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beary

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This is sort of a weird question. I am trying to figure out my rank list so far and I have a question about the importance of relationships with the PD and chair. At almost everywhere I have been, these people are awesome and I would be very excited to work with them. At one institution, however, I have had some sort of strange interactions with the PD. Otherwise, I really liked the program. How much should I account for this in my decision? I know there will be people everywhere I don't exactly click with, and it's not like I'm marrying them, but I was just wondering if I should consider this or not.

Thanks.
 

AngryTesticle

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Some PD's might be weird and send weird vibes. But what you need to find out is if the PD actively serves as an advocate for his/her residents. This is important because this may affect if changes in the workload (if they happen) will work out in your favor. This also affects how receptive the program will be to residents' concerns.
 

deschutes

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I guess it all depends on what you mean by "strange interactions"...

Frankly I don't think residents have much day-to-day interaction with the head of the department. Don't see much of the PD either (we're quite well-represented by the chiefs, plus the multi-site factor), but he's always just an email away.

Oops there goes the beeper.
 
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Mrbojangles

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Did you get an ivory tower vibe from him? That's something I didn't think about back then.
 

yaah

Boring
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:laugh: :laugh: I wonder which one. If it was here, the PD is a good guy, he doesn't have many clinical responsibilities but at the same time he always supports us and is a good choice for PD because he doesn't have to give as much time to clinical issues.

As far as the chair, unless the chair works on a clinical service you probably won't see him/her much. They are more important in terms of the overall direction of the department and its emphasis. You can get a sense of whether resident education is important to the chair or not though, and this is vitally important.
 

cytoborg

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beary said:
This is sort of a weird question. I am trying to figure out my rank list so far and I have a question about the importance of relationships with the PD and chair. At almost everywhere I have been, these people are awesome and I would be very excited to work with them. At one institution, however, I have had some sort of strange interactions with the PD. Otherwise, I really liked the program. How much should I account for this in my decision? I know there will be people everywhere I don't exactly click with, and it's not like I'm marrying them, but I was just wondering if I should consider this or not.
It's definitely something to consider, depending on the influence that person has on your education. You want an advocate in a high place to stand up for you when issues arise with other departments, to iron out internal issues and listen to the residents when something isn't working, someone you can trust to have your back if a personal issue arises, mentor you with career issues, help with job networking, etc. This mentor figure can set the tone for the program and IMO having a good relationship with him/her (whether it's the chair or the PD) is nice. It's an added element of peace of mind and security that you have the support you need in a "safe" learning environment. But different places have different roles for the PD and chairs - i.e. some chairs are hands-off and research-oriented, others are intimately involved in clinical duties and in day-to-day issues in the program. If the person you don't feel so comfortable with doesn't really have any kind of bearing on your education and you don't really ever see or interact with this person, then it probably doesn't matter so much that the vibe is odd. The key is to figure out what kind of role that person is going to play in your education.

If the person you don't feel so comfortable with IS an important figure in the program, then it's potentially more of an issue. I for one was quite put off by one program where the PD was giving weird, almost hostile vibes and I ran for the hills because I noticed this weird uncomfortable vibe elsewhere during the interview day. It was as if the residents had to tip-toe around this person's quirks - no thanks. Another program I saw had a pleasant but very hands-off chair, and a PD that was viewed more as a politician whom the residents could not trust (ouch). However, they had other faculty members who had kind of stepped up and filled that mentor role for them. Not as ideal, but the residents were still getting what they needed. So - If you really love a program in all other respects then you could probably do just fine, just make sure other faculty could fill that role for you.
 
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