University of Pittsburgh
Combined Clinical Years

Surgery Integrated Life Sciences (SURG 5700)

4 weeks

Course Director
Gregory A. Watson, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery

Course Description

The course is a four week selective combining precepted anatomic dissection, a variety of imaging modalities, clinical pathology, and clinical experiences in a systematic manner. The course is offered in two blocks only. The content of each block is the same. The areas to be covered include anatomy of the thorax (e.g., cardiopulmonary), digestive tract, gynecologic and genitourinary systems.

The course includes a full schedule (Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.) of lectures in anatomy, pathology and imaging modalities; precepted anatomical dissections; and clinical experiences. All students are exposed to the diagnostic modalities appropriate for each anatomic area.

Exposures are varied and include opportunities to see patients and follow their evaluation and treatment. Students are divided into groups of 3–4 to prepare two formal case presentations correlating the clinical findings, anatomy, diagnostic modalities, pathology, and treatment plan.
This course satisfies the Integrated Life Science requirement.

The goals of the course are students should be able to:

  1. correlate clinical findings with imaging studies, pathophysiology, pathology,  and anatomy.
  2. understand the physiologic and pathologic basis of diagnostic studies and treatment plans.

Educational Methods

Lectures in anatomy, pathology, and imaging modalities Precepted anatomical dissections Clinical experiences    
Student case presentations Small group sessions Imaging experiences    

This course involves observations of patient care, but no direct patient care, on-call, or weekend duties.


Evaluation is based on graded case presentations and a final, take-home multiple-choice format exam.

Grading is Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Clerkship Director Gregory A. Watson, MD, and Samuel Tisherman, MD, are recipients of the Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award. Peter Ferson, MD, is a recipient of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award, the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education and the Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award. Jack Schumann, PhD, is the recipient of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award; the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education; multiple Excellence in Education Awards, including for Outstanding Course Director and for Lecturer; the Pre-Clinical Golden Apple Award; and multiple Golden Apple Awards. In addition, Drs. Tisherman, Ferson, and Schumann are members of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators.