Frequently Asked Questions


What if I am exposed to blood/body fluids?
Blood/Body Fluid Exposure Guidelines

Transportation questions for Seattle area students
What if I have interrupted travel?
Please contact your site, the School of Medicine AND the Department of Surgery Program Administrator.

How often will I take call?
This may vary according to your assigned site, but we prefer students take call no more frequent than every 4 days. This applies to in house and/or home call. Contact your site for specifics.

Do I have to work on holidays?
Sites are informed of all UW observed holidays. We ask that required and elective students be given these days off. Please contact your site to confirm.

Seattle area parking?
UWMC - University Transportation Center, 1320 NE Campus Pkwy, Seattle, WA 98105. Phone: 206-221-3701, Email:
Harborview - HMC, Cener Tower, Floor 8, Room 8EH-70. Phone: 206-744-3254, Email:
Virginia Mason - Contact Virginia Mason site coordinator
VA - free onsite parking in multi tier garage

* UWMC and HMC parking services are informed of students names, emails and rotation dates 3 weeks prior to the start of each rotation.

What if I need special accommodations?
These arrangements are made by UWSOM Office of Student Affairs in A-300. The UWSOM typically contacts the Departments but please reach out to the Department Administrator as well with at least 6 weeks notice.

What if I get sick?
Contact your site director as well as the attending or resident in charge prior to the start of the shift. You are required to receive confirmation (direct conversation, return email or phone call) from the site director and/or the attending/resident in charge indicating that the team is aware of your absence.
* UWMC students must also include the Department of Surgery Administrator.

How do I arrange housing at one of the WWAMI sites?
Please contact the UWSOM and your site coordinator for housing information.

Will I be supplied with a pager?
No, it is your responsibility to obtain a pager.

* UWMC students are not required to obtain a pager but would need a smart phone in replacement.

What if I forget my access code for patient data privileges?
Call UW Technology IT services at (206) 543-7012 for assistance.

Clerkship Specific

Will I be on call my first night of the clerkship?
This may happen. It is a good idea to come prepared to take call the first day just in case. You can always contact your site to see if they have a schedule available.

What if I need a day off for a wedding or a conference?
Do not assume you will get the day(s) off. All anticipated absence must be cleared through the Department of Surgery Administrator at least 6 weeks in advance.

Consensus site grades are supplied by site directors and sent verbatim to the Dean. The Site Directors are:
Anchorage: Dr. Jeff Sedlack
Billings Clinic: Dr. Scott Dull  |  Billings Surgical Associates: Dr. Jeffrey Rentz
Boise VAMC: Dr. Kim Lynch
Bozeman: Dr. David Parks
Caldwell: Drs. Cornwell and Hardy
Casper: Dr. James Anderson
Fairbanks: Dr. Timothy Teslow
Harborview: Dr. Grant O'Keefe
Kalispell: Dr. Robin Harrison
Madigan: Dr. John Horton
Missoula: Dr. Bradley Pickhardt
Northwest: Dr. Rebecca Petersen
Olympia: Dr. Kevin Robinson
Sheridan: Dr. Sara Smith
Spokane: Dr. Sara Christante
Spokane VA: Dr. Scott Nye
Swedish: Dr. Alex Farivar
UWMC: Dr. Kristine Calhoun
VA (Puget Sound): Dr. Kathleen Berfield
Virginia Mason: Dr. Jared Brandenberger
Wenatchee: Dr. Catherine Straub
How do I excel on the clinical portion of the rotation?
Know your patients and their disease processes, be prepared for the operating room with an understanding of the procedure, alternatives and relevant anatomy and physiology. Be a proactive and ENTHUSIASTIC member of the surgical team. Refer to the PowerPoint presentation given at General Orientation.

Is one site more generous with clinical Honors?

All sites should be grading each student individually on their performance.

What if I fail the Surgery Clerkship?
Please discuss the policy with the Department of Surgery Administrator.

If, at the end of my clerkship, all my write-ups have not been returned, what should I do?
Please notify your site coordinator which faculty members still have your work. This will help in getting your grade compiled in a timely fashion.

If I finished my clerkship a long time ago and I haven't received a grade, what should I do?
The Department has up to 30 days to process grades. If you do not have a grade after 30 days contact the Department of Surgery Administrator for help. Grades must be processed by the Department before they go to the Dean's office.
When can I take my final exam (required courses only)?
The final exam for the surgery clerkship is always given on the last Thursday morning of the rotation. Please plan to take the exam at that time. If you have any questions regarding your exam please review the UW School of Medicine's exam website. (also found on the "Grading and Exam" menu)