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Surgery Clerkships


Director: Gayle Minard, M.D.
Phone: 901.448.8370 
Contact: Courtney Bishop: 901.448.8370

Eight-week rotation: four weeks of general surgery/trauma/ICU and clinic at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, and two weeks of vascular, cardiothoracic, pediatric or transplant surgery along with two weeks of Baptist, St. Francis, the VA, or Methodist (student choice). Call at the Med is complicated, however, overall it results in call every sixth night. An extensive lecture series is provided, along with suturing and skills labs. In addition, several interactive meetings occur with select surgical faculty, during which the students present cases and the whole group (no more than 12) discuss the disease processes. Students also attend the same conferences as the residents, including basic science and Grand Rounds. All rotations include clinic experience. About half of the evaluations of student performance are completed by faculty; the other half by surgical residents.

Please visit our website Third Year Surgery Clerkship for more information.



Clerkship Director: Michael Greer, MD
Administrative Contacts:

Department of Surgery Phone: 423.778.7695

The Chattanooga M3 Surgery Clerkship is organized into four components. Students will spend two weeks on each of the following:

  • General Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Acute Care Serve
  • Trauma/Critical Care Service.

An orientation to the Surgery Clerkship is given the first day of the rotation. This includes a formal introduction by the Clerkship Director, the Surgery Department Coordinator, the senior resident clerkship coordinator and the Skills Lab Director. Expectations, duties and policies such as dress code, call responsibilities, priorities, and grading are presented and discussed.

A formal mid-term evaluation is given to each student individually by the Clerkship Director at the end of the first half (four weeks) of the Clerkship. Students are evaluated by the respective residents and faculty, and these are discussed with the student. Feedback is requested from the student.

Each rotation has unique experiences to offer. Each two-week rotation is supported by full-time faculty, chief resident, senior resident and junior residents as well as students assigned.

Call schedules and duties may vary according to the rotation but will be clearly delineated at the start of each new rotation.

Optional weekly Skills Lab sessions are available to students throughout the Clerkship. A well-defined curriculum has been established and revised to afford an experience like no other through the UT System. Simple to complex suture techniques, operating room preparation/etiquette, and performing actual procedures in a laboratory setting, make up a large part of the Skills Lab experience.

A full conference schedule including Basic Science Conference, Surgical Grand Rounds, M&M Conference, Vascular Conference, Surgical Critical Care Conference and Tumor Conference are held weekly. In addition to weekly departmental conferences just outlined, a faculty lecture schedule for the students is given throughout the clerkship.

The Department of Surgery sponsors a Surgery Residency Program providing outstanding education and practical experience for five Categorical Surgery residents at each of six levels of training with four Preliminary Surgery residents at the first year level (34 at full complement). It is one of nine residency programs of the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga and is based at the primary clinical training site, Erlanger Health System. The Department of Surgery is led by our Chair of more than 32 years, R. Phillip Burns, MD, nationally recognized for his leadership and surgical expertise and currently serving as President of two nationally renowned organizations: Southeastern Surgical Congress and the Southern Surgical Association. Dr. Burns is also a past member of the national Surgery Residency Review Committee that accredits surgery training programs across the country. The Surgery Residency Program Director is Joseph B. Cofer, MD, who recently completed a year as President of the National Association of Program Directors in Surgery. He is currently Director for the American Board of Surgery, and Director for Project Access – a program to provide healthcare for citizens in the Chattanooga area not covered by health insurance -- developed by Dr. Cofer with the Chattanooga Hamilton County Medical Society. The Department also sponsors fellowships in Colon and Rectal Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, and Vascular Surgery.

For more information about the Chattanooga Clerkships (including housing, meals, etc.) or the Surgery Residency Program, go to or



Clerkship Director: Alfred Kennedy, MD
Student Affairs: Missy Maples 865.544.9618, E-mail:
Surgery Department Contact: Christine Brown - 865.544.9294
Website: UT Graduate School of Medicine :Department of Surgery

The Surgery Department’s 8-week Clerkship can accommodate a maximum of eight students per rotation. Wide-ranging exposure in General Surgery, Trauma, Critical Care, Pediatric Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Transplant Surgery, and Surgical Oncology is available. Each student will be assigned to a 4-week rotation on the General/Trauma Surgery service and three 1-week rotations on the Pediatric, Vascular, Oncology or Surgical Critical Care services. Student interests in certain specialty areas are accommodated whenever possible. The surgical subspecialties of Orthopedics, ENT, Ophthalmology, and Urology are offered in Knoxville for the fourth year required Surgical Subspecialty rotation.

A 2-day orientation starts the rotation, which includes a suture course and aseptic technique and basic skills review. Although a great deal of time will be spent in the operating room, students will also be expected to attend outpatient clinics and work with different Attendings seeing pre- and post-operative patients. Each surgery service has a designated student "Mentor". Students will meet with their current service mentor weekly to review the History and Physical note of a patient that the student has seen during that week. Additionally, each student will meet with the Clerkship Director weekly to assess progress. Throughout the rotation, emphasis is placed upon developing skills needed by primary care physicians in surgical diagnoses and appropriate referral.

Required lectures are scheduled throughout the week and scheduled surgical conferences (M&M, Grand Rounds, Resident Conference and Professorial Rounds) are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Students are required to attend the regular surgery conferences. All general course objectives directly reflect those of UTHSC for the Surgical Core Clerkship, however, specific lecture objectives may vary slightly - all with the same goal of preparing the student for both the NBME Surgery Shelf Exam and the on site Oral Exams.

Students will take call every fourth night with the call ending at 11:00 pm. Meal tickets will be provided to students on their call nights. Each student will also work one weekend within the eight-week period. This leaves all remaining weekends for study, rest, and recreation time.

Each student will receive a mid-term evaluation from the Clerkship Director of a faculty member where student strengths//weaknesses will be discussed. Student needs for the remainder of the rotation will also be addressed at this time. Final evaluations will be completed on the standardized UTHSC form by both Attendings and Residents who have worked directly with the student.

A full-service, user friendly medical center library is available to students at all times, as well as newly renovated call rooms and the Surgery Resident Resource Room with texts, computer-based learning opportunities, and laparoscopic simulators. Students interested in a rotation in Knoxville can contact Missy Maples at 865-544-9618 for information on short term housing solutions.

Since the number of students on the surgery rotation is small, students have the opportunity to receive individualized attention from the staff. Faculty members are passionate about the field of surgery, well known throughout the country for their expertise, and dedicated to teaching.

Opportunities to continue to receive the benefit of the faculty teaching skills are available through the surgical residency program, which is led by Mitchell H. Goldman, M.D., Professor and Chairman. Surgical Education at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville is designed to meet or exceed the special requirements for residency training in general surgery and produce surgeons with sound clinical and technical skills. Our residency is a five-year program that is fully accredited by the ACGME. We offer four categorical positions per year and preliminary positions at the PGY1 and PGY2 level. The program graduates have been highly successful in securing post-graduate fellowships, clinical practice positions, and pursuing careers in academic surgery.

Last Published: Nov 22, 2019