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Academic Programs

Department of Surgery

Lila Mirza 
Residency Program and Clerkship Manager
lila_mirza@dmgaz.org
Telephone: (602) 344-5445

Donna Benavidez
Medical Student Clerkship Coordinator 
donna_benavidez@dmgaz.org
Telephone: (602) 344-5601

Requirements

The Department of Surgery offers the following electives for 4th Year Medical Students:

 

Medical Student Application Process (for Maricopa Integrated Health System):

1. Department receives application from student/medical school and reviews application for completeness.

2. Department checks for availability and to see if the student meets departmental/institutional requirements:

  • If student does not meet criteria, the clerkship coordiantor notifies the school/student that request is rejected.
  • If date requested is not available, the department may offer an alternative rotation date.
  • If request is approved, application is signed by clerkship director.

3. Department clerskhip coordinator forwards apporved application (and supporting documentation) to GME clerkship coordinator/Academic Affairs (AA). Paperwork must be submitted 60 days in advance.

  • Complete packets are preferred, but when necessary to meet timelines, AA will accept partial packets.

4. AA reviews packet for completeness:

  • If incomplete, AA notifies department clerkship coordinator of what documents are missing.
  • If complete, application advances to next level.

5. Submit for Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) approval. GMEC meets the third Thursday of each month.

  • Due to the amount of time between GMEC meetings, it is important to include all rotation request as soon as the department has confirmed availability.
  • Approval from the GMEC is not the sole requirement for rotation approval. GMEC approval works in conjunction with departmental approval and completion of all clerkship policy requirements.

6. Notify department clerkship coordinator of GMEC decision.

7. Department clerkship coordinator notifies school/student of GMEC decision.

8. At least one month in advance, the GMEC clerskhip coordinator will send an email to the department clerkship coordinators with the names and rotation information for everyone scheduled during that month.

  • Department clerkship coordinator must review the list and reply via email within 24 hours of receipt.
  • Anyone, including those doing back to back rotations, must be on the list.

 

Breast Surgical Oncology 

Faculty:
Ian K. Komenaka
Length of time: 4 weeks
Offered: July through May
Maximum enrollment:
Patient care elective: Yes 
Pre-requisite: MS4 
 
Goals:
To provide the student with the opportunity to become familiar with one of the most common general surgical problems, patients with diseases of the breast.
 
Major emphasis is placed on evidence-based medicine and the multidisciplinary approach to the oncologic patient. Patient care includes workup of the cancer patient from initial biopsy to discussion of treatment options and postoperative care. Daily discussion of classic journal articles which have dictated or changed management happens throughout the rotation. Depending on the month of the rotation, discussion includes surgical management of the breast, surgical management of the lymph nodes, adjuvant chemotherapy, adjuvant hormonal therapy and targeted biologic therapy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, adjuvant radiation therapy, ductal carcinoma in-situ, and breast cancer risk assessment and prevention.

Format:
Students will participate in the management of oncologic patients requiring multidisciplinary care for their breast cancer. A variety of education opportunities will be provided by patient care in the clinic, daily discussion of classic journal articles, and operative techniques.

Evaluation Methods:
Evaluation of each student will occur at the midpoint of the rotation and at the end of the rotation.
 
 
Burn Surgery
 

Faculty: Dr. Daniel M. Caruso, Dr. Kevin N. Foster, Dr. Marc Matthews and Dr. Michael Peck
Length of time: 4 weeks; Maximum length of 8 weeks
Offered: August through May
Maximum enrollment: 1
Patient care elective: Yes
Pre-requisite: MS4

Goals:

  • Become familiar with initial evaluation, resuscitation and treatment of all types of burns.
  • Participate in daily patient critical care including treatment of wounds and invasive monitoring.
  • Participate in operative procedures to provide coverage for burn wounds.
  • Participate in daily teaching rounds with faculty and residents.
  • Attend and participate in burn clinic, which is held three times weekly and at which time 30-35 patients are seen per clinic.
  • Participate in educational conferences including electives and weekly formal Burn Grand Rounds.

Format:
Will participate as a member of the burn team in patient resuscitation, initial management, ward rounds and conferences and operative care.

Evaluation Methods:
Will be evaluated by the directors based on clinical performance.

 
 
General Surgery 

Faculty:
Dr. Ross Goldberg, Dr. Karole Davis, Dr. Paul Del Prado, Dr. Robert Dixon, Dr. Paola Pieri and Dr. Sydney Vail
Length of time: 4 weeks; maximum length of 6 weeks
Offered: August through May
Maximum enrollment: 2
Patient care elective: Yes
Pre-requisite: MS4

Goals:
  • To provide exposure to and increase understanding of surgical disease processes and their treatment.
  • To develop ability to diagnose patients presenting with surgical disease and outline a treatment plan appropriate for the disease.
  • To develop skills for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, minor surgery and surgical assisting.

Format:

  • The student will function at the sub-intern level, working with the residents and attendings of the Surgery service.
  • The student will be given responsibilities commensurate with their education and abilities.
  • The service will provide exposure to a wide variety of general and laparoscopic surgeries, as well as cholecystectomy, hernia surgery and gastrointestinal surgery.
  • The student will be given the opportunity to scrub into the procedures as a member of the surgical team, participate in ward rounds, clinics, and all educational conferences and activities.

Evaluation Methods:

Will be evaluated by residents and faculty in daily work situation during teaching rounds and in didactic conferences. Students will be provided with counseling and written evaluation.

Otorhinolaryngology

Faculty: Dr. Randy Oppenheimer, Dr. Michael Guttenplan and Dr. Farhan Taghizadeh
Length of time: 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks (maximum length)
Offered: August through May
Maximum enrollment: 1
Patient care elective: Yes
Pre-requisite: MS4

Goals:
To familiarize the medical student with Otolaryngology as a surgical specialty.

Format:
Outpatient clinics are held on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and operating room experience on Tuesday and Friday. Students will participate with the resident and staff in both clinical care and surgical procedures.

Evaluation Methods:
Evaluation of each student will be issued at the end of the rotation. Each student’s performance will be discussed during and at the completion of this clerkship. 


Plastic Surgery 
 
Faculty: Dr. Salvatore Lettieri, Dr. Elizabeth Ferguson and Dr. Scott Swanson
Length of time: 4 weeks, 3 weeks; Maximum length of 4 weeks
Offered: August through May
Maximum enrollment: 1
Patient care elective: Yes
Pre-requisite: MS4

Goals:
Introduce the student to the clinical practice of plastic and reconstructive surgery. This will be provided in a multispecialty clinic setting where the emphasis is on patient care. Students will be given an understanding of the principles of plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Format:
  • Evaluation will be made of the activities of the two surgeons involved, and the student will be assigned to what is deemed the most interesting and rewarding activities of the two surgeons.
  • If there are other interesting activities during the rotation in some of the other surgical specialties, the student will be permitted to attend and observe these activities.
  • A one-to-one direct teaching will be utilized.
  • The student is required to live in the Phoenix metropolitan area during this period of time.

Evaluation Methods:
Evaluation by the plastic surgeon on the usual form will be forwarded to the medical school.

 
Surgical Critical Care 

Faculty:
Dr. Sydney Vail, Dr. Paola Pieri, Dr. Tammy Kopelman, Dr. Karol Davis and Dr. Alexzandra Hollingworth
Length of time: 6 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 weeks; Maximum length of 6 weeks
Offered: August through May
Maximum enrollment: 1
Patient care elective: Yes
Pre-requisite: MS4

Goals:
  • To provide the student with the opportunity to become familiar with an approach to the severely ill pre- and post-operative surgical patient.
Major emphasis will be placed on active daily involvement in diagnosis and management of SICU patients, allowing further understanding of multiple organ and major system dysfunction. Opportunity will be provided in selected patients under faculty supervision for refinement of technical and diagnostic skills, including placement of hemodynamic monitoring equipment with interpretation of resultant data, intubation, bronchoscopy and other endoscopic procedures.

Format:
Students will participate, under faculty supervision, in the management of surgical patients requiring intensive care. A variety of educational opportunities will be provided, including daily faculty rounds, supervised procedures, guided literature review and seminars. Direct faculty involvement and student interaction in patient care will be emphasized.

Evaluation Methods:
Evaluation of each student will be issued at the end of the rotation. Each student’s performance will be discussed during and at the completion of this clerkship.


Trauma (Care of the Trauma Victim) 

Faculty:
Dr. Sydney Vail, Dr. Paola Pieri, Dr. Tammy Kopelman, Dr. Karol Davis and Dr. Alexzandra Hollingworth
Length of time: 4 weeks; Maximum length of 8 weeks
Offered: August through May
Maximum enrollment: 1
Patient care elective: Yes
Pre-requisite: MS4

Goals:
  • To learn and identify the correct sequence of priorities to be followed in assessing a multiple injured patient.
  • Identify and discuss key components and rationale for obtaining the patient’s history and history of trauma incidents.
  • Learn guidelines and techniques to be used in the initial resuscitative and definitive care phase in the treatment of the trauma patient.

Format:
A clinical clerkship under the supervision of senior level house staff and surgical faculty.

Evaluation Methods:
The evaluation methods include daily contact with the medical and nursing staff allowing for ample opportunity to provide written evaluation of the student’s performance during the rotation.

 

Urology 
Faculty: Dr. Galaxy Shah, Dr. Kaveh Homayoon
Length of time: 4 weeks; maximum length 6 weeks
Offered: August through May
Maximum enrollment: 1
Patient care elective: yes
Pre-requisite: MS4

Goals:
  • To provide the student with experience in all phases of the care of the urological patient.
Exposure to urological procedures both in the operating room outpatient clinics and emergency room will be part of this elective experience. The student will be provided the opportunity to participate in all conferences and other exercises pertaining to the care and treatment of the urological patient.

Format: 
  • Monday through Thursday, the student will make daily ward rounds with the attending staff of the Urology section.
  •  
    Monday, the student will participate in the operating room.
  • Tuesday morning, the student will participate in the General Urology Outpatient Clinic. The student will be assigned to inpatient ward duty with the house staff. If time permits, the student will attend the Tumor Conference. This day will also be used for literature study.
  • Wednesday, the student will participate in surgery. The morbidity complication and mortality review will take place Wednesday morning. Wednesday afternoon, the student will attend the Pyelogram Conference and endoscopic procedures, followed by the General Surgery Conference. 
  • Thursday, the student will attend a house staff Urological Conference where each individual, including the student, will be assigned a topic for presentation. Thursday afternoon, the student will participate in the outpatient endoscopy.
  • Fridays are reserved for General Urology Clinic. Following this, ward rounds are attended and the student will participate in ward activities with the house staff.
In his/her work in the outpatient clinic, the student will see new patients, returning patients and will also be instructed in the valid outpatient manipulatory procedures common to urology.

Evaluation Methods:
Based on performance of patient evaluations, ward responsibilities and participation in surgical activities. Elective evaluation form will be used.



 
 

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