Dr. Darlene Fenech The first two years of your medical career will be among the most exciting of your training! Everything is new and the thrill of learning the skills you will need to be a great and thoughtful physician is challenging and invigorating. There is a vast amount of material to learn from every specialty in the preclerkship curriculum. The goal is to lay the foundation that will ensure you have the basic tools to be a caring and well-rounded physician.

One of the other tasks of the preclerkship years is to begin to explore which specialties appeal to you the most. Although the undergraduate curriculum is full, there are many opportunities in the Division of General Surgery and the Department of Surgery to do clinical electives, meet with surgeons to get advice about career choices, do summer research projects and interact with residents.

    • Clinical Electives: Students are paired with a surgeon whose schedule and  clinical interests are in keeping with the students interests. The goal is to choose surgeons who also operate on days when the student’s schedule would allow them to go to the operating room with the surgeon on their O.R. day. This type of elective may be as short as one afternoon or may stretch into many weeks and possibly a meaningful mentorship.
    • S3D (Student Surgical Skills Development) club: Surgeons are invited to come speak about their careers and lifestyles to medical students who may be interested in surgery. These are organized by medical students, however our division enthusiastically supports this initiative.
    • Summer Research: Our division is home to some extremely talented and successful researchers in medical education, clinical epidemiology and basic science. There are often summer studentships available and we would be delighted to help match you to a supervisor.
    • "One Day Matters" (Coming Soon to an Operating Theatre near you):
      In June 2010, the Division of General Surgery launched a very successful University wide pilot program to allow first year medical students to catch a glimpse of what happens in the operating rooms. 100 first year students participated across 11 affiliated hospitals. We intend this program called One Day Matters to become part of first year med school life at U of T and it will be embedded in the first year curriculum as part of the Structure and Function block.

We would be delighted to enhance the preclerkship years with time working with one of the surgeons in our division and I would be happy to help facilitate this for you. Please email me or call my office if I can help answer your questions.

Darlene Fenech

Darlene Fenech, BScH, MSc MD, FRCS(C)
Colorectal Surgery, Division of General Surgery
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
University of Toronto

Phone: 416 480 4027
Fax:     416 480 6002