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DoYouEven?

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Jun 3, 2016
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I agree with everything that @DNC127 said and is 100% accurate. You will either love or hate this program. I am bumping @DNC127 post with some of my own personal edits bc I wholeheartedly agree with everything said. If the Brotherhood isn't what you're looking for, then this is not the place for you.

Program: Oklahoma State University - Center of Medical Sciences - Tulsa Oklahoma

Residents per Class: 2 per class (but word is they will move to 3 a year soon). The residents are perhaps the biggest pros of this program. The guys here are truly a family. They hangout together all the time, their SOs hangout all the time, and the sense of family because of this is very real. If you want to go to a tight knit program there isn't one I personally saw that is more tight knit. However, the caveat is that it seems they rank fit above all other categories here. It doesn't matter how good your app is, if you do not fit in well with the group you will get bumped by someone who does. The residents are all very surgically competent (more below under operative experience), and feel comfortable in the OR doing most things, especially trauma. One example of how cool this group is, every Wednesday at didactics they have the "Fantasy Football Rundown" where the 2nd year in charge of the fantasy football league gets up and commentates on the matchup and games and interjects their opinion on the moves and trades made that week in the league, never saw anything else like this on the trail.

Hospital: OSU-MC, St. Francis Medical Center, St. John Medical Center, Oklahoma Surgical Hospital. OSU-MC is the base hospital, but in reality very little of the surgeries happen there. The true "base hospital" is St. Francis medical center, a very large trauma hospital that covers trauma from the northern half of Oklahoma, eastern Arkansas, southern Kansas, and southwest Missouri. The trauma here is simply unmatched in comparison to other DO programs (more below in operative experience). You also do pediatrics, sports, and a little bit of joints here as well. St. John is the other trauma hospital, very good and broad trauma exposure as well. Oklahoma surgical hospital is a very large private practice surgical hospital in which you do joints, foot and ankle, and sports.

Also, the food at Francis, Johns, and OSH is the best food I had on any DO rotation. They give you 350$ a month at Johns and similar at Francis. OSH is catered food for the attendings everyday that students get to eat. Best food of any place I rotated hands down.

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa is a great mid-sized town, with most things you could ever want to do besides major pro sports. Very cool restaurant / bar seen, low crime, super low cost of living, and nice people. Typical mid-sized midwestern town really.

Attendings:

Trauma: Trauma is ran by the ortho-trauma group in town and they are pretty universally the best attendings I came in contact with and also the most willing to let residents and students operate! They allowed me to do traction pinning, distal radius screws, perfect circles, and even got to use the RIA once. They let the residents do as much as they can, and coach them through the process until they need help or hit a snag. They are also present at every didactics pretty much and are very involved in resident education. The PD Dr. Norris is senior in the group, and he is shock trauma / unc trained. He is very passionate about education, and lets students get in on cases and participate. Dr. Norris is very well regarded in the trauma world, and as such one of the 5's matched into a Trauma fellowship with the local trauma group.

Pediatrics: They have 2 peds ortho attendings (peds is in house at OSU which is a HUGE plus), the peds attendings are at St. Francis and very cool dudes. One of them just joined, but he was previously with the Riverside program. They handle all your typical peds stuff, I saw a scoli and peds trauma when I was on rotating.

Sports: Sports attendings here are super cool, and give the residents graduated autonomy. They have 2 sports attendings who are your typical DO sports attendings (ie: general ortho) which is what you see at most DO programs. However, one of the newest attendings just finished at the James Andrews Clinic and is pure sports only. Multiple ACLs a week, peds ACLs, Laterjet etc. This was rare to see in a DO program because most of them don't have high volume sports guys, and their sports medicine surgeons are really just general ortho.

Foot and Ankle: 2 foot and ankle attendings, students don't work with these attendings typically so I can't comment on much besides that the residents LOVE this rotation because the surgeons let them be very involved and really care about education. This was noticed as both attendings are frequently at didactics and very engaged.

Joints: As of now 3 joints attendings. One of them is VERY particular and the residents don't do much. The others are much better about getting the residents involved. Joints attendings are not as good as the rest of the subspecialties at this program.

Upper Extremity/Hand: One attending, who is top 3 in the nation for number of total shoulders completed in a year. This guy is a wizard, and has CRAZY volume. Being in his OR is basically an ortho party, and is super enjoyable for students. Lower level residents don't do much with him (due to volume and speed) but upper levels get involved a lot more. One of the coolest attendings you will ever meet honestly.

Oncology: Oncology attending Dr. Maale is out of Dallas and is world renowned in the ortho oncology research, especially biofilms. He comes and gives a presentation every-other month or so, and residents have the opportunity to rotate with them if they want, but it isn't a set rotation that is required (similar to a lot of DO programs).

Spine: Students don't rotate on spine so I can't comment much, besides that the residents really like the attendings and that they get to be involved in the cases to a degree that it makes them want to do spine.

Didactics/Education:

Didactics are every morning with the residents that are not on Trauma service (typically orthobullets on M,T,THR), and main formal education with all residents on Wednesday and Friday. Pretty typical didactics sessions, I didn't really notice any DO programs that had differing level of didactics. The thing that stuck out the most to me was the number of attending participation. I typically didn't see much attending involvement at other DO programs.

Operative Experience:

You will complete more cases here than 95% of the programs out there. For sure. These guys operate LITERALLY all day, every day. The only time they really go to clinic is on peds and foot and ankle. They still meet their ACGME requirements of clinic hours. Other than that, it is OR all day every day from day 1 of intern year all the way until graduation. The interns in October were doing most bread and butter trauma cases by themselves. Pretty crazy stuff

The reason for this is they do FIFTEEN MONTHS of dedicated trauma which is NUTS. And whats crazier, is it is more actually 21 months of trauma because when they are on pediatrics at francis they do a ton of peds trauma, and when they get done with the peds day they go help the trauma service. On trauma they are very RARELY double scrubbed, and it is mostly 1 attending and 1 resident even as an intern. This program is really a trauma focused program, and as such they are studs in the OR. The upcoming trauma fellow is a chief this year, and I believe he will have his own room from day 1 of fellowship and will complete tabs and pelvis work, way higher than his pay grade. This place will set you up to handle any trauma you could ever see, without really having to do a trauma fellowship (obviously you would want to fellowship if you want to perfect pelvis/tab). At the meet and greet virtual session they had, they stated they are clearing 5,000 cases in their residency which is absolutely bonkers.

They are also very involved on Peds, Foot and ankle, Sports, and Spine.

I cannot overstate enough how important it is (especially if you have a family) that all rotations are IN HOUSE at OSU. It really would take a toll to leave for 3-6 months in the middle of a residency and it is so nice they don't have to do this.

On sports, they have to prove themselves before they get the scopes, but they have really good sports volume now that the Andrews clinic dude is there so they should all be studs at sports as well.

The only big operative con of this program at the moment is Joints. They have 1 attending that doesn't let them do a lot, but the other 2 do so its kind of like a 4/10 on joints if that makes sense. This is the only service that is not above average at this program.

Clinic Experience:

As said above, they don't do a lot of clinic. They do on foot and ankle and pediatrics, but other than that they complete the bare minimum for ACGME and then operate all day every day.

Research:

Research here is MUCH better than most DO programs. The medical school has students and teams ready to rock and roll and complete the grunt work, and the residents heavily benefit from this. Most residents get multiple publications per year. Dr. Norris is also very active in trauma research now, and they have several prospective studies and were working on starting a randomized trial.

They also have journal clubs where they will have educated group discussions about articles, and where and if they can make improvements in their current practices based on new literature.

Because this is a community-university program you still have a lot of involvement with the school and medical students, which I really liked because is felt more collegial.

Lifestyle:

These guys work HARD. But, they also play HARD. Most days as a 1 or 2 start at 4:30 am and are done around 6-7. Obviously there are some days that you are done at 2-3 and some where you don't get to sleep, but overall I didn't feel like it was excessive or that they got abused even in the slightest. Most have SOs and they get plenty of time with them and they all hangout as a big group after work. While I was there I had the pleasure of having my wife meet some of the SOs and residents and we had a great time. The group felt like a family.

Pros:
- Trauma! If you like trauma this is the place for you. Even if you just want to know how to handle trauma well, so that whenever you are an attending and have to take trauma call, you can handle it yourself
- Resident-Resident and Resident-Attending Camaraderie!
- Attendings that allow for group decision-making with residents. This is key, because it allows the resident to have input and teaches them how they need to start thinking.
- Tulsa is a great city to live in. The food and people are amazing. Big city with small town feel.
- Work hard, play hard mentality
- Food at the hospitals
- Research
- Collegial community-university dynamic
- No out rotations
- Highest operative volume I have personally seen

Cons:
- Joints
- Work hard (you will hate this if you are lazy)

Student Specific Experience: Excellent rotation as a student, I got very involved in the surgeries and felt like everyone really cared to get to know me! At other rotations residents sometimes wouldn't even talk to you or pretend that you aren't there. But here, the residents actually took me to where I needed to go and showed me where to go. This is huge. No other program had residents that actually cared to show/tell students where to go and how to get there, especially when there are multiple different hospitals, ORs, etc. I can't recommend this place enough.

If you want to match here, you really need to rotate. They do interview non-rotators, but seem to give preference to rotators according to the residents.

Overall: 10/10
 
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DoYouEven?

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Program: Wellspan, York, PA

Residents per Class: 3

Hospital: York Hospital Level 1 trauma center, Apple Hill Surgical Center, Wellspan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital

Location: York, Pennsylvania. This location is very close to lots of bigger cities. 45 min to Baltimore, 2hr from Philadelphia and Washington DC, 3-4 hours from New York City and Pittsburg,

Attendings:
  • Dr. D: amazing surgeon; trusts you with everything. 4th/5th years operate under guidance of the fellow. Upper level does the entire case while the fellow teaches and guides if needed. He has an amazing personality and cares about his residents. He will fight for them no matter what. Showed the programs deep comradery during journal club.
  • Dr. Muccino: intimidating personality. Treats his residents like they’re colleagues. Allows 5th year and fellow to operate with full autonomy.
  • Dr. Kaplan: Funny guy. Scrubs in and assists the fellow/5th year. He asks the fellow on their opinion of the next best step and why they would do that.
  • Dr. Rashidi: Didn’t work with him much. Treated residents nice. Noticed me and would talk to me now and then.
  • Dr. Kopinski: very nice surgeon, she is good at what she does. She is fun. Told me to create something out of cement my first day. Made a pretzel and loved it. Talked about pretzels the rest of the week. She reviewed my presentation and thought it was good. Gave helpful advice.
  • Dr. Trevio: intimidating and hilarious, yet an amazing surgeon. Went to Mayo clinic for residency. Does some crazy surgical stuff. Allows you to operate. Treats residents well. Teaches them. Disregards students for the most part, will ask a couple questions, but that is all. First day you will introduce yourself and try to shake his hand, he will so “no I’m not going to shake your hand”
  • Dr. Hall: hilarious! Teaches you a lot. Takes time during surgery to teach and even draw out concepts on the drapes. Allows you to do 99% of the procedure as a 5th year.
Residents: Didn't get to meet many of the interns as they were on off service rotations. 2nd year residents were really cool, probably my favorite class. 2nd years have the most amount of call and decreases each year. 3rd, 4th, and 5th years were nice. They would put together presentations for student education.

Didactics/Education: Morning didactics every day and 4hrs on Fridays

Operative Experience: It's a level 1 trauma center with in-house call. They have rooms for you to sleep in. Their hours were tough, they worked hard and gained tons of experience by doing so. Several of the attendings allow for graduated resident autonomy. Attendings are great they teach when possible. Residents would include me in the surgery by allowing for questions and/or asking questions. They also allowed me to get hands on in a few cases.

Clinic Experience: I experienced hand clinic and foot/ankle clinic. Residents would discuss the patient outside the door and then go in together to see the patient. They allowed for any questions you might have. Bring something to read while the resident is typing up the note.

Research: As far as I could tell you could do as much or as little research as you like. There were numerous poster presentations hung up throughout the Orthopedics department.

Lifestyle: As a student, the rotation was tough. Long hours. Residents encourage you to take as much call as you can. But don't take so many that you can't recall information if pimped. Hours for the residents were tough as well. But this can be viewed as a strength in my opinion, you want to have lots of experience in residency.

The program as a whole was pretty good. The hours were tough. Worked about 100hr/wk as a student. All the 2nd years looked very tired all the time because they were taking so much call, but they worked hard and gained tons of experience by doing so. Each subsequent year has less amount of call and as a 5th year they can do whichever procedures they want. This program will make an excellent trauma, hand, foot/ankle, spine surgeon. The resident lifestyle is poor, however you learn so much. Lots of ER consults/joint reductions/splinting. Residents are treated great by the hospital; food stipend and pay is very well. Events with Dr. D and attendings is like a family. Pimping wasn’t huge, but was still there to assess knowledge. The main thing they looked at was how much/hard you worked and how late you stayed.

Overall 9/10.
 
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DoYouEven?

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Program: UPMC Pinnacle, Harrisburg, PA

Residents per Class: 5

Hospital: UPMC Pinnacle Community Osteopathic Hospital, UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg downtown, UPMC Pinnacle West Shore

Location: Harrisburg, PA. 30 min from York, PA. This location is very close to lots of bigger cities. 45 min to Baltimore, 2hr from Philadelphia and Washington DC, 3-4 hours from New York City and Pittsburg,

Attendings:
  • Dr. Lippe: treated his residents very well. Joked around with them. His impression on students was intended to threaten/scare them. Not welcoming. He wants a resident that will persevere even through his negativity. Allowed the resident to do almost all of the surgeries. He will call you by the wrong name on purpose and then ask you in interviews what he called you.
  • Dr. Ackerman: amazing attending, pimped on sports medicine and 80s/90s music. Wanted to get to know you as a person. If you were able to hold conversation about different things, he wouldn’t pimp you as much on music. He allowed the residents to do most of the scopes. When I was scrubbed in he allowed me to use the mallet and screw in an anchor for rotator cuff repair.
  • Dr. Dahl: great attending, allowed you to operate almost fully as a 2nd year. Was a good teacher. Very thorough and help teach tips and tricks. Wanted to get to know me as a person.
  • Dr. DeLuca: great attending. Was very help and tried to teach and engage student.
  • Dr. Grandrimo: Hilarious! Wanted to be in and out so let the 4th year resident do maybe 70% of the scopes
  • Dr. King: pimped a little and allowed you to help in surgery. Don’t be too forward though bc he won’t let you touch his lights; particles fall. He didn’t allow the residents to do as much as the other attendings
  • Dr. Kim: intimidating, notices the fine details (I used my left hand to release an instrument and noticed/commented on it). He doesn’t let residents do that much. He does most of the procedures himself. 5th year was scrubbed in and allowed her to only do a few things.

Residents: They definitely like to pimp. A lot of them seemed nice, they would teach as they went and were open to questions. I was only there for 2 weeks in person bc of COVID. And the other 2 weeks was a virtual rotation which consisted of just virtual didactics and an educational course they created with readings and videos.

Didactics/Education: Every morning. Mondays also had an afternoon session

Operative Experience: The residents seemed to get great experience in joints. 2nd years were doing approaches with some attendings and 4th year residents were doing 95% of cases with attendings. Residents seemed to know how to operate well by 5th year. They have sent residents to many top notch fellowships. A lot of the attendings come back to the program fellowship to teach.

Clinic Experience: Did not spend any time in clinic since I was only there for 2 weeks.

Research: Don't remember

Lifestyle: The resident lifestyle seemed pretty good. Call was home-call, and they didn't seem to get crazy amounts of calls. Only thing that concerns me is if there is enough trauma experience. But their bread and butter was joints and they did those surgeries well.

The program as a whole was nice. They are big into joints so it would be a great program if that is what you're interested in. 4 out of 5 5th years are going to Joints fellowships. Call is chill, nothing crazy. Resident-resident dynamic was pretty good. This program will make an excellent joints, sports, and hand surgeon. Education is huge, education every day and then 4hr once/wk. They like to pimp and ask questions. It was the students job to figure out where to go, what to do, etc.

Overall 7.5/10
 
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DNC127

Im just here so I don't get fined.
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Jul 31, 2015
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Keep the reviews coming! Really helps the people coming behind you
 
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goneriding

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Dec 8, 2015
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Program: Valley Consortium Orthopaedic Residency (Modesto)

Residents per class: 3

Hospital:
Doctors Medical Center: their primary site in Modesto, CA. DMC is a Level 2 trauma center that gets a fair share of high energy trauma. Saw more crazy orthopaedic pathology here than anywhere else.

San Joaquin General Hospital: Level 3 trauma in Stockton, CA (30 min from main site). SJGH is the county hospital for San Joaquin County, and is one of my favorites places in a sick and twisted kind of way. It’s a total dumpster fire, but the autonomy the residents get is outstanding. Unfortunately, students can’t go here during the audition rotation. There are so many cases here, that a good number go uncovered by a resident. If I remember correctly you will spend about 3 months per year here.

Kaiser Oakland: Oncology (shared with UCSF and St. Mary’s). You get a housing stipend provided for this rotation. Resident’s seem to really like this rotation and also work on research projects with some of the attendings there. Most got to get in on a number of hemipelvectomies from what I could gather, which many DO residents do not get a chance to do. You will also take trauma call here.

Valley Children’s: Peds (6 months total during PGY3 in two 3 month blocks). This rotation is awesome from everything that I have heard. Very, very busy call here. It's a shared site with UCSF Fresno. There will be a PGY2 and PGY4 from UCSF Fresno there with you to share call responsibilities.

Side note on UCSF Fresno: 8ish (forget exact number) DO’s auditioned at Fresno this year and they also interviewed a few other strong DO candidates that I knew who did not rotate. None of us matched, and I think most of us ranked them very highly. Although, some of these students were successful at getting other MD spots. It was my favorite Ortho Sub-I by far, but I wouldn’t rotate here again, as it is more high yield to go to another DO program for a month. I’m just not sure that they have an appetite for a DO resident at this time. They also had a separate interview day for all the DO rotator’s as a ‘warm up’ for their real interview which I thought was a bit of a slap in the face.

Location:
Modesto straight up sucks. But, it is 1.5 hours to everything (skiing, summer lakes, awesome climbing, SF, etc).

Attendings:
Trauma— The residents own the trauma cases here. Every attending will take trauma call and do the case if it is their day unless it is a pelvis or TAB. Of the DO programs I rotated at, no program had more high energy trauma than DMC. PGY2’s do a lot of the trauma cases here with PGY 4/5’s mentoring them through the cases +/- an attending in the room. No trauma fellow so you get to do the pelvis/TAB cases with the new PD.

Joints: Saw PGY2’s skin to skin TKA’s and THA’s with minimal coaching. Very impressive. Honestly, the PGY2’s were better than many PGY4s I saw at other programs. That’s really saying something. Primarily do posterior hips here. Weak anterior hip experience unless something has changed.

Sports: Did a week of sports here. I was impressed with the autonomy the attending’s gave the residents on sports cases, and the residents' overall arthroscopic skill set. There are multiple fellowship trained sports attendings at this program, which is something many DO programs lack.

Spine: Didn’t get to see, but heard good things and have no reason not to believe it.

Hand: The previous PD is hand trained, and there are 2 other hand surgeons that you will work with (1 ortho and 1 general surgeon who is hand fellowship trained). You run the previous PD’s clinic, and do all his cases for 2 months in PGY2 and again in PGY4. I didn’t see this level of autonomy anywhere else on hand cases. You will be held you to a very high standard, and this is quite a stressful rotation. When you are a student on this service you better know Pocket Pimped forearm/hand stuff in and out, and be overly prepared for cases.

Foot and Ankle: There are 2 F&A trained attendings. Only did 1 call case with each of them. Residents did both cases. 1 of them was a particularly nice guy.

Residents:
This was my favorite group of residents on the trail. Incredibly smart, humble and have each other’s backs. Of the DO programs I went to, these residents in each year of training were the most impressive. They also seemed interested in getting to know all of the rotators and making sure that each of us had a good experience.

There is a research fellow each year. Some research fellows have matched into the residency in the past.

Didactics:
Best of the DO programs I rotated at. Resident run lectures daily. However, you have to make these lectures yourself, so it is a bit of a time sink. There is also a journal club every Friday. These guys know their literature.

Operative experience:
Unparalleled and early. You work hard, but the experience you get is provided by few DO Ortho programs in the country. If you want to operate early and often, and be prepared to be a general orthopedic surgeon without doing a fellowship-- this is a program that should be near the top of your list. One unique aspect of this program is that you get 2 elective months during your 4th year to go “audition” for a fellowship spot. I think that is the main reason this program’s fellowship matches have been so impressive.

Research experience:
An area of improvement. They used one morning didactic session a month to discuss what research projects are ongoing, and what work they need to get each project published. Seemed like they were working hard to establish a research pipeline.

Lifestyle:
Definitely not easy. I’ll leave it at that. Call at DMC is home call, and the call burden runs into your senior years. As a student you just text the resident who is on call on your day, and they will call you if they want you to come in. I only had to come in once the entire month, as most of the residents will only call you for something interesting and let you sleep.

Student Specific Experience:
This was my top DO program and I hoped to match here. These residents are smart, humble, and love to teach and involve medical students. After seeing the operative experience these residents got, every other DO program I went to was a bit of a let down in comparison. If you can handle the location, this is a very special place.

Of note, the original PD was replaced by a MD this year, and they matched a MD this year. Not sure if Modesto will now become more of a MD program in the future, but it is something to consider when choosing places to rotate. They also interviewed and strongly considered non-rotators. In the past, they were big on board scores (650+ COMLEX), but what was true in the past may now be different with the new PD.

 
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goneriding

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Program: UPMC Pinnacle

Residents per class: 5

Hospital:
During PGY 1-2, residents rotate through Community General (CG), Harrisburg Hospital (Downtown), West Shore Hospital, and also at Penn State for 2 months during intern year (for Plastics and MSK Radiology). All of these hospitals are within 15-20 minutes of CG, which is the home base. During PGY3, residents spend time at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg, and during PGY4 UPMC Presbyterian for trauma in addition to the 3 main hospitals. Overall, you will spend about 9 months of residency in Pittsburg. CG is the primary site where most of the residents are based out of at any given time, followed by Harrisburg and then West Shore. Harrisburg is the busiest of the main sites.

Location:
Harrisburg, PA and Pittsburg. They used to go to Atlanta for Peds, but that is being phased out due to ACGME out rotation requirements.

Attendings:
From the student perspective, the attendings were a mixed bag.
  • Adult Recon: Almost every attending here prides themselves on being a generalist, and will do hip, knee and shoulder arthroplasty. Some will even do spine cases. You’ll get good experience with the Rosa robot at CG and the Mako robot Downtown. The PGY5’s are doing joint cases basically every day. Autonomy was a mixed bag, with some attendings letting the PGY5 do most of each case early in their chief year, and sometimes the PGY5 just doing parts of the case while the 3 held retractors. 4 out of 5 PGY5’s are going into joints this year.
  • Spine: Probably the second strongest aspect of this program. Previous chiefs have matched Spine at Duke and there is definitely a reason why. You will work with both fellowship trained ortho spine, non-fellowship trained ortho spine, and neurosurgeons on spine cases here. Autonomy was a mixed bag from what I saw.
  • Trauma: This is not a program that has much trauma. They get community trauma-- mostly elderly patients presenting with a fall from standing. High energy trauma is not a thing here. Ankle, distal radius and hip fractures are the most common cases. Every trauma case I saw with the exception of 1 hip CRPP was done by a PGY5. The PGY2’s got to share a clavicle during my time there, but they mentioned that “the stars aligned”.
  • Hand/UE: I think most of the residents get their 1st experience doing entire cases with Dr. Mauer as a PGY3. I would say this is a strong aspect of the program. He is a very humble guy and a great teacher. I really enjoyed being in his OR.
  • Sports: The PD is sports trained, and there are a few other sports trained docs. Resident autonomy was a mixed bag on these cases, and seemed to depend on how many cases the attending needed to get through that day.
Residents:
The PGY1’s and PGY2’s are complete all-stars and are among the smartest and most passionate residents that I met on rotations. But, I got the sense that the juniors were not the most fond of the seniors. These guys are definitely colleagues first and friends second. At other programs, I frequently saw the upper levels taking the 1’s, 2’s and 3’s through cases—that is not a thing here.

Didactics/Education:
Strong. The program likes to brag about how well their residents do on OITE’s. There is a daily 1 hour resident led lecture every morning. There is also another lecture Monday afternoon at 4pm, followed by journal club 1x/month, and then a medical student lecture given by the interns.

Operative experience:
  • PGY1: Minimal.
  • PGY2: Some knee scopes (just the diagnostic part), and some attendings downtown will let you start the approach on a TKA, make the femoral cuts in a TKA (but not the tibia), and ream the acetabulum in THA’s. I was unimpressed in their operative skill compared to other programs. Most of the trauma is done by the PGY 4’s and 5’s, as they did not get to do the trauma cases when they were junior residents.
  • PGY3: Felt bad for the 3’s. Some attendings would give the 3 more autonomy than others. You will be in the OR, but mostly holding retractors. The exception being with Dr. Mauer, who will let you do some cases skin to skin. On one occasion, a PGY3 stayed late to do their 1st hip CRPP and ended up watching the Chief do it, as the attending was ‘having a bad day’. One of the 5’s made an offhand comment to me that PGY2-3 can be frustrating years here.
  • PGY4: Hard to say, as most 4’s are at Pittsburg. I think PGY4 is a catch up year as far as operative skills go, mostly done at Pittsburg.
  • PGY5: I saw the chiefs operate early in the year. They were doing most of everything, with some attendings giving them more autonomy than others. Chief year, you take whatever cases that you want, and by the end, I think the residents come out strong. You definitely earn the autonomy you get as a PGY 5 during the 1st four years of residency. Operative experience at this program is back loaded, but strong in the end. These guys crush joint cases.
Clinic Experience:
Residents go to clinic with attendings when they are on a specific service, but otherwise there is a resident clinic a half day, 2-3/days per week that you will go to as a student. Each resident would see 1-3 patients and present them to the PGY5, who serves as the clinic chief. Med students just shadow here for the most part and maybe do a joint injection. There was a PGY2 EM resident on an ortho rotation when I was there, and they made that person shadow in ortho resident in clinic. Felt bad for the guy.

Research:
This is an area of improvement for the program. PGY5’s help the 1’s with a project in a mentorship style model, and then are supposed to do their own project each year following intern year. Dr. Kelly is the research director for the program. The program is trying to integrate 60 days of stand-alone research into the rotation schedule.

Lifestyle:
As a PGY 1-2, lifestyle sucks. The hours are long, but it also seems like there is a lot of sitting around waiting for things to happen. Call is home call, and it seems like there were a lot of spine consults. There is a night float system in place. PGY3, lifestyle gets better, with many weekends off when at CG. PGY 4 and 5 seemed excellent for an ortho residency, but these are also your primary operative years. So, if you want to get your OR time in, you need to work hard these years.

Pros:
Best joints experience of any DO program (maybe Rowan can compare?), very good spine training, no fellows around that will poach your cases, excellent didactics, excellent fellowship placement

Cons:
Lack of high energy trauma, hierarchal culture, and very late operative experience. I would find the first three years of residency to be frustrating here. One of the seniors missed the birth of his kid when he was a junior level resident to see a consult. I’m all for working hard, but not that. There is also some talk of Harrisburg Hospital starting its own Ortho residency, which would be very bad for this program (not sure how true that is). Penn State is opening an affiliate hospital right near West Shore Hospital, which may decrease the case load at West Shore.

Student Specific Experience:
This is a very polarizing rotation. Some students love this place, and some do not. On my 4th year Sub-I, I spent at least 1 day a week sitting in the library doing nothing. On other days, I would just have 1 case and that was it, so I’d still be sitting in the library all day for the most part. Other students had completely different experiences, and were in cases all day, every day for the entire month. It seemed to me that they pre-screened for students that they were most interested in for cases and attending time. Probably saw 15 or so students come and go during my 4 weeks here. Most other programs I went to had 6ish students per month.

There was no pre-rounding, but students still show up in the library very early. Never had to see any patients in clinic independently, see a consult independently or write any notes. There was a lot of pimping at education, which I think can prepare you for your subsequent Ortho Sub-I’s, and also makes this a good rotation to do in the Fall of your 3rd year if your school will let you to start to build your ortho knowledge.

I personally wouldn’t rotate here without a strong 3rd year rotation at the program, or some form of relationship with the program through mentors. If you don’t have those things, and you still want to rotate, I would come during October or November, as there are less students and you will get more face time and be more memorable. They did not end up interviewing a lot of students that I thought were darn good ortho candidates, and I think overall this is a low yield rotation due to the number of students that rotate. Pretty sure this review is going to trigger someone, but that is my honest take.
 
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goneriding

5+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2015
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  1. Medical Student
Program: York
Residents per Class: 3
Hospital:
-Wellspan York Hospital: Large Level 1 trauma center. Older facilities. Use Stryker. On site gym to lift in between cases! Call rooms provided for you as a student. Not the best cafeteria in the world, but it is cheap food. In house General Surgery, EM, FM, IM, and OBGYN residency programs.

-Wellspan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital Surgery Center: Brand new facility with capability to have patients stay the night. This is where the elective (non-trauma) cases are done. Slightly better food.

-Oncology: out rotation in Baltimore

-Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (6 months total): residents used to go here for a month during PGY1, but the ACGME ended that. They are trying to start this rotation as interns back up again as they get a good amount of pediatric trauma at York, and it’s good to know how to handle it as a PGY2. A lot of the resident lead research projects are started up here it seems.

-Also, you will do an Ortho boot camp rotation as an intern with the other Mid-Atlantic ortho residency programs for a month during summer of intern year.

Attendings:
-Dr. D: The DO ortho trauma legend. I set up this rotation after hearing attending’s at other programs reminisce on their days training with Tommy D. Quite frankly, D is the man. Residents are part of his family, and I have not seen a PD that has his resident’s back like him. Even as a medical student, he will go to bat for you, if needed. I think every medical student that rotates gets his phone number, and that really tells you the type of person he is. He’s a huge advocate for DO’s and I would be very proud to train underneath him.

-Rashi: Trauma. Graduate of the program who went on to do a trauma fellowship at SLU and then came back as faculty. I expect he will be the future program director when Dr. D retires. Into research, and Hurt radio on Pandora. Knows his literature inside and out.

-Kopinski: Joints. One of my favorite attendings across all rotations. Just an awesome person.

-Hall: Foot and Ankle God. Got me very stoked on F&A. The program is very lucky to have him. Did quite a few calc fractures during my time there, and even saw an ankle replacement, which I hadn’t seen anywhere else.

-Kap: Trauma. Think the residents are scared of him. Can be a bit intense but I think he is a great teacher overall.

-Laurel: If there is an award for best program coordinator—she deserves it.

Residents: I thought they were a good group and functioned as a family. These guys and gals work harder than any other program I went to and hold each other accountable. Being a team player here is extremely important. The seniors work hard to mentor the junior level residents to make sure everything is done right (in comparison to other programs where the juniors are just left to figure it out). Senior residents also found time to do didactics just for the medical students and get us in the sim lab to practice arthroscopy. I felt that they really cared about educating medical students.

Didactics/Education: Mix of resident and attending led didactics every morning. Journal club got fairly heated which I thought was epic.

Operative Experience: Spent 2 weeks on trauma, 1 week on F&A, and 1 week on joints during my rotation.

The trauma service generally had 2 rooms going, but there were a few slow days. Usually the trauma fellow would be in one room, and the PGY3 and 5 in the other. They were good about letting the PGY3 do the cases that were at their level. The PGY2 was usually doing floor stuff/ED consults. The residents would frequently bounce from room to room. I thought it was a great dynamic, where they were all stoked on the cases going on and trying to learn as much as they could from each case. There was a good amount of double scrubbing on some of these cases. That said, as a medical student, I got to do the majority of a cephalomedullary nail with the fellow and pgy5 in the room, which was a pretty darn cool as this would never happen at the majority of programs I went to.

F&A was one PGY4 resident with the attending. The attending gave the resident a good amount of autonomy I thought.

Joints was also one PGY3 resident with the attending. The resident got to do a good number of knees and hips while I was there, even with peak COVID. I think they are trying to hire a second joints attending as well to improve the joints experience.

Clinic Experience: Clinic as a medical student was just shadowing either the resident or attending as they saw their patients. The resident would see patients, present them to the attending and then go back in with the attending. Both residents and attendings took the time to teach me throughout the day. Facilities were great. EMR is EPIC.

Research: I don’t remember the specifics, but I do believe a project is required. I’m not sure how strictly that is enforced. Most resident research seemed to get it’s start during their pediatrics out rotation.

Lifestyle: As a student, this is a 100 hour per week rotation. You will take 6 or so call shifts throughout the month, you may or may not get to sleep, and then you will go straight into your next day. I usually got sent home by noon-2pm when I was post call. This was a valuable experience, and I think doing these call shifts gave me a true understanding of what it would be like to be a resident here. I think I grew more on this rotation than any other in medical school and I would highly recommend students going into Ortho to do a rotation like this. After doing a month like this, you will know if you really want to do Ortho or not.

As a resident, call as a PGY2 and PGY3 is brutal. York is a Level 1, and they get no shortage of trauma at all times of day and night. The culture here is that they operate thru the night more often than not so that the OR does not get back logged the next day. So, if a hip fracture comes in at 9pm, chances are you will be doing it at 1-2am rather than the next morning. We started cases around 3am multiple times. This was the only program I saw this at, as most attendings preferred to just do a case the next day, unless it was a true emergency. I would say, if you’re the type of person who will be strictly counting your work hours, this program may not be a good fit for you.

Pros: Level 1 trauma, F&A, oncology experience in Baltimore, Tomy D and A++ program coordinator, supportive environment, will be ready for anything after doing residency here, great fellowship matches

Cons: Trauma and hand fellow do take some cases from upper level residents, brutal lifestyle, could use another joints attending, but the attending they have is A++.

Student Specific Experience: I loved this program, and part of me wishes I would have gone here. You choose York because you want the hardest experience that you can get, and to be surrounded by co-residents and attendings who are truly passionate about Ortho. Coming out of this program, you will be well prepared to do whatever you want to do in Ortho, whether that’s general, trauma, joints, sports, spine or oncology. It will be hard without any doubt. But, this residency functions as a family, from Dr. D to Laurel (the program coordinator), and they truly do take care of their residents and even medical students. They had the best Zoom interview of the DO programs, was the only DO program that sent an interview gift box that I know of, and all around just went the extra mile. I just wish it were closer to my family.
 
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bj2016

2+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2016
8
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  1. Pre-Medical
Program: UPMC Pinnacle

Residents per class: 5

Hospital:
Community General (CG)- small, older hospital but the OR is insanely busy. Main hospital with lots of attendings. Staff was very hit or miss, some scrub techs treat you like a real person and some think you're only there to test the scrub tech on maintain sterile field
Harrisburg Hospital (Downtown)- bigger hospital where joints and spine rule, some community trauma, busiest hospital in Harrisburg
West Shore Hospital- small hospital, get good OR experience for the size of the hospital
All of these hospitals are within 15-20 minutes of CG, which is the home base. During PGY3, residents spend time at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg, and during PGY4 UPMC Presbyterian for trauma in addition to the 3 main hospitals. Overall, you will spend about 9 months of residency in Pittsburg

Location:
Harrisburg, PA and Pittsburg. They used to go to Atlanta for Peds, but that is being phased out due to ACGME out rotation requirements.

Attendings:
From the student perspective, the attendings were a mixed bag. Seem like more pure "generalists" than most programs where the older attendings will take on anything that comes through the door (especially Dr. Lippe)

Joints: seems like every attending in the town does joints to some capacity. The joint specialists are really good and do like 5-6 a day. Great experience with robot but seems like you wont be doing much a joint case until you're 4-5 (seen younger residents do more at other places). But the 5s do seem very competent at joints so they make up for lack of early autonomy with pure volume. This subspecialty is the strongest of the program. Dr. Hallock was a big joint guy at HH but he's getting old and cant imagine he's there 5 years from now. Dr. King is the main hip guy at CG, very busy but very particular and didnt let the 5 go skin to skin. He may later in the 5th year. Dr. Kim is a recent graduate and does a lot of cases and robots. Didn't let the 4 do very much (too be expected as a younger attending) but liked to teach and was pleasant to work with.
Spine: Another strength of the program. Only saw 2 spine cases was a student (and this was too many cuz you dont do anything and cant see anything). Seem to match a spine fellowship every year or every other.
Sports: Heard this was another strength of the program from residents but personally didnt work with any of the sports attendings. Ackerman (PD) is sports trained. Heard they have decent sports connections.
Trauma: if you want trauma this is not the best program for you. They get community trauma at CG and Harrisburg but wouldn't call it high volume. Their Level 1 trauma is in Pittsburg, which I heard is really great experience but its only ~6 months or so. You'll learn what you need to take call but if you wanted to feel comfortable with a pelvis/tab going into a trauma fellowship or practice, this isn't the best program for you
Hand/UE: Only had 3 days. Seemed like a good experience. Dr. Mauer is a great attending and let the PGY4 do most of the cases throughout the whole day. Saw a TSA with Dr Kelly (the freaking man) where the PGY5 did 90% of the case so he was obviously confident with that.

Residents:
Seem like a good group. Seniors care a lot about intern and junior progression. They took pride in teaching. PIMP HEAVY as a med student and intern. Great didactics, brag about their OITEs. They said they like to have fun on the weekends with each other, this wasnt possible to see cuz of COVID. But didnt see an outlier resident that everyone hated.

Operative experience:
Overall, very strong op experience. They go to clinic the minimum amount and the 4s and 5s live in the OR. Interns don't know how to spell OR. 2s get into the OR but I personally didnt see them do anything. 3s was very hit or miss, if a 5 was in the case then the 3 was a retractor. Heard 3s get autonomy if they're not double scrubbed and attending dependent. 5s seemed very comfortable in the OR so this delayed autonomy is obviously made up by pure volume. If you go here, you will feel comfortable doing a scope and a joint on your own after graduation, without a doubt. Will probably feel comfortable taking call at any Level 2 or 3, Level 1 call without a trauma fellowship may be a little cautious

Clinic Experience:
Didn't do any clinic as a rotator (2 weeks rotation, COVID). Heard for the most part 5s go to clinic maybe 1 full day a week. (OR heavy program). A recent graduate said he felt great in the OR upon graduation and did 1000 joints during his 5th year (he sought out every joint cuz this was his fellowship aspiration) but during his fellowship his main learning curve was clinic and how to select the right patient for surgery.

Research:
This is an area of improvement for the program. PGY5’s help the 1’s with a project in a mentorship style model, and then are supposed to do their own project each year following intern year. Dr. Kelly is the research director for the program. The program is trying to integrate 60 days of stand-alone research into the rotation schedule. (copying from another reviewer cuz I have nothing new to add)

Lifestyle:
As a PGY 1-2, lifestyle sucks. The hours are long, but it also seems like there is a lot of sitting around waiting for things to happen. Seemed like one of the rougher intern years. 3s seemed to be kusher. 4s and 5s can opt to have a significantly better lifestyle when in Harrisburg but these are the prime operative years since autonomy is very limited as a 3. Plenty of opportunity to crush cases during the later years but that obviously sacrifices free time. They do seemed to get paid very well compared to other residencies and the area is not expensive.

Pros:
JOINTS, spine, sports (so I hear, didn't have the opportunity to witness). Residents are close knit and run the program from education. Don't see anyone in the country (MD included) having a better joints experience. Routinely match spine and sports. Hand is probably next common.

Cons:
Lack of high energy trauma, extremely hierarchal culture which leads to significantly delayed operative experience. The 5s are still confident and capable but not a balanced experience throughout your years. Personally would rather operate some throughout years 2-5 than not get good autonomy as a 2 and 3 and then make up for it as a 4 and 5 through sheer volume. I would find the first three years of residency to be frustrating here.

Student Specific Experience:
COVID really changed this experience. 2 weeks virtual including being present for sign out and conferences, and had 1 or 2 video sessions in the afternoon with some residents but this was unimpressive. Will say they provided a document with links to HSS videos and Orthobullets readings that defintely helped me focus my ortho studying during these two weeks. The document took a lot of time and was very helpful. Covid sucked and they did the best they could but not much interaction here (probs cuz they are always in the OR after 7:30am).
2 weeks in person, operative only. This was great for OR experience, saw a lot of cases. Didn't have to sit in the library but maybe 2 afternoons (other students had different experiences). Didn't connect with some of the attendings as much as I would have liked cuz I only did one day with each. Students get pimped to no end during didactics and sometimes in cases (depends on personnel). Great learning experience. Would be fantastic as a third year if possible, or the first rotation of your fourth year.
They bring in a lot of students but they also have 5 spots. Felt like the numbers are comparable to Doctors. You're competing with a lot of good candidates and they didnt invite everyone back for interview but if your strong on paper and interact well on your rotation, you stand a fair chance. I wasnt told I was RTM with the f/u call that occurred but not butthurt about it as I had other programs higher on my list.
 
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bj2016

2+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2016
8
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  1. Pre-Medical
Program: Jack Hughston

Residents per class: 3

Hospital:
Jack Hughston Memorial (Phenix City, AL): Mostly orthopedic hospital. Small hospital but carries a good volume. Most of the attendings (but not all) who operate here work with the residents. Very nice, newly built hospital. Private chef on the campus that prepares breakfast and lunch for the physicians (residents and students also get to take advantage). Technically their main hospital (which is why the program is listed as AL) but only 10 mins from Piedmont (where they do conferences, trauma/resident clinic, and where the PD's office is located).

Jack Hughston Surgical Center: Smaller surgical center attached to outpatient offices. Only 4-5 OR rooms but always running and always loaded for the day. Nice addition of cases for the residents and good learning tool for those going into private practice about surgery centers and efficiency.

Piedmont Medical Center: Level 2 trauma center in Columbus, GA. Decent size hospital but volume can fluctuate. Sometimes can be very busy. This is where they do most of the community trauma when in Columbus. They also get decent peds exposure here. Anything that comes through the door, gets handled here. They hardly ship anything out to Atlanta. Food also provided here for residents and students M-F with some snacks for the weekenders.

They also rotate A LOT in Atlanta. About half of the first three years are spent in Atlanta where they complete some of the intern rotations (gen surg, plastics) as well as get their Level 1 trauma, peds, onc, and maybe spine. They take call at Grady and work with some big names in Atlanta so this is a great supplement to the experience.

Location:
Columbus GA, Phenix City AL (main site), Atlanta GA. Phenix City and Columbus are only 10 mins apart, Atlanta is 1-1.5 hours from Columbus. They put you up in housing for those months. Tbh Columbus GA kinda sucks. Small town, army base nearby but also very ghetto. Not a lot of companies supplying lots of jobs. Not a whole lot of fun things to do. I think the prevalence of how many GSW injuries we took care of on call described the area well... Definitely don't recommend it for anyone who's been in an urban environment their whole life, you will probably struggle here for 5 years.

Attendings:

Joints
: Didn't get to work with the main joints guy for the residents (Dr. Ruark) but he seems like a great guy to work with, very busy clinic and OR. From what I heard through another student, he let a PGY3 do a lot of a TKA and there was confidence on both ends. Heard they get a good joints experience with him and the other attendings in town, just didn't personally see. Not the most joints heavy program but you could confidently handle primaries upon graduation.
Spine: Didn't see any spine but I believe some of this experience has migrated to Atlanta. They use to rotate at MCG but this was cut out with the merger (so they only have to rotate at home and Atlanta). One of the C/O 21 residents is doing a spine fellowship (possibly Emory) so if you want to do spine, not a hinderance here.
Sports: This is a strength of the program (Jack Hughston was one of the founders of Ortho SM, Dr. Andrews was in business with him long ago). They have numerous sports attendings who are solid. They have research available. Pretty sure they have a sports fellowship but never interacted with the fellow who was there.
Trauma: For a DO program, this place is sneaky. The two trauma guys at Piedmont (Dr. Harris PD, and Dr. Floyd) are very gungho. If anything comes through the door (pelvis and tab especially), they will not ship it out ever. They provide a better than expected trauma experience for a Level 2 center. They also take a trauma fellow every year (not that good of a trauma experience, think the fellow kinda gets screwed compared to most places). The residents get graduated autonomy. The interns get into the OR if they don't have a ED consult going on. Saw the attending walk the fellow through a percutaneous anterior column screw, posterior column screw, and SI screw (on his first week) which was cool. They are very picky in their own way, especially Dr. Floyd who maybe lets the residents do less. Dr. Floyd also was gen surg resident for 4 years before ortho so he loves to pimp residents on anything surgical related, not necessarily ortho related. Their major trauma volume comes in Atlanta with Grady (one of the best trauma experiences in the country). They take call at Grady so if you can handle a call night there, you can handle it anywhere.
Hand/UE: Dr. Rehak is the main hand guy. Pretty busy but not the most busy I've seen, usually ~10-12 cases a day, 70-80 patients in clinic. Lets the residents do some when they prove themself but he wants to be as efficient as possible so some times he gets frustrated with a slow pace case. Dr. Fernicola is the shoulder guy. He takes on all shoulder stuff, fractures, replacements, scopes. He is really awesome and will let the residents prove themselves early. Willing to let a resident do as much as they can until they struggle (didn't scrub into a diagnostic knee scope with a PGY3). Shoulder arthroplasty expert, really impressed with his ability.
Foot and Ankle: Have two F&A guys that I saw, seem to be really great guys, younger side. Letting residents operate was a little hit or miss. Dr. Watson seems to be the better attending to work with as a resident, very inclusive. Didn't even scrub for a PGY4 doing an achilles repair; but on the same day did a total ankle almost completely by himself (think the pt was a VIP so this makes sense). You would get good exposure here.

Residents:
Great group of residents with just one exception. They seem close knit, would hangout without COVID. They like to have fun and joke with each other at journal club/ cadaver lab. Seniors try to get juniors involved as much as possible on trauma.

Operative experience:
Overall, pretty strong op experience but perhaps not the best I saw. One of the PGY5s was probably the best resident I saw anywhere and one of the PGY4s was one of the best fourth years I saw anywhere. You get very early exposure to the OR and they let you grow right from the beginning. Intern did a perc femoral neck with the PD during his second month of residency if that tells you how early. Most attendings across the board let you go till you struggle and then it becomes attending dependent if they let you struggle through or takeover.

Clinic Experience:
They get clinic experience on their rotations. They're pretty much with one surgeon for a rotation so their schedule becomes the resident schedule. Helps get you ready for private practice.

Research:
This is a decent area for the program and still probably improving. Most of the residents had projects going on but wouldn't call it a research powerhouse by any means. They clearly publish enough for the residents to match into what they want. They're PGY5s are going into spine, and trauma X2 I think. PGY4s were applying F&A, peds, and Hand/UE.

Didactics:
Thought their didactics was pretty weak. Resident given lectures and some of them didn't care about regurgitating orthobullets with no additions. The PD bragged about their first place finish in a pathology competition a year or two ago. But I would be curious how they perform on OITE and what their board pass rate is (new program so very small sample size).

Lifestyle:
Lifestyle is one of the best I saw. They have night float with home call (Level 2, some nights can be busy, some nights you go in once or twice). Interns rotate call on Saturday. Very privademic feel so when the attending's day is done (usually by 5), you're done. Felt like a normal work day rather than getting crushed M-F. However, the town isn't the greatest so dont think you'll have a ton of fun things to do in that free time.

Pros:
Felt like this was one of the more balanced programs I went to. The resident fellowship interest shows how balanced they are and able to put you into whatever you want. The name probably helps mostly for Sports but they can get you into anything. Also the people are great. Not just residents and attendings but the OR staff. Some of the scrub techs were the nicest I encountered. I didn't even have to write my name on the board at the Jack hospital by the end of the rotation cuz they took the time to learn about me. The PD definitely cares about the residents and will go to bat for them when someone in the hospital wants to give them a hard time.

Cons:
Logistically its a nightmare for a family. You spend so much time in Atlanta during the first three years. This was the reason it fell down my rank list, because my SO wouldn't be able to find a job in her field in Columbus so she'd have to work in Atl. But then we'd only live together for half the first three years and for years 4-5, I have no idea what we would have done. Also, Columbus isn't exactly the place I'd want to spend a golden weekend, but Atlanta is only 1-1.5 hours away. Also thought the didactics were pretty weak. Also thought the morning sign out was annoying with how political and judgmental it was... Every patient had to have a story and discussion and their lifestyle was often talked about more than their injury. The PD loved to openly talk about his politics (he had Trump as his phone wallpaper) which was at times obnoxious when it slowed down the morning report.

Student Specific Experience:
Covid changed some things but wasn't hugely affected. Went to sign out at 5:45-6am everyday with the 2 trauma attendings. A short lecture was thrown in there, resident driven but not always the most helpful. Each week you're with a different attending or on trauma. So you go to clinic or OR based on the attendings schedule. Pretty good experience across the fields. The students make the call schedule but make sure a student is on every night (can suck when there's only 2-3 of you). You go to journal club/cadaver lab whenever they have them. Expected to read the article but not necessarily participate. Students required to go to fracture/resident clinic on Thurs afternoon, followed by student fracture conference. Not a high stress situation as a PGY2 and intern go through some fracture cases, read the XR, whats the classification. One of the lesser pimped rotations I had in general. Overall a very balanced experience.
 
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bj2016

2+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2016
8
24
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  1. Pre-Medical
Program: McLaren-Greater Lansing
Residents per class: 3-4 (they only train 18 residents so see how many they're graduating for how many they're taking)

Hospital:
McLaren: Smaller Level 2 hospital where a lot of ortho takes place. This is considered their main campus.
McLaren orthopedic hospital: Small, old ortho hospital. Pretty much functions as a surgery center with the ability to admit patients for short stays (joint patients). Very efficient OR. Resident lounge/conference room is here.
New hospital being built to replace McLaren so eventually they'll only cover two hospitals total.
Sparrow Hospital: Level 1 academic hospital. Big hospital, many residency programs. Many ortho surgeries go on here and this allows residents to take Level 1 trauma call.

Also rotate in Cincinnati for peds and somewhere (cleveland maybe?) for onc. During PGY4 year I believe.

Location:
Lansing is the capital of Michigan. East Lansing is the home to Michigan State. Thought it was a little underwhelming given these two things but there are things to do and quality of life is decent. East Lansing is more expensive (especially on their resident salary, yikes) but very nice and theres a nice strip on the edge of the campus with shops and restaurants. There are some things to do around Lansing within 1-2 hours. Pretty sure Detroit is also less than 2 hours.

Attendings:
Joints
: They have a couple of very high volume joint guys. Not sure how much residents get to do. One of the PGY5s seemed to struggle a bit with a THA but he's going into hand so probably didn't care. Dr. Cochran is a great attending, probably lets the residents do more. He's super nice and very high volume (pretty sure we did 7 hips and done before 4). Dr. Taunt is also very high volume but I didn't vibe as much personality wise (seemed kinda arrogant to me and that joints was the only subspecialty worth doing in ortho. Scrub tech even called him out for this convo while I was there). Dr. Mesko is a younger joints guy. Will let residents to bread and butter cases but not much in his revisions. He's super cool to hangout with though, great guy.
Spine: Didn't see any spine so can't comment much. I think they get enough for boards but doesn't seem like a sub specialty of interest.
Sports: This is a strength of the program. They take care of the MSU athletes. They have great volume from what I hear (COVID in Michigan crushed the sports guys so I didnt see anything). But from what I heard from the residents, this may be one of if not the highest volume rotation. Dr. Dietzel (PD) is SM trained. Very quiet guy, didn't talk to me much (which makes you feel like crap as a rotator) but I heard that's just his personality, not super outgoing. Dr. Noud is sports trained but only does shoulders. He's a great guy, defintely vibed well with him. Very busy practice because scopes and shoulder arthroplasty. Dr. Heisey is a shoulder surgeon, don't believe she's sports trained. She is decent volume shoulder stuff and loves shoulder recon. She let a PGY2 do the deltopectoral approach but not sure if he got to ream or place components. From what I hear, she's really cool, slightly badass.
Trauma: Upper quartile for DO program when it comes to trauma and they dont have to go elsewhere. Sparrow is their Level 1 but they take call at Sparrow and McLaren to help their numbers. Didnt see any pelvis or tabs but I know they get them and get to do them. Dr. Tucker is their trauma guy and he is dope. Really cool, younger attending. Loves to teach and has a great vibe in the OR. He let a PGY5 teach a PGY2 how to do a femoral neck system skin to skin for the 2, didn't even scrub (barely paid attention). Dr. Swords is F&A trained but is a semi-trauma guy. He's an AO course instructor so he gives the residents great experience with trauma. He was kind of intimidating but the resident seemed to love him. He let a PGY5 do a tibial plateau skin to skin but took a lot of the F&A bread and butter (probably for efficiency sake cuz we had 7-8 cases to do). Overall good experience, especially for DO program.
Hand/UE: Dr. Truluck and Dr. Hornebach are the hand guys I'm pretty sure. Don't remember much from these cases. Pretty sure Hornebach liked the see one, do one model with his PGY3. Dr. Dubiel is shoulder-elbow guy. Trained at the Mayo, super down to earth guy. Worked solo with him so don't know what he lets the residents do but he seems to love to teach. Would be a great mentor for Shoulder-Elbow interest.
Foot and Ankle: Dr. Swords is F&A but is half F&A and half trauma. Not sure if there is another F&A surgeon. Didn't see much from this standpoint.

Residents:
Great group of residents. All nice and mostly outgoing. Seem to be pretty close knit. They work very hard at this program so not sure how much they hangout. Saw another review that said "seniors like to perfect the juniors" and thought that was a pretty good statement for the interactions. Its in an educational manner but can imagine sometimes the PGY2s just feel like they're getting picked on. I think their PGY3s and 2s are great across the board. Limited interaction with the interns but 3 of the four I had pretty good interactions with.

Operative experience:
Overall, pretty strong op experience but perhaps not the best I saw. I imagine their confident with scopes, shoulders, joints, and most trauma. Always lots of cases to go around so rarely ever would an OR day be done before 1pm.

Clinic Experience:
Due to covid, wasnt allowed to go to clinic with a resident. I'm sure they get good clinic exposure, I felt like I got good clinic exposure lol. But OR cases typically come first so the 5s will pull a junior resident out of clinic to make sure one of their main attendings have coverage in the OR.

Research:
This is a decent area for the program and still probably improving. Don't know any specifics on their projects but most of the attendings seemed like they wanted to be involved to some level with research, despite very private practice style. Don't think they struggle for fellowships so must be good enough.

Didactics:
Seemed decent. Cuz of COVID, students had to be remote for morning sign out and education (so obvi I was less interested) but seem average. Fracture conference for the PGY2 was a every Monday morning and seemed pretty hellish based on the current setup. The PGY2 responsible for the week had to have every fracture that came in over the last 7 days, present the fracture, initial treatment options, definitive treatment options, and show how it was fixed (even the ones they weren't on call for and didnt take to the OR). During the fracture conference, they faced an absolute fire squad combined of PGY5 and attendings. The fact that they had to cover every fracture I thought was absurd (the record was set while I was there at 47 and yes he presented all 47 over two days). It seemed like they spent more time prepping the presentation with all the fractures than actually learning about the fracture management. Word on the street is this may be changing in the future where they pick 15 fractures and get higher detail questions. I'm sure the PGY2s feel very prepared for fracture management when its all over though because everything from reduction technique, surgical approach, types of plates, etc. is fair game to be asked during the conference.

Lifestyle:
Lifestyle seemed kinda rough until you're a senior. They all seemed super busy, especially the juniors. Fracture conference must take a huge toll on the PGY2s. Call schedule blows if you're in the scenario where your class only has 3 residents and the other class (PGY2 or 3) only has three residents like the current scenario. They cover McLaren call almost always and Sparrow call like 75% of the time. Call is home call and can be very hit or miss. 3 nights I got called in once-twice which was easy but one night I didnt get any sleep and then had to go watch 6 scopes in a row (without being scrubbed in cuz an intern and PA were there :rofl: ). Didn't seem too bad for the interns though as they take buddy call. Might get worse for them later in intern year. Senior residents had it pretty nice, pretty sure they rotate weekend call q5 weeks. Heard the time spent in Cinci is pretty cool.

Pros:
Felt like this was one of the more balanced programs I went to. Above average if not top 5 trauma experiences for DO programs. Sports is a huge strength with MSU. Only have to do out rotations for 6-9 months as a PGY4 I think. Very busy, high volume services. Will feel very comfortable coming out for fellowship or practice. They are getting a new hospital to replace the McLaren hospitals and this should be AWESOME. Probably 2 years out from opening.

Cons:
Lifestyle seemed on the poor side compared to other programs. Fracture conference definitely should be improved for the best educational benefit, kinda seems more like torture at this point. Home call in theory sounds great until your Level 1 trauma center acts like a level 1 trauma center and you get 1-2 consults at the other hospital you're covering. Having to work a full 10 hour day in clinic or OR after being up all night on call should be a GME violation. Benefits aren't the greatest either. I was salty about the food mostly but their pay definitely doesn't reflect how hard they work or the cost of living. These are more bitch and moan complaints about the program but thats what the con section is for.

Student Specific Experience:
Covid changed a lot with the Michigan governor clamping down on everything (maybe it saved lives but rotation was VERY different). I feel like it changed so much its not worth me commenting. I will say I got along with all the residents, they tried to teach when they weren't getting crushed. You were included in the saw bones labs they do (got to practice a retrograde nail with a PGY2). Lots of OR, some clinic. Student fracture conference Thursday afternoon that didn't feel super pimp heavy but good practice with XR and good teaching.
 
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DoYouEven?

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UPDATE: I am beyond excited to announce that I matched at my #1 Program at OSU-CHS! I was told by multiple programs I rotated at that I was RTM, however I chose OSU over all of them for the countless reasons described in my review! A lot of students I met on the audition trail had never even heard of this program or were discouraged by only accepting 2 residents/yr (likely to be 3/yr soon). Don't let this sway you. If your personality aligns with things i've written in my review then AUDITION HERE! The best way for us to get to know who you are is during those 4 weeks. If you have any questions DM me.

Since I rotated there, they have really added even more depth to the program. They have an increase in the number of pro and NCAA sports covered, semi-pro hockey coverage, and then OSU sports including: softball, baseball, track and cross country, cheerleading and word is basketball and football are coming soon due to the old team doc retiring. The new OSU VA hospital was funded and 100% set in stone so VA coverage starts next year and soon the new hospital will be complete and attached to OSUMC. Furthermore, the oncology attending Dr. Maale recently submitted to have an OSU funded orthopaedic oncology fellowship which should be starting in the next year or 2. The education schedule is also super robust with multiple attending lectures per week, guest lectures, and joint radiology/MRI conferences with OSU radiology. They have also added a $100k+ knee and shoulder simulator that you can practice everything from ACL reconstructions to RCRs.
 
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Program: Broward Health

Residents per Class: 3

Hospital: Broward Health Medical Center (Trauma Service/Home Institution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL),
As a 4th year student, you will spend all of your time on the trauma service at Broward Health Medical Center which is a 700 Bed Level 1 Trauma Center. The volume and acuity of the trauma that comes in is very high. I auditioned at 5 places in total, and I had the best experience at BHMC when it came to trauma and overall operative experience. I was reducing and splinting open fractures, did incisions, washouts, and closing by my 3rd day during my first week! IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT BECOMING AN ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON, I HIGHLY ADVISE ROTATING AT BHMC FOR THE EXPERIENCE. My greatest regret on the auditioning trail was not auditioning at this place sooner. The amount of HANDS-ON experience I had in the ED, Trauma, Bay, and the OR was equivalent of 2-3 months of auditioning at other institutions. I highly suggest rotating here and rotate here early. The remainder of your auditions will be much easier after BHMC.



Location: South Florida. You’re literally living in paradise. Housing is expensive though. There is some travel involved when on other services as a resident (but you don't go there as a student). Don’t tell the PD though you’re coming to BHMC because of its location.
Other sites (YOU DO NOT GO HERE AS A STUDENT): Cleveland Clinic Florida (Joints-Weston, FL), Mercy Hospital (Oncology-Miami, FL), Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (Peds - Miami, FL), Boca Raton Regional (Sports – Boca Raton, FL)



Attendings: Dr. Joel Rush is The PD. I had limited contact with him as he was out for medical reason. I spoke with him during didactics and the interview. I never worked with him and was never in the OR with him but from the interactions I did have had he seems to love his program and the residents. He truly cares for the program and takes pride in everyone he selects. He was pleasant and easy to talk to and the senior residents all seem to have a great relationship with him. He has also contributed significantly to the Osteopathic profession during his time as a PD and is always looking for ways to improve his program. He also faculty at NSU.

Dr. Brian J. Cross is the Assistant PD, and is double Fellowship Trained in Pediatrics and Trauma. You will operate with him a lot. Really easy to work with. He lets the PGY3s and up fly in the OR and is very hands off. He doesn’t mind teaching the students either if they ask the right questions at the right time.

Dr. Edward Perez/Dr. Bradley Roth/Dr. Emily Keener are three other Trauma attendings that you will be operating with quite a bit. They were incredibly fun in the OR and would even let some of the PGY2s fly with cases and would only step in if needed. Even as a student you will get to participate in their cases.

There are many other fellowships trained faculties/attending you will be scrubbing with as well. There is plenty of joints and hand done at BHMC and there was rarely an objection whenever I wanted to scrub into any particular cases for the day.



Residents: This is where the program stands out! The residents in my eyes were superstars in the OR. Mind you this is my 5th audition, so I had some awareness of the comfort level of residents in the OR. The PGY-1s did not have much time in the OR as they were always in the Ed/Trauma bay. But PGY-2s and up at this program get tremendous operating time and the PGY-3 I worked with was a total stud in the OR. The confidence and comfort level of the residents at this program is high and they are not afraid to scrub into any case and start flying! As a student, you will be observed by the residents to see how quickly you learn and how autonomous you can be as the rotation progresses. They will not babysit you or spoon feed you knowledge, they are way too busy. You have to take your learning experience in your own hands and be proactive in the OR/ED/Trauma Bay with getting supplies and patient ready and reading up in whenever you can. They expect you to work hard and you are expected to be there every single day. You can split up the call among other students. (PRO Tip: Sleep in the West Wing so they don’t hesitate to call you in should your help is needed, or if a crazy trauma comes in).


Didactics/Education: Tuesday afternoons was protected didactics and OITE review. Friday Morning was fracture conference, run by a PGY2. The PD and other attendings were always presents and involved. Journal Clubs twice a month at amazing restaurants in South Florida. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Similar to what I saw at other programs.



Operative Experience: As a student, you will be busy in the OR! Be the first one in the room and get as many supplies ready as you can. You will be helping in the cases so be ready and read up on Bullets whenever you can. The residents and attending will pimp you, but it was never demeaning. They will just ask you to read it up and tell them after the case or in the next case. PGY-2s and up have progressive autonomy in the OR and the PGY-3 I worked with the most was a pure stud. All the seniors I worked with were extremely competent and capable of handling polytraumatized cases with grace. I was easily scrubbing 2-3 cases a day, every single day.



Clinic Experience: You only do Trauma Clinic which is within the hospital and is run by the junior residents/interns every Wednesday afternoon. You go see patients on your own and present to the resident and attending. It was very relaxed and a good break from the intensity of the OR.



Research: Research is not a strong suit of many osteopathic orthopedic programs. However, one of the seniors at BHMC had a textbook for a CV and matched into Yale Spine. One of the other 4th years has also carried out a lot of projects and has a high caliber CV that landed him an interview at Johns Hopkins for Shock Trauma. The research platform is not well organized (just like most D.O. programs) but BHMC being a Level 1 center, the resources are available for you to get involved early and a lot of juniors and one of the interns is heavily involved.


Lifestyle: As a student you are expected to be on the Trauma service every single day at 5:45 am. Interns would show up at 5:00am to update their list and juniors and chief would come in at 6 am to run the list. You’re not expected to pre-round. Call can be split call among other students and you can sleep in the West Wing on the GME floor for call nights (If you want). The residents take care of your meals, so you won’t have to worry about that. You can expect to be home around 6-7pm pm on most nights.


Pros: The operative experience as a student was unmatched! You will learn a lot at this audition. The residents were also superstars in the OR and were comfortable with all of their daily case load. They were also very easy to work under and fun to be around during my audition. These guys really work hard and play hard!

Level 1 Trauma center with endless opportunities to see wild traumas and operate.

15+ Fellowship trained faculties involved with the program.

Excellent Fellowship matches (Yale Spine, Harvard Sports, UMiss Trauma)



Cons: You will not get to see other off-site services such as Recon, Peds, Spine, Foot etc. However, the off-site services are all at stellar institutions with high caliber attendings (i.e. Dr. Patel at Cleveland Clinic for Recon/Dr. Temple for oncology at Mercy/Dr. Ross for Sports).


Student Specific Experience: You will work a lot of hours; however, the residents are really fun to be around and great to learn from. You are expected to pick things up quickly and be able to help without getting in the way. The sooner you prove yourself, the more you will be involved in the trauma bay and in the OR, thus the learning potential and hands-on experience at BHMC was unlike any other. I never worried about food as the residents will take care of that for you which you will appreciate a lot.

As I stated earlier, if you are serious about ortho I highly suggest auditioning at this program early. These guys will prepare you for the rest of your audition season. Be enthusiastic and be ready to work hard!
 
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