HCA anesthesiology residency programs

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HCA has created quite a few residency programs for anesthesia and EM for the past several years. Anesthesia is becoming an incredibly competitive residency to match into. I matched into an HCA anesthesiology program and I’m trying to make the most of the experience. I almost didn’t match and I’m grateful I have some kind of opportunity.

I was hoping to hear from only the anesthesia residents in these HCA residency programs - I am curious about what was the overall experience and training is like? I understand that people have their own concerns but if I wanted warnings, I’d go on Reddit. I already know the negative attention and speculation centered around HCA programs.

Is obtaining an academic fellowship like Pain or CT possible after attending an HCA residency possible? are HCA anesthesia residencies friendly to anesthesia reapplicants who did not match the first time around? What do job prospects look like?

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Yes it’s possible to match into pain, CT from these places. ITE and BASIC likely much more important. Can’t speak to that last point.

Our training is good and we are not glorified CRNAs. I don’t know if it’s possible to make a blanket statement about the rest of the HCA programs out there though. We’re very fortunate.
 
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I’d be careful with the HCA programs. I can’t speak for all of them, but a few that I interviewed at two years ago had some glaring issues that made me really question if you’d be well prepared coming out of residency.

One program had two PDs leave within a six month period, to where they had a new PD a month into interview season who didn’t speak great English. One of the residents actually asked our interview group how their residency compared to other places we had interviewed (I could tell he was worried about not getting quality training).

At another program, every resident planned on doing a fellowship no matter what, even if they weren’t interested in that specific field, just to theoretically become more competitive and get better training.

From what I understand, these HCA residencies were created by cutting CRNAs and replacing them with residents, and boom: instant profit. That’s an immediate red flag.
 
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I’d be careful with the HCA programs. I can’t speak for all of them, but a few that I interviewed at two years ago had some glaring issues that made me really question if you’d be well prepared coming out of residency.

One program had two PDs leave within a six month period, to where they had a new PD a month into interview season who didn’t speak great English. One of the residents actually asked our interview group how their residency compared to other places we had interviewed (I could tell he was worried about not getting quality training).

At another program, every resident planned on doing a fellowship no matter what, even if they weren’t interested in that specific field, just to theoretically become more competitive and get better training.

From what I understand, these HCA residencies were created by cutting CRNAs and replacing them with residents, and boom: instant profit. That’s an immediate red flag.

I interviewed at a couple of these this year. One was university-affiliated and was actually my #2 because it's a good program and in the absolute perfect location for me. A place that is probably hard to recruit to, but exactly where I wanted to be.

The other one had an absolutely terrible interview process, was extremely disorganized, interviewers didn't/couldn't answer questions even reasonably honestly and a PD actually kind of balked at a couple of questions that I think were pretty genuine and rather important to have an answer to. The whole interview day was basically "are you sure you'll come here?"
 
I’d be careful with the HCA programs. I can’t speak for all of them, but a few that I interviewed at two years ago had some glaring issues that made me really question if you’d be well prepared coming out of residency.

One program had two PDs leave within a six month period, to where they had a new PD a month into interview season who didn’t speak great English. One of the residents actually asked our interview group how their residency compared to other places we had interviewed (I could tell he was worried about not getting quality training).

At another program, every resident planned on doing a fellowship no matter what, even if they weren’t interested in that specific field, just to theoretically become more competitive and get better training.

From what I understand, these HCA residencies were created by cutting CRNAs and replacing them with residents, and boom: instant profit. That’s an immediate red flag.
I appreciate your concern and I know it comes from a good place. I’m sorry you had this interview experience but you aren’t a resident at an HCA program and my question was geared towards residents within these programs. The things you are saying are things I’ve already seen on the internet, funny thing is none of these people are actual residents at the program but people basing it off their interview experience just like you and that HCA is for profit. I’d rather take my chances and match versus not matching. A residency is a residency and some of us don’t have the luxury to pick where we go or consider where we apply.
 
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I interviewed at a couple of these this year. One was university-affiliated and was actually my #2 because it's a good program and in the absolute perfect location for me. A place that is probably hard to recruit to, but exactly where I wanted to be.

The other one had an absolutely terrible interview process, was extremely disorganized, interviewers didn't/couldn't answer questions even reasonably honestly and a PD actually kind of balked at a couple of questions that I think were pretty genuine and rather important to have an answer to. The whole interview day was basically "are you sure you'll come here?"
I appreciate you sharing your interview experience. I know specifically what two programs you are stating, the second one was very iffy in my mind but again the match process is very competitive and having the opportunity to be resident at any anesthesia residency is better than the alternative of not matching. I’d pick matching and being an anesthesiologist and trying to make the most of it over failing to match.
 
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It’s so hard for me to reconcile the competitiveness of anesthesia in the match with the reality of the job market (flat/declining salaries, more opt out states, proliferation of AMCs, CRNA mills flooding the market with “cheap providers,” etc). My income has dropped each of the 7 years I’ve been in practice.

Absolutely bizarre.
 
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Yeah. Unfortunately. Multi factorial but it’s been my reality.

My wife (PCP) is salaried and employed and has 3-4% COL increases annually written in to her contract.

Yeah well it is easy to give increases when you're siphoning a ton off the top to begin with.
 
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Yeah well it is easy to give increases when you're siphoning a ton off the top to begin with.
The larger point is we shouldn’t be being paid in real dollars in 2021 what we were paid in 2010 or 2015. Your purchasing power is markedly less due to inflation. Cost of med school is markedly higher. I could go on.

I’m glad Salty is crushing it but if you look at salary data or talk to people I’m not sure that reflects reality for many of us. Hell, look at gasworks and see what they are offering vs 2015.
 
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The larger point is we shouldn’t be being paid in real dollars in 2021 what we were paid in 2010 or 2015. Your purchasing power is markedly less due to inflation. Cost of med school is markedly higher. I could go on.

I’m glad Salty is crushing it but if you look at salary data or talk to people I’m not sure that reflects reality for many of us. Hell, look at gasworks and see what they are offering vs 2015.

I totally agree with you. I think we should get paid more every year but the insurance companies keep cutting what we get.
 
dont really understand the point of this question after you have already matched... will some residents online saying bad things about the program make you drop out?

also how are these residents goin to compare their experience to non HCA programs if they have never been at the other programs? And how are job interviewers going to VIEW these residents when hiring for jobs, or are these residents pretty much going to join HCA?
 
I’m glad Salty is crushing it but if you look at salary data or talk to people I’m not sure that reflects reality for many of us.

I don’t know if I’d go that far. Just wanted to point that salaries aren’t decreasing everywhere. Obviously we took a hit in 2020, and a forced slow start to open 2021, but currently we’re busier than ever. It’ll be interesting to see if that trend continues, or if it’s just a post COVID rebound.
 
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I don’t know if I’d go that far. Just wanted to point that salaries aren’t decreasing everywhere. Obviously we took a hit in 2020, and a forced flow start to open 2021, but currently we’re busier than ever. It’ll be interesting to see if that trend continues, or if it’s just a post COVID rebound.

my salary went up. but then again i didnt start from a high point
 
Yeah. Unfortunately. Multi factorial but it’s been my reality.

My wife (PCP) is salaried and employed and has 3-4% COL increases annually written in to her contract.

These COLAs can be negotiated into contracts with insurers too.
 
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I can't believe it needs to be said, but here it is:



Any residency is better than an HCA residency.
An HCA residency is only better than no residency at all.




If you didn't match, couldn't fill an unmatched position anywhere else, and can't afford to spend a year plugging holes in your application, then and only then should you consider training at HCA.

Yes, we've all heard about people who have done it and are happy. Then again, I know one person who thinks their timeshare was a good investment.
 
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