Nov 3, 2013
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Anyone have thoughts on UofC anesthesia? Comments from residents, med students who rotated their, or from people that have interviewed there are welcome. I interviewed there recently and really liked the place, but some second opinions would be nice. The chair sent me a letter saying that I would be an excellent 'fit' for their program and that I "would be ranked accordingly". Anyone else get one of these?
 

Uegis

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Great program. My favorite in Chicago when I interviewed there a few years back. Solid all around and seems like everyone was happy. I did remember getting an email after I interviewed and a phone call from someone I interviewed with a week before match.
 
Sep 23, 2013
17
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Medical Student
I found this in a thread not too long ago:

----------
I am a current resident at this program, and I'd like to share a few things with current med students who may consider this program as a place to train in the future.
I am currently in my second year (CA2) and am still unhappy. I started here thinking it would be a great place to practice, given the prestigious name but what I've learned is far different from what was expected. The attendings are smart, without a doubt, but are very distant and basically require us to call them Dr. X, Y and Z -- even if they just graduated 1-2 years ago. The newer attendings, from my experience, lack confidence and are terrible at making decisions on their own. I've come to learn that they chose academics, some of them, as they were too afraid to go into the private world due to their inability to be independent.

Our coordinators, except for one, are terrible. One actually picks CRNAs over us. He despises working with residents and has a huge personality disorder.

The liason for our class is great. He's a cardiac anesthesiologist who's smart and good to work with. For the class below us, it's a different story. Some attendings are hot-tempered, give us little respect, and treat the nurses more appropriately than they do us.

The rules set by the dept are so outrageously ridiculous that, when I share them with friends at other programs, they laugh! We can't wear undershirts, necklaces, etc. We get yelled at for our earrings regularly. You make one small mistake in the OR, everyone hears about it. Rumors spread like H1N1 at this institution. Morale is low, teaching is poor. Attendings are super, super lazy. Some of them, we as residents believe, are "out to get us and untrustworthy." For instance, over years past, multiple residents have had six months-1 year added for dumb reasons. The current chiefs are lazy and are tough to get a hold of. One was gone for a month this year!

The higher ups are actually reasonable except the pd, who's too young to be in the position he's in. He is too conservative with some of us, and too liberal with others, he clearly has favorites and he's got some thing for blondes, as a lot of us have realized. This place is terrible.

We do preops for the nurses. It's not uncommon to have to come in post call or on a weekend day or your last day of vacation to preop for someone.

I would not recommend this place for anyone. I don't think it's a good hospital either; it's old and poorly maintained. I seriously thought things would have gotten better by now, and the only reason I will finish is that I only have one year to go. If I could rewind time, I would have chosen a different program with fewer egos, fewer people who yell at us and belittle us. Don't get me started on the surgical programs. They are clearly seen as superior compared with the gas docs...nurses will do almost anything for them, but very little for us. I had one nurse in the OR tell me she wasn't there for gas, when I asked for some extra meds from pharm. Silly, I know..

Again, I am venting here clearly. However, I am saying these things as I wish someone would've warned me when I was checking this site 4-5 years ago. I just don't want others to make the same mistake I made. Don't be fooled by the name. Be smart and do an away rotation. See things for yourself.

Good luck.
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I did an away there and I can tell you things haven't changed one bit. The biggest gripe I heard from the residents was the constant threat of having additional months added on. And it wasn't just empty threats, but residents were actually being given 3-6 extra months! Egos were also rampant from the faculty, but I guess I can somewhat understand this. The faculty are indeed extremely well known in the anesthesia community, but that doesn't give you a license to treat your residents like caged animals. That's just plain hurtful. Not to mention the scrub nurses that were also pretty belittling to the residents, which itself is whatever, but then makes you wonder what the overall attitude is like towards anesthesia in that hospital system. I'm glad I did an away there, or I probably would have ranked UofC in my top 2-3 based on name alone.

Bottom line, if you are desperate to do residency in Chicago for whatever reason, UofC is your best bet by default. The only "competition" is Northwestern, and that place is a sh!t hole (according to my home program's PD, I'm at a top 3 med school in the country). However, GTFO of Chicago for anesthesiology residency. There isn't a single good program. MCW 2 hours north is supposed to be one of the strongest in the midwest. Top 5 in NIH research dollars, extremely well respected, VERY high salary potential (450+ starting for general without fellowship).

BTW, UofC is in the South Side of Chicago, which if you didn't know, is the murder capital of the USA (and specifically the South Side is where the murders are concentrated).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...ago-passes-new-york-as-murder-capital-of-u-s/
 
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Nov 3, 2013
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thanks or the info. seems like just about every program where there are wildly varying viewpoints based on individual personalities. guess that's up to me to decide for myself ;)
 

Midwest088

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Nov 18, 2012
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I did an away there and am so glad I did. Probably would have been 2-3 on my list as well, but after my rotation... It ended up being dead last. Almost didn't rank it. You're right- you have to decide for yourself. Just my 2 cents
 

jeffblue

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The rules set by the dept are so outrageously ridiculous that, when I share them with friends at other programs, they laugh! We can't wear undershirts, necklaces, etc. We get yelled at for our earrings regularly. You make one small mistake in the OR, everyone hears about it. Rumors spread like H1N1 at this institution. Morale is low, teaching is poor. Attendings are super, super lazy. Some of them, we as residents believe, are "out to get us and untrustworthy." For instance, over years past, multiple residents have had six months-1 year added for dumb reasons. The current chiefs are lazy and are tough to get a hold of. One was gone for a month this year!
/
This alone should make you steer away from this program like the plague:::: WIll make for a long day let alone 4 years.
 
Sep 23, 2013
17
3
Status
Medical Student
I did an away there and am so glad I did. Probably would have been 2-3 on my list as well, but after my rotation... It ended up being dead last. Almost didn't rank it. You're right- you have to decide for yourself. Just my 2 cents
just curious, what specifically didnt you like?
 

mishelli

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Feb 1, 2008
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So as I chill at my local coffee shop avoiding studying, I have found myself on SDN after a long time away. Thought I'd give my two cents about this for whatever it is worth.

I found this in a thread not too long ago:

----------
I am a current resident at this program, and I'd like to share a few things with current med students who may consider this program as a place to train in the future.
I am currently in my second year (CA2) and am still unhappy. I started here thinking it would be a great place to practice, given the prestigious name but what I've learned is far different from what was expected. The attendings are smart, without a doubt, but are very distant and basically require us to call them Dr. X, Y and Z -- even if they just graduated 1-2 years ago. The newer attendings, from my experience, lack confidence and are terrible at making decisions on their own. I've come to learn that they chose academics, some of them, as they were too afraid to go into the private world due to their inability to be independent.

I am also a CA2 and I am not unhappy here. I am super tired of residency but isn't that the case with all of us?? Am I happy here? The best I can say is I am content. My classmates are fun, nice but I wish I could see them more often (I hate how we work in 'silos'). The prestigious name of the institution is definitely a plus. I am in the process for applying for peds fellowships and I'm getting interviews at every spot I want to be at. Our chair has also volunteered that he will help us in our job/fellowship hunt as well. Some attendings I am strictly very professional with but there are others that are like older siblings (and it's not always the newest attendings, either). The newest attendings in their first 1-2 months out do demonstrate their "newness" so to speak but I've never thought, "Oh, I can do your job better than you," or anything close to that. Most of the newer attendings at this point (11 months out) are pretty well settled now.


Our coordinators, except for one, are terrible. One actually picks CRNAs over us. He despises working with residents and has a huge personality disorder.

What? I actually don't know to whom they are referring. Some coordinators have quirks like assigning inpatient preops to the PACU/airway resident versus the people who get out early. It sucks when you're the PACU resident but awesome when you get out at 2 and peace out! Or other times it's the inverse. *shrug* I don't have a whole lot to say about this, they're fine overall. I never feel like we get "picked on" so to speak. On the bright side, generally CA3s do get priority for getting out over CA2 and CA2s get priority for getting out over CA1s. Also because of the "new" hospital opening in 2013 our surgical workload has greatly increased and initially we were getting hammered with a lot of residents staying late. Now they have implemented a system of staggered starts for the CRNAs such that they finish at 3pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm. It's awesome to finish your case at 3-4pm and just chill out in the call room until the CRNAs need to get relieved.

Misc stuff: If you stay past 10pm when you aren't on call, you get a post call day. If you stay late coordinators will try to get you out earlier the following day. Saturday GI procedures - I love my saturdays too much to do this, but I think it's $250 for 7 or 8am until noon with extra pay per hour if you stay past noon.

Things in the pipeline: moonlighting in the ICU (7pm-7am shift) which helpfully relieves the Q3 call burden of your fellow residents. Getting paid to help your brothers and sisters out! Also they're looking into paid "volunteers" to stay past 5pm.

The liason for our class is great. He's a cardiac anesthesiologist who's smart and good to work with. For the class below us, it's a different story. Some attendings are hot-tempered, give us little respect, and treat the nurses more appropriately than they do us.

What? Our current class liaison is great, very accessible by email or phone any time. There is only one attending that could *remotely* be considered hot tempered. I think it is much like anywhere else, if you are prepared to do your cases the way the attending desires (given that they are ultimately responsible for your work), you will never have a problem. This attending is particular but once he sees that you do *his* set up (aka follow directions like a monkey), he eases up and stops bugging you about minutiae.


The rules set by the dept are so outrageously ridiculous that, when I share them with friends at other programs, they laugh! We can't wear undershirts, necklaces, etc. We get yelled at for our earrings regularly. You make one small mistake in the OR, everyone hears about it. Rumors spread like H1N1 at this institution. Morale is low, teaching is poor. Attendings are super, super lazy. Some of them, we as residents believe, are "out to get us and untrustworthy." For instance, over years past, multiple residents have had six months-1 year added for dumb reasons. The current chiefs are lazy and are tough to get a hold of. One was gone for a month this year!

....so....these are enforced by IDPH and not institution specific. Truthfully a lot of people wear earrings and undershirts...until IDPH rolls around, haha. I dunno about the "small mistakes in the OR" stuff but everyone knows you can't anesthetize a rumor. I strongly disagree with the statement that the attendings are "out to get us." I don't have many reasons to seek out the chiefs, but I find them generally easy to reach. However I do like one chief better than the other because they are better at verbal TLC (since often times residents' complaints are about stupid crap they can't fix e.g. ahhh why did I get the short straw and have one more month of ICU? Much sad.).


The higher ups are actually reasonable except the pd, who's too young to be in the position he's in. He is too conservative with some of us, and too liberal with others, he clearly has favorites and he's got some thing for blondes, as a lot of us have realized. This place is terrible.

??? I'm not even sure that this is referring to the same person but our current PD is leaving for family reasons. I find him extremely easy to work with and since I'm not blonde I don't know if he has a thing for blondes. However, he must have written a halfway decent letter since I'm actually receiving interview offers. Our new PD will be starting at the end of this academic year (I think). She is awesome. Wound tight at times (if you read this, I love you!!), but really super nice, easy to work with and I never worry about saying stupid things or asking stupid things or feeling dumb around her. And that is a sentiment I would say applies to >95% of the attendings.


We do preops for the nurses. It's not uncommon to have to come in post call or on a weekend day or your last day of vacation to preop for someone.

False! I have never ever ever come in on a post-call day or weekend or vacation to do a preop. The first six months of residency the CA1s are responsible for their own inpt preops. It's a learning point and not meant to torture you. Unfortunately sometimes that means if you are postcall Tuesday, you may have an inpt for your case on Wednesday but c'mon! Just call any of your classmates and ask them to see the preop for you. No. Big. Deal. After the first six months, your preops will be seen by someone else if you are post call. Oh and any scheduled inpts for Monday are automatically seen by the airway resident on the weekend, guaranteed. It sucks if you're the airway resident but it sucks more to come in on your weekend off so everyone does it with the understanding that we are just helping ourselves out in the future. Occasionally mistakes happen and you may have an inpt scheduled on your day back from vacay (sometimes it's the coordinators, other times, cases get moved around from room to room) and again, I would just recommend you ask a buddy to see it for you. No problemo.


I would not recommend this place for anyone. I don't think it's a good hospital either; it's old and poorly maintained. I seriously thought things would have gotten better by now, and the only reason I will finish is that I only have one year to go. If I could rewind time, I would have chosen a different program with fewer egos, fewer people who yell at us and belittle us. Don't get me started on the surgical programs. They are clearly seen as superior compared with the gas docs...nurses will do almost anything for them, but very little for us. I had one nurse in the OR tell me she wasn't there for gas, when I asked for some extra meds from pharm. Silly, I know..

I *would* recommend this program! No regrets, baby. ;) I would describe myself as pretty laidback and chill so your mileage may vary but I didn't want this review to be the only review on SDN. UChicago, the forefront of medicine! haha, ok a little sarcasm there but honestly what do expect residency to be like? It ain't gonna be all flowers and roses and rainbows. I have never had a nurse refuse to grab me something I need. I do agree they tend to prioritize the surgeons but surgeons are more likely to get pissed if they don't have X retractor available for Y surgery. Whereas if the ancef redose doesn't get in for another 10 minutes, I'm not up in arms about it. For anything time sensitive (e.g. blood, propofol for my TIVA, etc) the nurses have been excellent.


Again, I am venting here clearly. However, I am saying these things as I wish someone would've warned me when I was checking this site 4-5 years ago. I just don't want others to make the same mistake I made. Don't be fooled by the name. Be smart and do an away rotation. See things for yourself.

Good luck.
----------

I did an away there and I can tell you things haven't changed one bit. The biggest gripe I heard from the residents was the constant threat of having additional months added on. And it wasn't just empty threats, but residents were actually being given 3-6 extra months! Egos were also rampant from the faculty, but I guess I can somewhat understand this. The faculty are indeed extremely well known in the anesthesia community, but that doesn't give you a license to treat your residents like caged animals. That's just plain hurtful. Not to mention the scrub nurses that were also pretty belittling to the residents, which itself is whatever, but then makes you wonder what the overall attitude is like towards anesthesia in that hospital system. I'm glad I did an away there, or I probably would have ranked UofC in my top 2-3 based on name alone.

Of the people who had time added, I know of specific incidents where the resident's poor judgment led to patient morbidity/mortality. In those cases, one should ALWAYS call the attending. I mean, as long as you are in residency and have the 'protection' of an attending, why not take it?? It doesn't matter if you are a CA1 in your first month or a CA3 in your last month, if it were my license on the line (as an attending), I would absolutely want to be in on the loop. Enough said.


Bottom line, if you are desperate to do residency in Chicago for whatever reason, UofC is your best bet by default. The only "competition" is Northwestern, and that place is a sh!t hole (according to my home program's PD, I'm at a top 3 med school in the country). However, GTFO of Chicago for anesthesiology residency. There isn't a single good program. MCW 2 hours north is supposed to be one of the strongest in the midwest. Top 5 in NIH research dollars, extremely well respected, VERY high salary potential (450+ starting for general without fellowship).

BTW, UofC is in the South Side of Chicago, which if you didn't know, is the murder capital of the USA (and specifically the South Side is where the murders are concentrated).

Seriously? I drive past Obama's house every day on my way to/from work. I count no less than 3-4 police cars on my way to work which is a huge pain in my rear because I don't have a headset and I have a penchant for making phone calls when I'm driving. My parents have become used to me frantically whispering, "hold on there's a cop" and throwing the phone into the passenger seat before picking up the phone again a minute later. It's just like any city. Don't do dumb **** and you'll be fine. If it makes you feel better there are thousands of undergrads and grad students who make more tantalizing targets than a tired grumpy resident.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...ago-passes-new-york-as-murder-capital-of-u-s/

OK guys I hope that helps. Good luck my lovelies
 
Last edited:

Adductor canal

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Apr 3, 2015
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Can you move to another program like a swap? How much longer do u have?
Just finish your residency. Some of the things that u mentioned are there even after u graduate.
 
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