Surgical support team: Lessons learned after piloting a near peer support program for medical students during their core surgery clerkship

Published:October 10, 2022DOI:
      Clinical rotations represent a significant shift in the undergraduate medical curriculum: from absorptive, classroom-based learning during the preclinical period to active patient care during senior medical student clerkships and sub-internships. The clinical years of medical school provide opportunities for students to gain hands-on skills and practical knowledge in various specialties. Students’ experiences during these rotations can influence career path selection and professional identity formation.
      • Goldie J.
      The formation of professional identity in medical students: considerations for educators.
      This transition to clinical-based learning can be simultaneously exciting and stressful given the abrupt shift in focus from student-oriented teaching to being thrust into direct patient care whilst navigating rapidly evolving clinical team dynamics and culture.


      (MS3) (Third-year medical student), (MS4) (Fourth-year medical student), (SST) (Surgical Support Team)
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to The American Journal of Surgery
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Goldie J.
        The formation of professional identity in medical students: considerations for educators.
        Med Teach. 2012; 34: e641-e648
        • Polk H.C.
        The declining interest in surgical careers, the primary care mirage, and concerns about contemporary undergraduate surgical education.
        Am J Surg. 1999; 178: 177-179
        • Doja A.
        • Bould M.D.
        • Clarkin C.
        • Eady K.
        • Sutherland S.
        • Writer H.
        The hidden and informal curriculum across the continuum of training: a cross-sectional qualitative study.
        Med Teach. 2016;
        • Al-Heeti K.N.
        • et al.
        The effect of general surgery clerkship rotation on the attitude of medical students towards general surgery as a future career.
        J Surg Educ. 2012; 69: 544-549
        • Ek E.W.
        • Ek E.T.
        • Mackay S.D.
        Undergraduate experience of surgical teaching and its influence and its influence on career choice.
        ANZ J Surg. 2005; 75: 713-718
        • Berman L.
        • et al.
        Attracting surgical clerks to surgical careers: role models, mentoring, and engagement in the operating room.
        J Am Coll Surg. 2008; 207 (800.e1-2): 793-800
        • Weiser L.
        • Silva O.N.N.
        • Thompson A.
        • et al.
        Paying it forward: a pilot program for near-peer support for medical students during the surgery clerkship.
        Am J Surg. 2021; 222: 501-503
        • Chou C.L.
        • Teherani A.
        • Masters D.E.
        • Vener M.
        • Wamsley M.
        • Poncelet A.
        Workplace learning through peer groups in medical school clerkships.
        Med Educ Online. 2014; 1925809