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Advanced Anatomy & Surgical Skills

Resident Readiness Elective Advanced Anatomy & Surgical Skills

The USC Surgical Resident Readiness Elective is aimed to prepare fourth year medical students with the skills and anatomy knowledge needed for surgical internship. Beginning in 2004, this senior elective is held for three weeks in March of every year. Participants spend mornings in the anatomy lab and afternoons in the skills lab working on the topics below:A three-week elective course intended for 4th year medical students intending to enter surgical subspecialties (including orthopedics) as well as emergency medicine. The morning sessions will be held in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory and will focus on the clinical application of gross anatomy and the strategic use of anatomic relationships to achieve surgical objectives and protect vital structures. The dissection sessions will be correlated with learning specific clinical skills focusing on particular regions of the body. The afternoon sessions will be held in the Surgical Skills Simulation and Education Center. These Sessions will focus on the acquisition of requisite procedural skills essential for surgical training. The format for the skill session will include a didactic lecture followed by skill demonstration with guided practice and feedback. Course instructors will include anatomists, surgical faculty and medical student educators.

Course Objectives

At the end of the course students will:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of anatomy, including normal structures, blood supply and relationships, important (pertinent) variations and an introduction to anatomical considerations in surgical planning and carrying out basic procedures.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of surgical instrumentation.
  3. Demonstrate competency in basic procedural skills essential for caring for surgical patients in preparation for their upcoming internship year.
  4. Demonstrate the skills of self-education and life-long learning to actively set clear learning goals, pursue them, and apply the knowledge gained to the practice of surgery.
  5. Model good leadership in interactions with others and demonstrate a professional attitude.

Gross Anatomy Lab Sessions

Skills Sessions:

  • Arterial Line stations
  • Bovie Dissection
  • Bowel Anastomosis
  • Central Lines
  • Chest Tubes
  • Closure Drill
  • Endoscopy Simulator
  • I&D Technique/Lump excision
  • Instrument orientation
  • Endotracheal Intubation/Tracheostomy
  • Laparoscopic stations and drills
  • Laparoscopy 101
  • Laparoscopic Simulator
  • Ligature tying
  • Nasal and oral gastric tubes, Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) tube
  • Self-gowning, gloving and draping/positioning
  • Suturing and closure drills
  • Trauma evaluation and management
  • Ultrasound Technique
  • Venipuncture


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Surgical Skills Simulation
and Education Center

USC Keck School of Medicine
Department of Surgery
2250 Alcazar Street, B-9
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Office: (323) 442-0349
Fax: (323) 442-0350