Background A major focus of the medical school curriculum is to ensure medical students are well prepared prior to entering clinical rotations, which includes the compulsory surgical rotation. Objectives The objective of this research was to design and formally evaluate a set of real-life surgical workshops aimed at better preparing medical students for their clinical rotation in surgery. These workshops would be incorporated into the pre-clinical medical school curriculum. Method Dedicated surgical workshops were introduced into the pre-clinical component of the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program at our University in 2009. These workshops encompassed training in the clinical skills needed in the perioperative and wider hospital setting. A survey comprising of eight to nine ranked questions (utilising a five-point Likert Scale) as well as three short answer questions was administered to the medical students after they completed their compulsory surgical clinical rotation. Results The overall response rate to the survey evaluating the surgical workshops was 79% (123/155). The mean of the ranked questions ranged from 4.05 to 4.89 which indicated that the students found the workshops useful. When evaluating the short answer questions (via topic coding), additional information was provided that supported and explained the survey findings and also included suggestions for improvements. Conclusion The findings of the medical student survey demonstrated the value of incorporating dedicated preparatory surgical workshops in the medical school pre-clinical curriculum. However, further research is warranted to determine if this inclusion translated into improved student performance during the clinical surgical rotation.