Newark, New Jersey, USA skyline on the Passaic River..jpg

newark general surgery

Inpatient/outpatient US clinical experience
in general surgery

Specialty: General Surgery

MD2B Connect Physician ID # 172


Where will the rotation take place: The combined inpatient and outpatient US clinical experience will take place in Newark, New Jersey (approximately 10 miles north of downtown Newark). Please note that the hospital and clinic are approximately 10 miles apart; students will be responsible for arranging their own transportation. This experience is currently unavailable. 

Hours: Monday - Friday 7 AM to 5 PM (approximately 40 hours per week)

Hours have been provided by the preceptor. Hours are subject to change at the preceptor’s discretion, but the minimum total hours will remain approximately the same.

What you will do: This is an inpatient and outpatient experience during which you will be under the supervision of a board-certified general surgeon who has been in practice for several decades. This preceptor is a distinguished surgeon known for excellence in patient care, teaching, and leadership. The physician has been a founding member of nearly one dozen general surgery residency programs and has served as program director in the past. The attending is currently Professor of Surgery at Hackensack Meridien School of Medicine and has served as Chief or Chairman of the Department of Surgery at multiple institutions. He is on staff at multiple hospitals including Englewood Hospital, Holy Name Medical Center, and Hudson Regional Hospital.

You will split your time between the hospital floors, operating room, and wound clinic. Please note that because this attending is one of the leaders in the Department of Surgery, there will be times when he is away at hospital meetings or conferences. For that reason, he has designed this rotation so that you can also learn from his surgical colleagues while he is away. That means that you can scrub into surgeries with other attendings, etc., to maximize your learning experiences. In fact, it is his expectation that students take the initiative to get involved as much as possible (see information below).

Wound Clinic

An important part of this rotation is the opportunity to evaluate and manage wounds. Research across the world has shown that relatively few hours are devoted in medical school to wound-care education. As a result, many physicians enter practice with knowledge gaps in this area. In the wound clinic, you will encounter patients with a variety of wound types. You will be responsible for removing the bandage, inspecting and examining the wound, reporting the status of the wound to the attending, formulating plan of care, packing the wound, and placing the pressure dressing. If debridement is necessary, you will assist the attending. You will document the encounter by writing wound clinic notes in the EMR. 


While most patients you see in the operating room will be in the hospital for day surgery, some patients will be hospitalized. For these patients, you will be expected to remain involved in their daily care. The daily care begins with prerounds, typically starting at 6 AM, during which you will speak to the night nurse for an update on the patient before independently performing a focused history and exam. Following this, you will provide the attending with an update, including the management plan. After the plan is finalized, you will write a progress note.


If there are any consults that need to be completed, those patients will be identified, seen, and evaluated. Consult may be placed from the emergency department or from other services in the hospital. 

Attending rounds will take place at a time set by the attending. During thse rounds, you will provide a concise oral patient presentation and answer any follow-up questions. Learning points about important aspects of pathophysiology and disease management will be discussed. 

For the patients you are following (new consults, established patients), you will be expected to ensure that the plan is implemented. This means communicating with interdisciplinary teams about the treatment plan so that everyone is aware of what needs to be done. 

Operating Room

Students will divide surgeries amongst themselves and then scrub in to assist with surgery. At times, you will scrub in for surgery with your attending. At other times, you will scrub in for surgery with the attending's colleagues. Before scrubbing in, ask the surgical colleague for permission to do so. You will learn a lot in the operating room but your learning will be maximized if you take certain steps. These include reading the patient's chart to review preoperative notes, relevant imaging, and medications. In the OR, before the case, be sure to introduce yourself to the nursing staff and ask to help out in any way possible. You may have the opportunity to help transfer patients to the OR table, assist the nurse in prepping them for anesthesia, placing the Foley catheter, and prepping the surgical area. Being helpful will earn you additional opportunities to assist during the surgery itself. After surgery, you will be involved in the patient's immediate postoperative care, including transferring the patient to the PACU, assessing their progress there, and providing updates to the attending. 

After a few days of observation, you will take on an increasing role in patient encounters and learn the following under the preceptor’s supervision:​

  • Taking patient histories.

  • Performing physical exams.

  • Presenting patients.

  • Writing or entering notes in the medical record.

  • Scrubbing in and observing surgeries in the operating room.

  • Researching the literature to answer clinical questions at the point of care.

  • Have opportunities to educate other team members.

  • Working with other healthcare professionals to understand their roles and responsibilities.

The activities above will mostly take place in the outpatient setting. As a result of hospital policies, inpatient activities will be more observational.

There may be opportunities to attend Grand Rounds.

You will receive regular feedback on your performance.

​Who should consider this rotation: International medical graduates (IMGs) and students seeking US clinical experience in surgery.​​

How to obtain a letter of recommendation: The rotator should ask the preceptor for a LOR near the conclusion of the rotation. Dr. Desai has provided the physician with guidelines about best practices in letter writing that meet residency program requirements. In some cases, the preceptor may ask the rotator to write a letter of recommendation draft. 


​During the rotation: Our team will be checking in periodically with you to ensure that you are having an optimal experience. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions during the rotation.

To start, schedule a free introductory meeting with Dr. Desai and his team



"Extremely experienced mentor who is able to guide and teach medical students in a residency related manner. The preceptor and the hospital provide a great deal of autonomy. Great for those looking to get a wide variety of hands-on experience as well as developing their perioperative skills in patient care. Bonus opportunities to get involved in a great deal of neurosurgery and spine cases."