OVERVIEW OF SURGICAL EDUCATION AT UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Medical student education at the University of Washington School of Medicine (UW SOM) takes many forms within the Department of Surgery. All students participate in one 6 week General Surgery clerkship during the Patient Care Phase of the 3rd year of medical school. The UW SOM serves the WWAMI region, which includes Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Students complete their required clerkship at one of 22 clerkship sites distributed throughout these five states. Seattle based clerkship sites include UW Medicine affiliated hospitals: UWMC-Montlake, UWMC-Northwest, Harborview Medical Center (HMC), and Veterans Administration, Puget Sound Health Care System (VA), as well as Swedish Medical Center and Virginia Mason Medical Center, all of which offer more traditional, resident-led team-based experiences. Sites outside of the greater Seattle metropolitan area, in the WWAMI region, follow more of an apprenticeship model, often with no residents and fewer attendings. Each clerkship has a physician site director who is given latitude to arrange the rotation experience so that it maximizes the opportunities that the site has to offer. Clinical work is augmented by online coursework including a didactic library of recorded lectures by UW SOM experts and virtual case scenarios.
Multiple 4th year advanced rotations available during the Explore and Focus Phase of the medical school curriculum at the VA, HMC, and UWMC-Montlake allow for further exploration of surgery as a career and are among our highest rated clerkships. Additional 4th year elective rotations are also available throughout the greater Seattle and WWAMI region for those interested in community practice settings.
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY MEDICAL STUDENT LEADERSHIP TEAM
Medical Student Program Administrator
CAREER COUNSELING FOR UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE STUDENTS
Students interested in pursuing a career in General Surgery are matched with a department career counselor who can help guide them through the residency match process. Individualized counseling sessions aimed at assessing competitiveness are arranged by contacting Laura Yale, Program Administrator (email@example.com). These one to one meetings are usually conducted by one of the department’s faculty dedicated to medical student career counseling. These informational sessions can be conducted at any year of the medical student curriculum.
In addition to these one on one meetings, more intense career counseling is given to students who have committed to applying to General Surgery for the residency Match. A series of informational presentations are given starting in spring of the year the ERAS application will be due. Sessions describing the general application process, the interview process, logistics of the match and the possibility of needing to SOAP are discussed. Students are matched to a primary career counselor who is available to answer questions and offer guidance throughout the application, interview, and rank list seasons. These counselors are also integral in the writing of the Department Recommendation Letter, often a required component of many programs’ application.
Current Career Counselors
Plastic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and Cardiothoracic Surgery have a parallel process to guide students applying into those residencies. Those faculty advisors are:
RESEARCH WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY FOR
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE STUDENTS
There are a number of programs designed to connect University of Washington School of Medicine (UW SOM) students interested in participating in research with appropriate individuals within the UW SOM and we encourage students to utilize those resources. For additional information on these opportunities, please visit UW SOM research opportunities.
In addition, within the department we have identified attending surgeons who have agreed to serve as the initial point of contact for UW SOM students seeking surgery specific research projects. Faculty are listed by area of focus and expertise to allow students to tailor their search to areas of interest. For an up to date list please contact the Program Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY STUDENT INTEREST GROUPS
There are a number of surgery student interest groups that are active through the University of Washington School of Medicine (UW SOM). While each group has a defined faculty advisor, they are run by UW SOM medical students for medical students. The current active interest groups can be found here and in addition, several are described below:
The Surgery Interest Group
The purpose of the Surgery Interest Group (SIG) is to promote student interest in surgery, help students develop mentoring relationships with surgeons, and provide surgical skill development and residency application guidance. They host events quarterly throughout the year, including a “careers in surgery” panel, a residency match panel, suturing and knot-tying tutorials, and scrubbing-in sessions with a faculty advisor. Current faculty advisors are Kari Keys, MD (Plastic Surgery) and Kathleen Berfield, MD (Thoracic Surgery).
The Vascular Surgery Interest Group
The Vascular Surgery Interest Group (V-SIG) aims to promote interest in vascular surgery as a specialty, facilitate educational opportunities for medical students to learn more about vascular surgery as a career, connect students with shadowing and mentorship opportunities in the field, and enhance the experience of those pursuing research in the field of vascular surgery. The current faculty advisor is Sara Zettervall, MD.
The Association of Women Surgeons-UW Chapter
The Association of Women Surgeons-UW Chapter (AWS) is a national organization that provides a number of innovative programs that support women surgeons and have the power to impact the future of the field of surgery—for members and non-members. The AWS-UW Chapter is open to any UW SOM medical student, resident, or faculty member with an interest in a career in surgery. We are a great place to explore the field of surgery, connect with current residents and attending surgeons, and have a voice in shaping the future of surgery. The current faculty adviser is Kristine Calhoun, MD (General Surgery).
The Global Surgery Student Alliance
The Global Surgery Student Alliance (GSSA) chapter is a student group which focuses on global surgery as a field and helps to grow and understand this relatively new branch of medicine. Global surgery focuses on strengthening global systems and scaling capacity. The current faculty adviser is Barclay Stewart, MD (Trauma Surgery)
VISITING SUB-INTERNSHIPS FOR NON-UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE STUDENTS
Visiting student opportunities are offered in General Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and Plastic Surgery. For information regarding the application process, program requirements, and a list of the courses available please visit UW Medicine Visting Student Clinical Elective Program.
The Department also sponsors the Carlos A. Pellegrini Diversity Visiting Student Internships Program, which welcomes students to the department for four week clinical rotations. This program is open to competitive applicants who belong to groups that are recognized as historically underrepresented in the health and science professions including: African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic American and Asian/Pacific Islander.