My Friends: I am a current Hopkins CA3. I will honestly address some concerns that prospective applicants have expressed on scutwork.com, studentdoctor.net, and during interviews. 1. Johns Hopkins is malignant. I have found the workload to be midrange among my colleagues at other institutions. We are neither the easiest nor the hardest. The hours we work are highly dependent on our rotation. Cardiac and ICU are the longest; hours are 70+. Ambulatory surgery and acute pain are least painful; hours approach 40. In a general OR rotation, the days ends usually between 4pm and 6pm. Occasionally, we are stuck in an OR until 7pm or later. This is rare. Our department has lots of money. This translates to much sponsored partying. Interviewees can usually sense this with the excellent accomodations we provide. Every four weeks, we rent out the top floor of a Fells Point pub for the end-of-rotation party with residents, students, CRNAs, and attendings. The open bar tab usually lasts 2-3 hours, and the drunken merriment usually continues into the night. The fall Crab Feast, holiday Winter Ball, and summer graduation dinner are all annual events that the entire family can enjoy. Earlier this year, we had a department-sponsored golf event at a very nice country club. Residents have time for recreation. We play regular football at the Hopkins undergraduate field. Check out the Mud Bowl pictures on our website. Ask us about the historic Chinese vs. Jew game (it just worked out that way). 2. The department is in transition. The chairman, John Ulatowski, has been in place for almost three years, including his time as the interim. The previous chairman is still active in the department, and the one before him is the current CEO of Johns Hopkins. Since Johnny U started, salaries for attendings have gone up $50-$100K. I believe that this alone has made the faculty very happy; I don't see any problems with retention. Indeed, many recent and current graduating seniors elect to stay on as junior faculty. Compensation here compares very well to private practices in the area. The PD, Scott Mittman, has been in place for three years as well. The previous PD is now chairman at OHSU. Scott is, quietly, a rabid resident advocate. I am always surprised at the lengths he goes to to help us out. The the last 1.5 years, we have increased our roster of CRNAs from zero to many. Relations with the residents are friendly and cordial. Their presence has improved life immeasureably, especially with late room relief. We have done away with our resident late call system of two years ago, as it is no longer needed. There is no competition for desirable cases. Money seems to be abundant (see above). In the OR, we have free reign in choosing anesthetics, including expensive all-day remifentanyl infusions, bronchoscoping everyone, and the like. There are pre-fillled synringes of common meds as well as Pyxis medication dispensing machines in every OR. 3. Didactics are lacking. There is a Monday afternoon conference for one hour. Decent efforts are made to relieve you from the OR to attend. There is a late OR start on Thursdays to accomodate a lecture and grand rounds. We are not posted to the OR on days we are on call. Instead, there is a morning report / teaching session / journal club from 7:20am - 11:00am. These meeetings make taking call actually pretty pleasant. Afternoon tea is provided for the afternoon meeting and breakfast is provided for any morning meeting. Intraoperative teaching is variable and depends on how busy you or your attending is, as well as your inquisitiveness. 4. Baltimore sucks. For a single person, Baltimore is definitely no Chicago, New York, or San Francisco. But like any city of 600K+ people, there is a large population of young folk and plenty of opportunities for fun. The city is home to many institutes of higher education. There is a surprisingly active independent community of artists and the like. We are close enough to DC and NYC for frequent weekend trips. For married people, Baltimore is pretty livable. Although real estate here is overpriced, many colleagues have bought property in the suburbs. Commuting is painless while driving during anesthesiologist hours or on the subway, which has a station in the hospital basement. There is a high crime rate in Baltimore. I have never felt threatened in the street, but we must all exercise common sense. As you can see, I have been very happy with my experience. In any program, there are people who are happy and those who are not. Make sure to talk to both kinds. Cold-call random residents from the programs you see. Make use of all resources for infomation. In the end, you will have to go with some gut instinct. You will get a good education in one of many excellent residency programs. Choosing one is difficult. Best of luck to you during your interviews and with your match.