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Are you happy with your program director's overall involvement?

  • Yes, definitely

    Votes: 5 71.4%
  • Yes, barring some exceptions

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, though I think it's okay

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, not happy at all

    Votes: 2 28.6%

  • Total voters
    7

mj844

New Member
Aug 19, 2018
2
0
Hi everyone,

I'm at a great clinical ophtho program though very unhappy w/ my PD's lack of involvement. Everyone says he/she is busy but with what? Never see them in our clinics staffing w/ residents. Mostly sees private pts if/when seeing patients at all. Doesn't staff more than a handful of cataract surgeries per year w/ each resident. So if not in the clinic nor the OR, where are they? I'm told they may be busy w/ admin work -- so a few questions to understand norms at other programs: to what extent are your PD's involved in clinics where residents see pts (i.e. practically 1/2 day per month or less like mine?). How often do you get to speak w/ them in their office (or are invited?) for career/training/fellowship advice (mine: zero besides the 2x per yr mandated by GME to check off checklists in 20 min and to be given generic "you're nice" run-of-the-mill, useless type of feedback)? To be fair, my PD is timely when it comes to email but very terse. Have had many instances passing them by incidentally in the clinic hallway, etc. and not being acknowledged at all (no hello, wave, head nod, etc).

I get the feeling our PD is just doing this as a CV-booster -- not sure if/how it boosts salary/future job prospects -- but I can imagine it being a matter of great professional pride to the academically-driven minds in ophtho, so it's still a CV gem. O/w I get the feeling he/she doesn't care at all and does the bare minimum. Has this been your experience? Pls share. I'd like to hear of other residents' experiences/interactions w/ PD's before I jump to the conclusion that mine is MIA while PD's at other programs are way better.

The main reason why it's distressing is b/c there's a lot of things about my program I don't like and don't feel like my PD cares at all. Or else these admin/residency programs wouldn't exist in the first place. Thanks everyone.
 

cubsrule4e

32.35% Canis Lupus
15+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2004
8,196
10,210
West of Bourbon Street
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Thats definitely not the norm. My PD was literally involved somehow almost every hour of the day. First year there was somewhat limited exposure to him from a teaching standpoint, but that was strictly the way the program was set up. He staffed the residency clinic one afternoon a week with 1st/2nd years for corneal cases. He had his own private clinic 2 days a week, which was staffed with 2nd year residents and was considered part of the cornea rotation block, and operated on his private patients in a private surgery center one half day a week. The other 2 days he was literally in the OR all day with 2nd/3rd years, both at the main hospital and the VA. He also made it a point to set up social gatherings with the residents as a group, and while he was somewhat intimidating, was always available if there was something you needed to discuss, and was always trying to give out pearls of wisdom, not just for residency and practice, but life in general. He may be on the other extreme of the spectrum, but Id think the average PD is way more involved than yours is.
 

Slide

Finally, no more "training"
15+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2005
1,064
186
36
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  1. Attending Physician
Hi everyone,

I'm at a great clinical ophtho program though very unhappy w/ my PD's lack of involvement. Everyone says he/she is busy but with what? Never see them in our clinics staffing w/ residents. Mostly sees private pts if/when seeing patients at all. Doesn't staff more than a handful of cataract surgeries per year w/ each resident. So if not in the clinic nor the OR, where are they? I'm told they may be busy w/ admin work -- so a few questions to understand norms at other programs: to what extent are your PD's involved in clinics where residents see pts (i.e. practically 1/2 day per month or less like mine?). How often do you get to speak w/ them in their office (or are invited?) for career/training/fellowship advice (mine: zero besides the 2x per yr mandated by GME to check off checklists in 20 min and to be given generic "you're nice" run-of-the-mill, useless type of feedback)? To be fair, my PD is timely when it comes to email but very terse. Have had many instances passing them by incidentally in the clinic hallway, etc. and not being acknowledged at all (no hello, wave, head nod, etc).

I get the feeling our PD is just doing this as a CV-booster -- not sure if/how it boosts salary/future job prospects -- but I can imagine it being a matter of great professional pride to the academically-driven minds in ophtho, so it's still a CV gem. O/w I get the feeling he/she doesn't care at all and does the bare minimum. Has this been your experience? Pls share. I'd like to hear of other residents' experiences/interactions w/ PD's before I jump to the conclusion that mine is MIA while PD's at other programs are way better.

The main reason why it's distressing is b/c there's a lot of things about my program I don't like and don't feel like my PD cares at all. Or else these admin/residency programs wouldn't exist in the first place. Thanks everyone.

Disclaimer: I'm an attending.

This is very, very unusual. There is a lot of administrative work PDs have to do, but on average it's nothing a half to one full day of administrative work cannot fulfill. All PDs I've known have been very involved in resident education and teaching. It's not a requirement for a PD to have a friendly disposition but at the same time the PD should be one of the most involved faculty with residents. Our PD staffs at least one resident clinic a week and staffs cataract surgery once every 1-2 weeks. He is very much involved and carves out time out of his schedule to make sure the residents' needs are met.

You are probably correct in your hunch in that your PD is using it as a tool for promotion (definitely not the pay). There is some weight in it if he/she is ambitious about becoming a chair of a department, but in reality it's not that useful in that regard. If he's not doing his job, it won't be written down in his CV but it will be known among those who may be responsible for his promotion track. It's a shame too; residents shouldn't have to suffer for someone's ambition.
 

DrZeke

yzarc gniog ylwolS
15+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
2,692
608
Status (Visible)
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I have heard of some really aloof PD's and can't say all programs have awesome PD's.

However, I would say your situation is not the norm. Ultimately, if you have good subspecialty people in your program, they will help you get into fellowship and advise you. Sometimes even with a good PD, you may find the most helpful advisors and career mentors are your faculty. Don't sweat it. Keep your head down and do work.
 
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