knot tying

Surgical faculty are involved in teaching medical students during each of the Harvard Medical School years in a variety of settings. Numerous faculty serve as career advisors, as tutors in Harvard's innovative New Pathway Program, or lecturers in core and elective courses offered to students. In addition, faculty direct clinical and advanced biomedical science courses in the third and fourth years.

Core Clerkship in Surgery

The Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is one of three major teaching and research units of Harvard Medical School's Department of Surgery. Approximately one-half of all Harvard students take their Core Clerkship in Surgery at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The primary objective of this clerkship is to provide a thorough introduction to general surgery, such as would be required for all students regardless of future career plans. The emphasis is placed on helping the third-year student to recognize and develop skills in managing common surgical problems.

General surgery education is augmented by experience in anesthesia and the surgical subspecialties. A third month of required surgery was added to the core clerkship in order to address the need for all students to have exposure to surgery's subspecialties.

This office-based experience draws on the faculty in orthopedics, otolaryngology, and urology, and has been well-received by students and faculty alike. Students come together for didactic sessions focused on topics in general surgery led by a faculty member who is a specialist in the area under discussion.

The Core Clerkship in Surgery is consistently highly rated by students, who cite the high quality of the teaching and the progressive approach to surgical education.

medical students

Advanced Electives

The Department of Surgery's commitment to medical education continues in the wide array of elective courses offered to students from both Harvard and other medical schools in their final year. These are the subject of ongoing curriculum development.


All enrollments for these courses must be made through the office of the Registrar, Harvard Medical School.