Handbook > Clerkships > Surgery > Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital

UVa School of Medicine

Clerkship - Surgery


Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center


Students on the surgical clerkship at the VA Medical Center spend five weeks at the Salem VAMC.

While at the Salem VAMC, the students are an integral part of the medical team under the supervision of the residents and the attending staff. They are expected to present patients to the residents at the morning rounds and then go to the operating room if any of the patients they have worked up are being operated upon or if there is a particularly interesting procedure being performed. If not assigned to the operating room, or a specific program for the morning, they are expected to take care of patients on the inpatient wards or go to the outpatient clinic to work with the attending and the residents there. Except on holidays, students are expected to be on the wards for morning rounds at 7:15 a.m. and participate in all ward activities until 6:00 p.m., at which time they may leave. The rotation ends on the last Friday at noon, if there are no examinations in Charlottesville. In case of examinations, the rotation ends at noon of the last Thursday.

Ambulatory care training is emphasized during the Salem VAMC rotation. Each student has a day assigned to the Surgical Outpatients Clinic. Students are also assigned a day each week to work in the Day Surgery Department.

Usually there are scheduled lectures and demonstrations after lunch each working day as listed on a timetable given to students at their initial interview. These have priority and, therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the attending when the student assists in a case in the operating room so that he/she can be relieved to attend the lectures at the given time. The lecture schedule covers the items being discussed didactically in Charlottesville during the same period. Added to this are a number of extra topics that we feel should be discussed with the student also.

The students also are trained in the endotracheal intubation by first practicing on a mannequin and then intubating suitable patients under appropriate supervision. Students go to the Radiology Department on assigned mornings to observe the radiologist perform diagnostic procedures that are commonly performed on surgical patients. Two special lectures covering Radiology of the abdomen and chest are scheduled. In addition, students are scheduled to observe a Nuclear Medicine procedure. A special lecture is given on the use of parenteral nutrition, central and peripheral, on surgical patients.

There are a number of conferences, particularly the Medical-Surgical Chest Conference, the meetings of the Tumor Board and the Thursday Surgical Staff Meeting and Mortality Morbidity Conference. These are listed on the schedule and the students are required to attend these and present cases if and when desired.

The students are assigned night call and weekend call in rotation and are provided with a pager so that they can be informed of activities on the service. The students who are not on call are welcome to participate in ward activities outside duty hours but are not obligated to do so.



A mid-term evaluation is held by the Chief Surgical Resident during the third week of the rotation. There are no examinations while at Salem; however, the grading for ward work is done by the attending staff and the Chief Resident by discussion. The grading is based on knowledge and performance, the ability to cooperate with others, the ability to present cases, the attitude toward patient care and learning at the bedside. The evaluation is on the same standard form used by the Department of Surgery, UVA Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, VA.

There is an on-going dialogue between the students and attending staff so that the teaching program can be implemented when appropriate. As part of this dialogue, an exit interview is held, individually, with each student and Dr. Wayne Wilson on the last day of their rotation.


Contact Person

Dr. Wayne Wilson, Chief, Surgery, (540) 982-2463, ext. 2674


BACK to Clerkships Menu