20 minute presentation on a thoracic surgery topic of the students choice is given to the division members with feedback. The presentation will be prepared with faculty mentorship and guidance.

Method of evaluation

At the end of the elective, students are evaluated on their knowledge base, surgical skills, clinical patient management, professionalism, interpersonal skills, understanding of health care systems, and communication. A written evaluation will be provided for the students' permanent file.