Skip to content

Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC News

Plastic Surgery Clerkship

Plastic Surgery
Size: 2

This is a face-to-face clinical rotation offered in the fall and spring and receiving 3.5 or 7 credit hours.

This elective can be half-time (SUR1-4020/H).

The Plastic Surgery Course is a surgical preceptorship with one or two faculty plastic surgeons. There is emphasis on basic plastic principles as well as trauma. The student will function in pre-operative and post-operative care and operative surgery as a member of the surgical team.
Report to location assigned on the first day of rotation at 7:00am. (Contact Coordinator 2 weeks prior to rotation for location assignment.)
The faculty and fellows assigned to the Plastic Surgery Service for the month will supervise students in the evaluation and management of patients.
Elective Goals
The goal for the preceptorship is to prepare the student to work effectively within a multidisciplinary medical team caring for the plastic surgery patient.
Elective Objectives

Major objectives of the rotation:

Patient Care

Primary objective of the plastic surgery rotation is to introduce the medical student to the world of plastic surgery.

Medical Knowledge

By completion of the rotation, the student should have an appreciation of the similarities and differences between plastic surgery and other medical specialties.

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

The rotation is intended to give the student the fundamental skills on which to build during other elective rotations.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

The rotation will place more emphasis on cognitive skills than on procedural and technical skills.


The student will develop an understanding of the role of the primary care physician in the care of the patient with a surgical problem.

Attendance and Required Experiences

ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ATTENDANCEis expected from all medical students. Permission to be absent must be obtained from the course coordinator PRIOR to any planned absence. Absences for reasonable cause, as determined by the course coordinator will be approved.

Required Experiences: The student's primary responsibility is to acquire the essential knowledge to make him/her an effective member of the surgical team.

  1. Gathering data on the patient
    1. The surgical history and physical exam.
    2. Essential laboratory and ancillary testing.
    3. Accessing important medical intelligence related to this patient.
    4. Formulating your own differential diagnosis.
  2. Communicating
    1. Presenting pertinent information to intern, resident attending, or the group.
    2. Comparing your differential diagnosis to that of more experienced team members.
  3. Monitoring
    1. Observing the clinical course of your assigned patient.
      1. Daily rounds.
      2. Frequent un-scheduled visits.
      3. Chart and information system review.
    2. Be prepared to discuss and defend your assessment.
  4. Participating – This is expected!
    1. Be available to help with or watch procedures or surgeries.
      1. Remember, it is more important that you "learn" than "do" at this stage of your development.
      2. Students are expected to attend all procedures, rounds and conferences. Check with your plastic surgery resident regarding weekly conferences.
    2. Be present and prompt for lectures, rounds, etc.
    3. Be an enthusiastic, active learner.
    4. Read the appropriate literature and discuss it with your colleagues.
    5. Attend cases at all times.
  5. Synthesizing
    1. Begin to develop the ability to synthesize multiple data points into a coherent explanation for the patient's signs and symptoms.
  6. Duty Hours
    1. Students should expect to spend 40-80 hours per week.
    2. These hours are clinical, OR and didactic related.
    3. Student should expect to be on call should duty hours allow during the rotation. (1/4)
 Professional Conduct
In 1986, the College of Medicine established its Code of Professional Conduct. The document, available in The Centerscope, addresses those responsibilities to patients, colleagues, family, and community as well as to the individuals themselves. Following discussion with incoming students, it is assumed that all will subscribe to this code as part of their commitment to the profession of medicine. An egregious professionalism violation may be considered grounds for course failure.
Declaration of Disability
Any student who would like to self-disclose as a student with a disability in the College of Medicine at UTHSC must register and officially request accommodations through the Disability Coordinator in Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI). Regardless of a student’s geographic location for experiential education, all requests for accommodations must be submitted with supporting documentation and reviewed for reasonableness by the Disability Consultant. Students should contact Laurie Brooks to set up an appointment to discuss specific needs at or (901) 448-1452. All conversations regarding requests for accommodations are confidential.
Duty Hours
  • Duty hours will be limited to 80 hours per week averaged over a four-week period, inclusive of all in-house or at-home call and patient care activities.
  • Continuous on-site duty, including in-house call, will not exceed 30 consecutive hours. Students may remain on duty additional hours to participate in transferring care of patients, conducting outpatient clinics, maintaining continuity of medical and surgical care, and attending required didactic activities.
  • Students will be provided with one day in seven free from all educational and clinical responsibilities, averaged over a rotation, inclusive of call. One day is defined as one continuous 24-hour period free from all clinical, didactic, and administrative activities.
  • Students should be provided with a 10-hour period after in-house call during which they are free from all patient care activities.
Student Assessment

Students have a formative assessment at the half-way mark of the preceptorship and a summative clinical assessment at the end of the rotation based on clinical performance as defined in the objectives. 

GRADING SCALE (this is the College of Medicine grading scale adopted for the entire curriculum by the CUME, beginning May 2014.)

Grading Scale
Letter Grade Final Percentage
A 89.5 - 100
B 79 - 89
C 67.5 - 78
F < 67.49
Academic Difficulty
Students having difficulty in the course are strongly encouraged to seek help as soon as possible by seeking advice from the resident, fellow, and attending on the service. Students are also encouraged to check with the SASSI and the Kaplan Clinical Skills Center to see if academic support is available.
Course Evaluation
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Hall Tacket evaluation survey on New Innovations at the conclusion of the course. This might not be available to outside rotators.
Textbooks and Literature
Students will be provided with the “Essentials for Students in Plastic Surgery” 2012 Edition in PDF file format along with pertinent contact information and didactic schedule for the time of rotation.


May 26, 2022