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Visiting Medical Student Clerkships

Surgery, Thoracic and Cardiovascular (Arizona)


This clerkship is offered at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and Mayo Clinic Hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. Students are supervised directly by Mayo staff consultants in both the clinic and the hospital.

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 X-ray and laboratory findings with physical findings.
  4. Gain experience interviewing patients, assessing physical findings, and reviewing those findings with a consultant.
  5. Gain knowledge about a broad range of cardiovascular, thoracic and esophageal conditions.

Activity outline

In the outpatient setting, students take histories and perform physical examinations on at least two to three patients weekly. Initial examinations and interesting cases are stressed. After reviewing each case with the consultant, students assist with ordering tests and procedures, and are present when the patient returns for follow-up.

On the hospital service, students participate in the preoperative evaluation of cardiovascular and thoracic surgical patients. They attend daily rounds and should be available for surgical scrubs on major and/or minor thoracic and cardiovascular procedures. Students are not required to take on-call duty, but they are encouraged to participate in the acute postoperative management of at least one patient per week.

Students also are encouraged to attend appropriate cardiovascular and thoracic teaching conferences and present cases at these conferences. An extensive video library is available for students to increase their knowledge about cardiovascular conditions.

Method of evaluation

Before the end of the elective, students' skills are evaluated on the basis of drug management, volume replacement and the interpretation of physiological data. In addition, their skills and interpersonal relationships are evaluated. A written evaluation is provided for the students' permanent file.