The University of Southampton

MEDI3050 Surgery & Orthopaedics

Module Overview

The general surgical and orthopaedic module will give the student exposure to a broad range of surgical patients and their treatment pathway. The students will be attached to a named consultant-trainer. Their learning opportunities will be on the wards, in theatres and endoscopy, and in the outpatient environment

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• develop skills of history taking and physical examination with special reference to surgical and orthopaedic patients • relate clinical disorders to the patient and his/her family • understand these disorders in the context of basic sciences and mechanisms of disease • prepare students for the more advanced later year modules where skills in diagnostic decision making will be developed, alongside a more in-depth understanding of the management of patients with surgical and musculoskeletal pathology. The learning outcomes below map directly to one or more of the Programme learning outcomes [as indicated in square brackets] which in turn are taken from the GMC’s Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009).

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognise symptoms and signs of common diseases seen in surgery and orthopaedics [1.1a, 1.1b]
  • Describe how you would relate clinical disorders to patients and family [1.2c, 1.2f, 1.3b, 2.1b, 2.2g]
  • Understand the patient pathway in a surgical and operating theatre setting [2.2c, 2.2e, 2.2f, 2.2g]
  • Assess and recognise the severity of a clinical presentation and a need to immediate emergency care [2.4a]
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of basic safety principles - for patients and staff - in the operating theatre and in the post-operative setting; to include understanding of infection control and antibiotic resistance [1.4e, 1.4g, 3.4a, 3.4d, 3.4h]
  • Demonstrate competency performing stipulated clinical skills as per the student portfolio requirements [2.6a, 2.6b, 2.6c]
  • Understand the use and justification for clinical investigations and their impact on the patient and health services [1.1c, 3.1b, 3.4g]
  • Demonstrate understanding of the roles of different team members within the inter-professional setting [3.3a, 3.3b]
  • Develop good relationships with all members of the surgical team (medical and non-medical) [3.3c, 3.3d]
  • Show an understanding of the duties of confidentiality in your contact with colleagues and patients [[2.7c, 3.1c]
  • Interact with patients and colleagues whose cultural backgrounds, beliefs and values may differ from your own in a sensitive and non-judgemental manner [2.3b, 3.1d, 3.1e]
  • Demonstrate understanding of basic sciences and pathology underlying common disorders relating to surgical and orthopaedic patients [1.1b, 1.2f, 1.3c, 1.4g]
  • Develop insight into your learning needs in the professional workplace and recognise the need for support and guidance in managing challenging situations; and reflect on your own learning style and how it may need to be adapted to the clinical environment [3.2a,3.2b, 3.2e, 3.4a, 3.4i]
  • Show awareness of a wide variety of ways in which you learn in the workplace, often not defined by the curriculum, and which includes role models [3.3a, 2.3h]
  • Demonstrate awareness of professional responsibility both to patients and to members of the multiprofessional team and to student colleagues and reflect on how poor performance or poor professional behaviour should be addressed [3.1d, 3.1f, 3.3c, 3.3d, 3.4j
  • Take responsibility for your own learning and your continuing professional development and develop an enquiring basis to learning [1.5c, 3.2a, 3.2b]
  • Describe and justify the selection of appropriate investigations for surgical and orthopaedic cases, and be able to discuss the principles underlying these investigations [1.1c, 1.1d]
  • Establish a relationship with a patient, explore and acknowledge their concerns [2.3a, 2.1b]
  • Take a history of the presenting complaint, relevant past surgical history, associated disease particularly those relevant to anaesthesia, and the medication and social history, particularly family and home circumstances which may influence postoperative management [2.1a, 2.1b, 2.2a, 2.5a]
  • Examine normal and abnormal systems with particular reference to surgical disease (musculoskeletal, breast, neck, groin, vascular system, abdomen) [2.1c]
  • Make a preliminary assessment of a patient’s likely surgical or orthopaedic problem, and have an understanding of the processes by which doctors make and test a differential diagnosis [2.2b]
  • Understand the use of time as a diagnostic tool [2.2f]
  • Communicate effectively in the following ways: a. Communicate effectively with the patients and be able to explain to the patient the results of your clinical examination [2.1a, 2.1g] b. Written clinical record suitable for inclusion in case notes [2.3c] c. Formal oral case presentations to your colleagues and senior medical staff [2.3a, 3.1c]


The module comprises 8 weeks in total. The weeks are split into one week of clinical skills training and general introduction, 6 weeks of general surgery and one week orthopaedics. Students are attached to one or more named consultant surgeons and their extended teams, and will gain exposure to general and specialist (orthopaedics/breast and endocrine/urological/vascular) surgery. Experience in the clinical team includes emergency work. There will be opportunities to consolidate clinical skills teaching which will include tuition in practical procedures, examination techniques, perioperative care, critical illness assessment, and radiology tutorials. Clinical skills taught • Venesection and cannulation • Breast examination • Suturing • Male intimate examinations • Male catheterisation • Urinalysis pregnancy testing • Gloving and Gowning in preparation for theatre • Blood sugar monitoring • Aseptic non -touch technique and wound , nose and throat swabbing Details of these attachments and a course handbook will be available during the introductory week. Specific diseases covered in the module will include: Common upper gastrointestinal diseases • Gallstones and pancreatitis • Peptic ulcer disease • Pancreatobiliary malignancy • Oesophagogastric malignancy Common lower gastrointestinal diseases : • Diverticular disease • Colorectal cancer • Inflammatory bowel disease • Perianal conditions Common urological conditions • Renal tract stones • Incontinence and benign prostatic hypertrophy • Prostate cancer • Bladder cancer • Urological emergencies Common vascular surgical conditions • Peripheral vascular disease • Carotid arterial disease • Abdominal aortic aneurysm • Venous disease General surgical conditions • Herniae • Skin lumps • The acute abdomen Common orthopaedic conditions • Osteoarthritis and elective joint replacement

Special Features

Reasonable adjustment will be made for students who have special considerations and will be assessed and implemented on an individual basis

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught through a range of learning and teaching strategies which will include: • Lectures • Guided self-study • Group work • Patient based learning • eLearning

Independent Study75
Total study time375

Resources & Reading list

Ellis H, Calne R, Watson C. (2006). Lecture notes on General Surgery.. 

Apley, A G and Solomon, L Concise (2005). System of Orthopaedics and Fractures. 

Browse LN, Black J,Burnand KG, Thomas WEG (2005). Browse's Introduction to the Symptoms & Signs of Surgical Disease. 

Garden OJ, Bradbury AW, Forsythe JLR, Parks RW. (2007). Principles and Practice of Surgery. 

Siewert, Jörg-Rüdiger (2006). Chirurgie. 

Niethard, FU, Pfeil, J; Biberthaler, P. (2009). Duale Reihe Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie. 

McRae, R (2004). Clinical orthopaedic examination. 

Oxford Handbook of Clinical Surgery. 

Duckworth, T (1995). Lecture notes on orthopaedics and fractures. 

Cuschieri A, Steele RJC, Moossa AR. (2001). Essential surgical practice: basic surgical training. 


Assessment Strategy

This module will be assessed by an end of module sign off form to include elements of: ? Satisfactory attendance Students must attend a minimum of 6 out of the 8 weeks of the attachment. Absence of > 2 weeks will require a supplementary period of study to be undertaken. ? Professional behaviour ? Evaluation of clinical and overall performance relative to learning outcomes ? Satisfactory log book recording the breadth of their activity and experience during the course to include surgical and orthopaedic experience. ? Portfolio including 8 cases presented to senior medical / nursing staff with reflection ? Written description of case observed through the surgical patient journey from the ward into the operating theatre with specific reflection on issues of patient safety and risk reduction Students will need to refer in a module either due to unsatisfactory attendance, or due to failing the assessment or both. Students who have failed to attend for up to three weeks of the module will be required to undertake additional work during the supplementary period between years 3 and 4; the amount of additional work will be determined by the module lead but would not normally exceed two weeks. Students who have failed to attend for more than three weeks of the module will be required to undertake the full eight week module at the next opportunity which would normally be in the following academic session. Students who have failed any other elements of the assessment will also be required to attend to undertake additional work during the supplementary period to be determined by the module lead. Unsatisfactory attendance or performance in the supplementary period will mean the module is failed and the student cannot progress.


MethodPercentage contribution
End of module sign off form 100%
End of module sign off form 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

Students pay £100 per year to the Faculty to cover the costs of travel to and from placements throughout the academic year.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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