PSA: Avoid Saint Francis Hospital GPR in Hartford, CT

throwaway70901

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I completed this GPR in the last 3 years and have kept in touch with each year's residents. There are only negative things to say about it. Do not waste your time with this program. Feel free to message me with any questions.
 
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DDSJOAT

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I also completed this program within the last few years and I can unequivocally say that this post could not be further from the truth, there are plenty of former residents that have nothing but praise for the program. I gained a wealth of knowledge and experience at St. Francis and doubt wholeheartedly that I would have had a better experience anywhere in the country. If you are prepared, engaged, willing to learn and accept feedback, and open to being challenged, this GPR program is a perfect fit. I am going to start another forum for people interested in the program to post any questions they might have, search St. Francis Hospital GPR.
 

DrJeff

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I also completed this program within the last few years and I can unequivocally say that this post could not be further from the truth, there are plenty of former residents that have nothing but praise for the program. I gained a wealth of knowledge and experience at St. Francis and doubt wholeheartedly that I would have had a better experience anywhere in the country. If you are prepared, engaged, willing to learn and accept feedback, and open to being challenged, this GPR program is a perfect fit. I am going to start another forum for people interested in the program to post any questions they might have, search St. Francis Hospital GPR.

Agree, another LONG TIME AGO St Francis GPR resident here (2 years from '97-'99) and frankly I loved it.

I think plenty about what one gets out of a GPR has to do with their attitude and desire to challenge themselves vs thinking that everything will be spoon fed to them, like it often was in dental school for many.
 

throwaway70901

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Agree, another LONG TIME AGO St Francis GPR resident here (2 years from '97-'99) and frankly I loved it.

I think plenty about what one gets out of a GPR has to do with their attitude and desire to challenge themselves vs thinking that everything will be spoon fed to them, like it often was in dental school for many.
Unfortunately the good reputation the program used to have has changed in the last 20+ years. I’m glad you enjoyed your time there with a completely different administration and staff.
 

throwaway70901

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Dec 29, 2018
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I also completed this program within the last few years and I can unequivocally say that this post could not be further from the truth, there are plenty of former residents that have nothing but praise for the program. I gained a wealth of knowledge and experience at St. Francis and doubt wholeheartedly that I would have had a better experience anywhere in the country. If you are prepared, engaged, willing to learn and accept feedback, and open to being challenged, this GPR program is a perfect fit. I am going to start another forum for people interested in the program to post any questions they might have, search St. Francis Hospital GPR.
I’m so happy you had a great experience. I had a very strong clinical and didactic foundation from my dental school and felt I was taking a step back at the GPR. It seems like you may not have come from a strong school. I would have benefited more from spending a year at Aspen or even just sitting on my couch.

The program has come incredibly close to shutting down multiple times in the last 5 years and at least one person running the show has been under investigation.
 

Hengist

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It genuinely pains me to say this, but as someone who was a former resident of the St. Francis GPR herself, I can confirm that the changes that have happened over the past few years to the program were substantial and completely negative. Before the St. Francis of Harford, CT hospital was bought by Trinity Health, the program was nothing short of fantastic, with Pankey, Schuster, Dawson, and Spear certified lecturers teaching the program. The former directors, Dr. Paul Mitchell and Dr. Mark Schmidt, were two of the most genuinely caring dentists I've ever worked with and were always supportive.

After the hospital was purchased by Trinity Health, almost the entire old staff was fired. From what I've heard from residents who were there, it happened mid-year and without any warning. The new director is that one guy literally every resident learned to hate during their residency and mainly got his position through political chicanery and nepotism. The program webpage has almost completely disappeared from the St. Francis/Trinity website -- just try finding it from the hospital homepage.

In the past, I would have recommended the GPR whole-heartedly. I would have even called it perhaps the best GPR in New England. Now, all I can stay is to stay very clear of the program.
 
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descriptdds4

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I agree with the original poster. The program of the past 5 years is very different than it was when Mitch was in charge. The current director and attendings are more interested in control, power, and not being investigated by the hospital (we were told multiple times not to let what happened w/n the program to leak out). Staff is generally unhappy but stay because it's an otherwise easy gig. There's no value in anyone here to say negative things about the program except to help you understand what we did not. Hartford Hospital has an amazing, forward- thinking program. Try to go there instead.
 

schmoob

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I agree with the original poster. The program of the past 5 years is very different than it was when Mitch was in charge. The current director and attendings are more interested in control, power, and not being investigated by the hospital (we were told multiple times not to let what happened w/n the program to leak out). Staff is generally unhappy but stay because it's an otherwise easy gig. There's no value in anyone here to say negative things about the program except to help you understand what we did not. Hartford Hospital has an amazing, forward- thinking program. Try to go there instead.
Hartford hospital’s program really is great. It’s run by a prosthodontist who is a great teacher. The clinic isn’t the prettiest but the substance is definitely there. It was easily my top pick over St. Francis when I applied.
 

descriptdds4

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Nov 17, 2013
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It genuinely pains me to say this, but as someone who was a former resident of the St. Francis GPR herself, I can confirm that the changes that have happened over the past few years to the program were substantial and completely negative. Before the St. Francis of Harford, CT hospital was bought by Trinity Health, the program was nothing short of fantastic, with Pankey, Schuster, Dawson, and Spear certified lecturers teaching the program. The former directors, Dr. Paul Mitchell and Dr. Mark Schmidt, were two of the most genuinely caring dentists I've ever worked with and were always supportive.

After the hospital was purchased by Trinity Health, almost the entire old staff was fired. From what I've heard from residents who were there, it happened mid-year and without any warning. The new director is that one guy literally every resident learned to hate during their residency and mainly got his position through political chicanery and nepotism. The program webpage has almost completely disappeared from the St. Francis/Trinity website -- just try finding it from the hospital homepage.

In the past, I would have recommended the GPR whole-heartedly. I would have even called it perhaps the best GPR in New England. Now, all I can stay is to stay very clear of the program.
It genuinely pains me to say this, but as someone who was a former resident of the St. Francis GPR herself, I can confirm that the changes that have happened over the past few years to the program were substantial and completely negative. Before the St. Francis of Harford, CT hospital was bought by Trinity Health, the program was nothing short of fantastic, with Pankey, Schuster, Dawson, and Spear certified lecturers teaching the program. The former directors, Dr. Paul Mitchell and Dr. Mark Schmidt, were two of the most genuinely caring dentists I've ever worked with and were always supportive.

After the hospital was purchased by Trinity Health, almost the entire old staff was fired. From what I've heard from residents who were there, it happened mid-year and without any warning. The new director is that one guy literally every resident learned to hate during their residency and mainly got his position through political chicanery and nepotism. The program webpage has almost completely disappeared from the St. Francis/Trinity website -- just try finding it from the hospital homepage.

In the past, I would have recommended the GPR whole-heartedly. I would have even called it perhaps the best GPR in New England. Now, all I can stay is to stay very clear of the program.
Right. And the major issue with being promoted into a role due to nepotism is that often, the promotee is wholly unprepared for the duties that go with the title. More than being under skilled, and actively encouraging residents to remain stagnant, the leadership staff (attendings) also had objectively bad attitudes (I mean, literal shouting matches, cursing, tantrums, bullying, a very public and inappropriate dalliance, etc.) You can’t have both (or shouldn’t). Either pick being *bad at dentistry and bad at leading/teaching dental residents* OR bad attitudes. But not both. There was no access to specialists, digital dentistry was discouraged, etc.
 
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