Rotation Structure and Objectives

Rotation Structure

Third Year

Students can complete their 6-week surgical rotation via several streams. If the student wishes to stay at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), the rotation is as follows:

  • 1 week in Surgery Academic Preparatory Week (mandatory)
  • 2 weeks in General Surgery at TOH (mandatory)
  • 2 weeks in either Urology or Orthopaedic Surgery at TOH (mandatory)
  • 1 week in a surgery subspecialty of choice, at TOH/CHEO (selective):
    • Orthopaedic surgery
    • Urology
    • Vascular surgery
    • Thoracic surgery
    • Neurosurgery
    • Cardiac surgery
    • Plastic surgery
    • Paediatric general surgery
    • Paediatric orthopaedic surgery
    • Paediatric urology
    • Paediatric neurosurgery
    • Paediatric cardiovascular surgery

The students can also choose to complete part of their rotation at a rural site (Winchester District Memorial Hospital; Cornwall Community Hospital; Pembroke Regional Hospital; Queensway Carleton Hospital), as part of the DME program at the University of Ottawa. This initiative gives students the opportunity to experience healthcare delivery in two different settings, as at least one week of the rotation is still spent at TOH.

Fourth Year Mandatory Selective Rotation

Students are required to take one 2-week block mandatory surgery selective rotation. The choices are:

  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Urology
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Paediatric surgery
  • Plastic surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Trauma surgery
  • Vascular surgery

Or in paired Oncology rotations:

  • ENT
  • Thoracic
  • Urology
  • Colorectal
  • Gynecology

Learning Objectives

The undergraduate surgery rotation is meant to enhance the students’ basic medical education by exposure to surgical physiology, surgical pathology, clinical anatomy, and operative surgery.

During the Surgery Clerkship, students will broaden and supplement knowledge previously acquired from the various clinical rotations with specific emphasis in:

  • normal wound healing and factors affecting healing
  • body’s response to containment of infection,
  • hemostasis
  • postoperative fluid and electrolyte balance
  • metabolic response to trauma: role of neuro-endocrine factors
  • maintenance of systemic perfusion and oxygen transport
  • resolution of physical and mental well-being.

Students will demonstrate their abilities to supplement the observations made at the bedside with laboratory and imaging studies. 

Students will acquire procedural skills important to all practising physicians:

  • proper aseptic techniques
  • control of airway and ventilation
  • suture of wounds and wound care
  • placement of intravenous and arterial lines
  • bladder catheterization
  • nasogastric intubation
  • chest tube placement

Students will be expected to develop and practice daily communication skills required to efficiently transmit medical information to their team members, nursing staff, consultants and allied health care members.