Surgical Intensive Care Unit

Duration: 4 weeks

Period offered: All

Distribution of student's time:
60% inpatient care
30% clinical rounds
10% conferences/lectures

Average number of patients seen each week: 10

On-call responsibility: Five to seven 12 hour shifts with a senior resident during the second half of the rotation

Enrollment/Period: 3 maximum, upon availability

Prerequisites: Must be 4th year medical student, and completion of all core clerkships

Clerkship Objectives:

  • The student will participate as a team member on a busy surgical intensive care service seeing critically ill pre and post-surgical patients.
  • The student will participate in rounds each day and present patients, observe and assist with minor invasive bedside procedures (a-lines), and major invasive bedside procedures (central lines, tracheostomy, endoscopy, and percutaneous gastrostomy).
  • The student will spend time on the night shift with senior level residents, advance practice providers and fellows gradually increasing hands-on experience and have the opportunity to observe and assist with invasive bedside procedures (a-lines and central lines).


  • Engagement as a team member with active participation on rounds.
  • Evidence of self-directed learning and application of this in the interpretation of clinical data and care of patients.
  • Participation in conferences.

Methods to be used in student evaluation:

  • Observation of performance by faculty and house officers
  • Assessment of write-ups/reports

During this course, the student will function as a member of a busy surgical intensive care service, working closely with faculty, fellows, residents, and advanced practice providers. They will be exposed to a variety of critically ill patients with traumatic and acute pre and post-surgical conditions. They will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and clinical decision-making skills with regards to the initial resuscitation, ongoing work-up, and definitive medical and surgical care of these critically ill patients.

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