UCSF East Bay Surgery Program »  Education & Training »  Medical Student Clerkships

Medical Student Clerkships

The site of the UCSF-East Bay medical student clerkships, Alameda Health System (Highland Hospital) represents a truly diverse surgical environment for physicians at the beginning of their medical careers.  As a county teaching hospital without fellowships or specialty residencies, faculty, residents and medical students care for patients with a very wide range of surgical problems.  As the adult trauma center for Oakland and the north half of Alameda County, we routinely care for some of the most severely injured patients in the bay area.  Because we are on the Pacific Rim with a multicultural patient population, we also have the opportunity to see patients with very unusual or uncommon surgical problems.

Medical students at all levels are an important part of the surgical team and make direct contributions to the health care of surgical patients.  At the third year level, students have the opportunity to evaluate new admissions and patients in the surgery clinics.  They participate actively in patient rounds and in operations.  Third year students are encouraged to learn how to apply procedures such as suturing, vascular access, and placement of a variety of tubes and lines.  Even while on general surgery, night call provides experience with acute trauma patients since students are encouraged to actively participate in trauma activations and in the operations undertaken for trauma.

At the fourth year level, the student becomes the bedside physician for a number of patients on his or her surgical service.  In addition to admitting histories and physical examinations, invasive procedures, participation in clinics and in the operating room, the fourth year students are asked to write physician orders (that must be evaluated and counter signed), write daily progress notes, formulate core plans for patients, and initiate therapeutic interventions.  Patients and families identify the fourth year students as their doctor. 

Input of medical students contributes directly to patient care and good outcomes.  At both the third and fourth year level, there are regular teaching forums.  All students have access to daily morning report with the Chairman of the Department of Surgery, as well as weekly grand rounds, basic science seminars, morbidity and mortality conference and pre-operative conference.  Students are often asked to participate in discussions.  In addition, there are 16 third year student seminars in each 8-week block and there are 12 surgical intensive care unit seminars monthly.

UCSF-East Bay gladly welcomes medical students and encourages you to join us in the care of patients who truly need our attention.

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