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OR Assist: Surgical Skills Elective

This elective offers 1st year medical students an opportunity to learn basic surgical skills from faculty surgeons. Students will practice skills including suturing, knot-tying, instrument handling, scrubbing in, and OR etiquette. 

Being proficient at suturing is important not only for surgery, but also for emergency medicine, OB/GYN, family practice and even general practitioners. And just like you wouldn't go to you preceptor without knowing how to use your stethoscope, you won't want to head into your surgery clerkship without knowing how to suture.

This elective has three main objectives; First - to teach you to scrub in and gown so you're comfortable going to the OR or prepping for another procedure. Second - to teach you the basics and get you comfortable suturing so when you are asked, "Would you like to help close?" you can answer yes with confidence. Lastly, and most importantly, you'll be able to spend some quality time learning from some of the world's best surgeons in an environment that is low risk (ie not the OR).

Please look for other emails for info on the other electives like donor runs. Remember, completing the surgical skills elective is required to take some of these other electives, so please sign up!

Course Objectives

  • Offer students an opportunity to learn and practice surgical skills.
  • Provide students with instruction from faculty, residents and fellow students.
  • Introduce students to the clinical side of surgery.
  • Prepare students for OR Assist: Clinical Experience


  • First year UCSF medical students.  

Course Logistics

  • 2 surgical skills sessions at Mt Zion -knot-tying -basic suturing -advanced suturing.
  • 1 scrubbing and gowning session.
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