10+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2007
Resident [Any Field]
Hey Everyone,
I just wanted to share my experience here as an intern at Lenox Hill Hospital. It seems the information out there is quite out of date and I wanted to provide information for interested applicants. Obviously, I'm biased because I go here and really want to put in the good word! But, I want to stay as neutral as possible.

Overall Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
Teaching Rating: 5
Atmosphere Rating: 5
Research Rating: 3

As an intern we trade off days where we man the floor vs. operating. Operative-heavy experience compared to many other programs out there, and the cases are level-appropriate. We have a 6+1 schedule and we are compliant with the 80 hour work week like most other programs out there. North Shore bought our hospital in 2010 and since that time has made phenomenal strides to eliminate the scut we encounter in a day to day basis. As such, emphasis has (only recently) shifted away from scut activities like bladder scanning, drawing our own stat labs, performing our own EKGs, and running to find dressing supplies. In fact, I haven't had to do any of these things (that historically had been done) since starting in July. Our rotations are arranged into 4 teams (Team 1-3, and SICU). New to 2013 is Ambulatory. Ambulatory is a fantastic experience where you spend a month simply doing outpatient procedures and dramatically improves your knowledge of outpatient surgical care. On that rotation, you do cross-cover one weekend day consistent with our 6+1 structure. Except on SICU, you will have at least 2 operative-heavy days per week where you don't carry the pager. You are expected to come to your cases prepared for the questions, but the attendings are quite approachable and not at all malignant.

It is worth noting that we are a bit bogged down by paper-charts right now. This is going to change. In April 2014, we are upgrading our system to support EMR documentation. The plan is to advance to electronic documentation in Summer 2014. We will also electronicize our OR dashboard at that time, which will further alleviate the burden of finding out who is where at any given time. The whole issue is really out of our control: Lenox Hill ran into financial troubles in 2010, was subsequently bought by North Shore, and we are now receiving a massive boost to our hospital. We casually joke around saying "It's better now ... if only you knew how it was 3 months ago!" because we seem to be repeating this every three months. In regards to our daily activities, the list is a huge component of what the intern maintains. We have just replaced it with a web-based list (from fluent-medical) that is nothing short of outstanding. This mobile friendly list has several time-saving features that will shift the proportion of time interns spend towards patient care activities vs. secretarial duties that are of little educational value.

The intern year also has one month of Urology where you work with some very well known attendings. We do outside rotations at Cohen's for peds (and they fund you a zip car for travel), UMD-Shock Trauma for trauma (two single-month rotations during PGY-2 and PGY-3, full boardining paid conveniently close to hospital), and NYU for transplant. I cannot comment on the daily schedule of our away rotations at UMD-Shock Trauma, NYU (transplant), and Cohen's (Pediatrics) because I haven't rotated on them yet. Duty hours and procedures are logged in new innovations, which is pretty much standard for most residencies.

The learning experience is second to none here and is really the star feature. With our affiliation with Hofstra SOM we have once and for all transformed into an increasingly recognized academic teaching hub. We work with students from NYMC and Downstate. On Monday's we have teaching conference where we also do intern interesting case presentations, basic science lectures, clinical science lectures, and research meetings. New to 2013 is periodic board review conferences where we interactively cover topics from SAFE Answers. Each week on Monday we take a quiz that addresses the topic to be covered on Wednesday. These keep us on our toes. We are also assigned SCORE curriculum modules (like everywhere else).

Wednesday is our protected learning day, where for four hours we hand over our pager to the floor staff to cover the floors. During this uninterrupted time span of 4 hours, we cover a broad array of topics - M&M, tumor board (strongest attendance in manhatten and the greater NY area), grand rounds, sim lab, animal lab, interesting cases, ABSITE review questions, etc. New to 2013 is a resident-run study group that meets Wednesday evenings for an hour after signout. It has quickly become an indispensible part of my education. We choose 2-3 chapters from SAFE Answers to cover in depth. First, the senior resident presents the topic as if he or she were the examiner. After the junior resident works through the case, he or she actually reverses the questioning towards the senior residents and specifically addresses curve ball scenarios.

Our attendings educate and are a pleasure to work with. Even the attendings with the so-called malignant personalities here are really NOT malignant at all. Yes, they place demands on residents, but you will be hard pressed to find a strong residency training program that does not have this component. That being said, these attendings are rare encounters; I personally haven't encountered one yet. The ones I've encountered with "malignant" reputations have not at all been malignant to me once you show interest in learning. I've actually been given DVDs on surgical topics as gifts from these so called malignant attendings to further my knowledge base. You do see diverse educational experiences from attendings here. Cases range in complexity and are appropriate for your level of training. We perform pancreaticoduodenectomies routinely, but have not started doing them robotically yet. In fact, many of the attendings rotate throughout Manhatten (vs. a single affiliated hospital), so we train under attendings who rotate at NYU, Cornell, Columbia, etc. I don't think I've encountered an attending from Mount Sinai though. Like all residencies, we have a core faculty as well.

We have recently introduced an elective rotation where you can do an away rotation on a field of interest during PGY-4. One resident did a thoracic rotation at MD Anderson in Texas recently. I personally am interested in hand surgery and intend to spend my elective rotating in this field.

We recently hired a highly invested Assistant Program director who is very in tune with the residents and has made strong contributions to our program - both in education and in daily activities. Our program director and chairman routinely meet with us to see if there are any issues they can address - and they follow through on these concerns.

Because of our small size, we generally select terrific well rounded residents who are hard workers and great to be around. This is likely because we take just 2 categoricals per year. We routinely hang out periodically for get togethers. At work, we work well together. There is absolutely NO malignancy from the chiefs (or attendings really) or issues with humiliation. Interns, that being said, are held to a high standard. I have a (happy) life outside of residency. Our vacations are quite balanced: 4 weeks that you can divy up as 2 week blocks or 1 week blocks. You pick two of those weeks to occur before January. There are no foreign medical graduates in our program. The physical environment is upper east side - you see a lot of famous faces here that we cannot talk about. The patients generally are quite interesting to meet.

Location-wise, it goes without saying there is plenty to do in Manhatten. Our location (Upper East Side) is actually a more ritzy area, and I have *never* had issues or concerns of personal safety. Yes, it's expensive, but our salary compensates just fine, so you won't have any issues there. We hang out routinely because we are a small residency and, as such, we form strong bonds with one another. Our relationships don't interfere with our professional work environment atmosphere.

Currently, the research component is integrated, and it is weaker than programs with dedicated lab years in this regard. Our research also is more clinically oriented. We periodically meet to ensure we are making progress on a wide variety of research projects (generally over 20 to choose from at any given time). It is an area of weakness because we do NOT have a lab year yet, but we have already expressed interest in this option.

At the end of the day, when I look back on my decision to come here, I can honestly say that I couldn't be happier with how things have turned out. Again, our shining feature is education, operative experience, and camaraderie. Drawbacks that we're addressing but may not be entirely spiced up for 2014 are research. We are planning to expand the size of the residency program to introduce a research lab year to make this a 6 year program, and you can feel free to ask about this if you interview here. Graduating residents have outstanding matches into competitive fellowships (such as plastic surgery). I would certainly choose this program if I were to reapply. I welcome inquiries about my experience by prospective applicants. Our other drawbacks include lack of exposure to peds, trauma, and transplant.

A little about me: I did my preliminary year at BIDMC last year. BIDMC (in Boston) is a very strong 7 year program. My fiance works at Cornell, bringing me to the New York area, although I have to admit I was very close to ranking BIDMC more highly. Having worked as an intern at both places, let me just say how happy I am with my decision of coming here so far. Right now I am a very happy resident, and I wouldn't trade my position for anything.
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Dec 31, 2013
Thank you for you thoughts and experiences! I am still working through a Biology major, and I am sometimes getting cold feet about continuing in the direction of M.D.... All the first-hand info I can find is wonderful. :)
Aug 16, 2014
Awesome! Applying this year to Lenox hill! What are the chances to matching at categorial surgery after a prelim year at lenox hill?. FYI my board scores are 260+, fresh grad Img