The Department of Surgery and Anesthesia at Midwestern University/AZCOM participates in didactic teaching throughout the four medical school years by teaching, lecturing, and participating in workshops. The Faculty are dedicated to teaching all students how to recognize and triage a variety of diseases that require surgical treatment. We strive to help every student gain the knowledge of basic sciences underlying surgical and anesthetic practice and the development of clinical skills in the diagnosis, preoperative, operative, and postoperative care of patients. Emphasis is placed on the importance of teamwork and communication in providing timely surgical intervention for complex conditions while protecting the patient's privacy and dignity
In the second year, the Surgery and Anesthesia department offers a skills-based surgery elective. The elective utilizes problem-based learning, skills-training and human patient simulation to provide students with an introduction to clinical skills commonly performed while completing a surgical clerkship. Several small group Open Forums are offered to interested second year students to provide information on how best to proceed in choosing rotations that will optimally prepare them for their pursuit of a residency in surgery or anesthesia. The department is responsible for the required core clinical rotation during the third year in General Surgery. Using both preceptor-based and ward-based clinical settings, this rotation helps the student transition from the classroom to the clinical environment by exposing the student to various aspects of patient in a general surgery practice. Prior to the core general surgery rotation, each student participates in a required skills-based workshop that maximize the student's learning potential and successful completion of the core surgery rotation. The hands-on skills lab consists of five separate stations including airway management; scrubbing, gowning, gloving and operating room etiquette; surgical documentation and chart review for patient management; wound closure principles and techniques; and an OMM station covering the diagnosis and treatment for common postoperative surgical problems. During the rotation, students are required to meet with department faculty, in a small-group setting, to formally present an interesting case they have participated in from the rotation. During the fourth year, the department oversees elective surgical rotations including, Anesthesia, Burns, Colorectal, Neurological Surgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Thoracic/Cardiovascular Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Urology and Vascular Surgery. Together with the Department of Internal Medicine, the department coordinates a Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) Core clinical rotation. During the fourth year, students interested in surgery or anesthesia may select this rotation, which gives them the opportunity to examine, study, and participate in the management of surgical patients in the hospital SICU setting. The department serves as Faculty Advisor for a number of student clubs including the Anesthesia Club; Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Club; Orthopedic Club; and AZCOM chapter of the Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA). The clubs are very active, and sponsor a wide variety of speakers as well as offer members numerous workshops. Some of the most popular workshops are the basic and advanced airway workshops and anesthesia simulation software workshops offered by the Anesthesia Club; surgical procedure demonstrations held in the cadaver lab by the ENT Club; orthopedic mobile surgical skills training program brought onto campus by the Orthopedic Club; and basic and advanced suturing workshops and central and arterial line workshops sponsored by SOSA. Each spring the clubs jointly sponsor a Senior Residency Panel to give students interested in surgery or anesthesia an opportunity to learn about successful match strategies used by current MS IV students. The faculty in the Department of Surgery and Anesthesia maintain an open-door policy and are integrally involved in coaching and mentoring students regarding career choices and the residency match process. Department faculty provide personalized advising to students throughout the program, including audition rotation and interviewing planning, mock interviews, as well as assistance with personal statements. Community outreach is an essential element of the Department of Surgery and Anesthesia. Faculty provide workshops on knot tying and gowning and gloving to high school students during the university sponsored Health Careers Institute and Health Sciences Career Day. Along with SOSA, the department also delivers workshops for the Arizona State University Pre-Medicine Club. Department faculty are actively involved with a variety of national medical education associations including surgical and anesthesia education associations and simulation associations.