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How to evaluate a program?

Discussion in 'Ob/Gyn' started by Spleen, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Spleen

    2+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Likes Received:
    What are the program minimums a person should look for to insure the end result of becoming a well rounded general OB/GYN? Or to phrase the question another way, what in a program would make you cross it off your list?

    For example:
    How much call should a program have or not have?
    How many other residents?
    How many paper/research/presentation requirements?
    Surgical procedures?
    Must have electives?
    And of course, things I am missing to ask that you might be kind to share.

    Thanks for your help! :)
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  3. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Good questions to ask. You need to look at the particulars and write them down - otherwise when you sit down to compare places, you can't remember the details. What is a right answer for me might not be for you - it all depends on your personal situation and learning style. I ended up making a form that I filled out for each program, then we sat and talked about them to decide where to interview. Then I took the forms with me on my trips, reviewing them before the social and again before the interview. I would write down more info learned from those events while waiting for my plane back home - so I wouldn't forget.

    How much call should a program have or not have?
    I ultimately decided I wanted a night float system, to have more predictability over my schedule.

    How many other residents?
    To me, anything less than 4 per year made it seem too small, and they usually didn't have enough to do night float.

    How many paper/research/presentation requirements?
    Something like 95% of programs require a research project now, it was more important to me to hear about what kind of support do they provide for the research - do you get time for it or are your light rotations considered the time to do your project? Do they meet with you to guide you in the process? Do they have statistician people to crunch numbers ('cause I suck at number stuff!)

    Surgical procedures?
    VERY IMPORTANT! I found that most programs felt their biggest weakness was their vaginal surgery numbers. I had heard a minimum of 35 for TVHs. An ancillary thing that I also wanted to ask about was who does the circumcisions at the program... since in practice, we end up doing them, I want to feel comfortable with it since that's not an area I'll be working on otherwise.:)

    Obviously, you want to see enough to have an idea/chance to handle badness when it flies your way, but you also don't want to be in hades every shift, delivering in the hallway, etc.

    Must have electives? I didn't have a particular requirement for an elective time.

    Other things:
    - Facilities - you're going to be spending a lot of time in the hospital, is it falling apart, VA sort of nasty, or is it a decent place to stay for several hours in a row?
    - Didactics - is it protected time, or are you still responsible for the floor? How do they teach? Is it all lecture, is it assigned reading and discussion? Ask the residents at the night before social how the teaching is - they'll be pretty honest with you.
    - What sort of additional training opportunities do you get- simulators, workshops, etc. What about conferences?
    - How is the interactions with other departments? Are you sharing the l&d floor with family practice? If so, how strong is the family program there? Are there problems getting along between the departments? How about pedi support? How about surgery and anesthesia?
    - How are the residents - do they seem happy and well adjusted? How many are married? How many have kids? I actually had a couple of places brag about how many marriages and kids they had. Even if it's not what you want out of life - people don't plan pregnancies when they are crazily overwhelmed, so it's a non-specific indicator.

    Good luck! I'll try to look over my sheet and see what else I looked for.

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