Aug 10, 2017
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Hey all! I'm a student at a US MD school that's super interested in EM, and Chicago is a city that seems to be a great spot for an EM residency. I know for a while now U Chicago, which is located near the South Side, refrained having a level 1 trauma center to avoid trauma overload and subsequent financial collapse, and so trauma patients would end up getting turfed to Northwestern, John Stroger, Advocate Health Care, etc., but now that they're building a brand spanking new ED and Level 1 Trauma center, how will that affect the trauma training at places like Northwestern or John Stroger? Will U Chicago pretty much be getting all the trauma patients now? I'd love to get some insight from anyone who's in Chicago and would know first hand what's going to happen in terms of trauma patient distribution in Chicago, and if that's going to affect the quality of residency at places like Northwestern & John Stroger, that usually tout their trauma volume as one of their biggest hallmarks.

I personally want to train at a place that receives a significant trauma volume, which is why I'm asking. Thank you for your insight!
 

alpinism

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Cook County and Advocate Christ will likely see their volumes go down however they'll still be very busy compared to the average US trauma center.

If you're looking for high trauma volume I'd stay away from Northwestern since they only rotate at Cook County for 7 weeks and what little you do see at NMH will now be even less now that UC has their new trauma center.
 

Tiger26

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If you want to be well prepared for a normal gig in EM afterward, you should look for a Level 1 Geriatric center. Trauma training is so over-rated. Moreover, Chicago could get many more Level 1 trauma centers and you still wouldn't lack for penetrating trauma
 
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HPM_2017

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Overall I agree with Tiger that seeing sick medical patients, particularly ones that don't look sick at first, is much more important than high trauma volumes.

However, it is important to point out that Northwestern residents also do 11 weeks at Methodist Hospital in Gary which is technically a Level 3 center that functionally sees Level 1 trauma. The only Level 1 centers in the state are 3 hours away in Indianapolis and northwest Indiana is effectively a trauma care desert. The acuity and volume of penetrating and high mechanism blunt in Gary is very high and trauma surgery is not in-house. As an example during 2015, 50 people were murdered in Gary (pop 77,000) and 495 were murdered in Chicago (pop 2,700,000). Despite Chicago's bad reputation, the murder rate in Gary during 2015 was still 3.5 times higher than Chicago.
 

KinesiologyNerd

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Overall I agree with Tiger that seeing sick medical patients, particularly ones that don't look sick at first, is much more important than high trauma volumes.

However, it is important to point out that Northwestern residents also do 11 weeks at Methodist Hospital in Gary which is technically a Level 3 center that functionally sees Level 1 trauma. The only Level 1 centers in the state are 3 hours away in Indianapolis and northwest Indiana is effectively a trauma care desert. The acuity and volume of penetrating and high mechanism blunt in Gary is very high and trauma surgery is not in-house. As an example during 2015, 50 people were murdered in Gary (pop 77,000) and 495 were murdered in Chicago (pop 2,700,000). Despite Chicago's bad reputation, the murder rate in Gary during 2015 was still 3.5 times higher than Chicago.
Of course the only problem is you have to go to Gary.
 
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