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Medical Student Information

The medical education programs at Weill Cornell Medicine focus on personalizing the training experience for students and providing an understanding of the fundamental clinical skills and professionalism. 

Third Year Clerkship in Surgery

During this clerkship, students will learn about surgical illnesses; irrespective of the area of medicine chose for their careers, they will be able to diagnose and plan for the care of patients who require surgery. 

The surgery clerkship is an eight-week clinical experience that includes a four-week rotation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center as well as another four-week stint at either NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or Houston Methodist Hospital.

At all sites, students will be exposed to the breadth of general surgery. Students will gain exposure to the process of diagnosing surgical pathology, caring for patients’ medical needs, treating severely injured patients and making decisions regarding when patients would or would not benefit from an operative procedure.

Students will also learn to diagnose and care for patients in various settings, including in the clinic and the emergency department wards and operating rooms of different types of hospitals.

In addition to clinical work, students have a variety of conferences and simulation training modules to increase their foundation of knowledge and technical abilities.

Student Responsibilities

During the Surgical Clerkship, student responsibilities include:

  • Devoted participation in surgical team activities
  • History and physical examination & notes on assigned patients
  • On-call availability, to be determined by course coordinator and team leaders
  • Assigned presentations at conferences on surgical problems, including case outlines and appropriate literature reviews
  • Active participation in the operating room
  • Conscientious attendance at course conferences and core lectures

Didactic Sessions

All students will be expected to attend a required series of didactic sessions and hands-on training that take place at our partner hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian, on Mondays and Thursdays during the Clerkship (except while at Methodist Hospital). 

The didactic sessions will be held in Weill Cornell Medicine's Skills Acquisition and Innovation Laboratory (SAIL) generally from 4-7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. In addition, students in the Surgical Clerkship are expected to participate in attending teaching rounds and grand rounds.

Grading, Evaluation and Examinations

Grades in Surgery will be determined from a variety of sources, including written and oral examinations and clinical performance evaluations completed by attendings and residents.

Students will be expected to study the basics of surgery in preparation for the required conferences and lectures. Evaluations will also be used to assess each student’s knowledge base, preparedness and clinical skillset. Grading for the Clerkship in Surgery experience will be on a Pass, High Pass and Honors basis.

Fourth Year Medical Student Rotations

Fourth-year medical students are welcome to experience a rotation in an area of their interest in General Surgery. Please understand that completing a rotation in one of our services does not guarantee you an interview for our General Surgery Residency program.

We offer the following rotations:

  • The Burn Center
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Endocrine and Surgical Oncology
  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Basic Research

Visiting Student Applicants

Students who wish to apply for senior “away” electives, can refer to our Visiting Student Application Service page for more information. 

Weill Cornell Medical College uses VSAS to receive visiting student applications. To apply to our school, please submit a VSAS application for your preferred electives and dates. For more information on VSAS, please visit or contact VSAS at or (202) 478-9878.

We ask that visiting students do not contact departments or course directors regarding the application process as all electives are processed through the Office of Academic Affairs.

If you have questions or would like to obtain more information, please email We respond to all inquiries within two business days.

Diversity Visiting Student Sub-Internship Program

The Diversity Sub-Internship Fellowship program is a funded program designed to give students with a diverse background the experience of rotating as a surgical intern at Weill Cornell Medicine – Department of Surgery.

For more information and application details, click here. 

Stimson Surgical Society

The Stimson Surgical Society (SSS) is a student-run organization primarily focused on supporting the development of compassionate, skilled surgeons at Weill Cornell Medical College. SSS will provide full support for medical students interested in any field of surgical residency through mentoring programs, networking, and shadowing opportunities.

Demanding competition has long been a tradition for surgical residencies, requiring additional training for longer periods of time. This can be an overwhelming process for student. Through SSS, students will have access to honest, unfiltered information from current residents and surgeons. Furthermore, in order to directly affect students in their endeavor, we hope to provide information and opportunities to strengthen students' standing in residency match. The SSS wishes to facilitate the student-faculty relationship in order to determine interest in particular surgical fields, create connections for research, and educate the Weill Cornell student body on the opportunities of surgery.

Importantly, surgical residency programs have been disproportionately filled by male applicants in the past. We aim to decrease the surgery gender gap by providing information sessions held by female surgeons, and encourage candid discussion about life/work balances and raising a family. The main goal is to demonstrate that a demanding schedule of third year surgical rotation does not necessarily correlate to the life of a surgeon. By giving life examples and garnering personal accounts, we hope to encourage female medical students to seriously consider surgery as a career option if not considered already.

We hope to build SSS into a proactive club with a group of enthusiastic students who will willfully take advantage of events and services to further their own and colleagues' growth.

Contact Information


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