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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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cchoukal

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I'd be remiss if I didn't post at least a couple clarifications since I graduated from the OP's program (although I don't know the OP by username) just last year.

1) the clothing requirements are from the IL dept of public health, not the anesthesia department, and everyone in the OR has to abide by them. I assumed every place was the same, but in CA, people wear their scrubs outside with no coat covering them and wear t-shirts udnerneath, and their own scrub hats.

2) It's difficult for me to imagine that you'd be coming in post-call, on a weekend, or post-vacation to pre-op people since there's an in-house resident whose job is specifically to do just that. The exception to this is that in your first 6 months of CA1 year, yes, you are expected to come in to pre-op your patients.

3) You will pre-op patients for CRNA cases. People will disagree about whether nurses should or shouldn't be responsible for what is a physician's job (i.e., medical w/u of a pre-op patient). Others will see this as scut.

4) Gossip does spread, and it's a little unfair. I can definitely point to one or two occasions where I made some stupid comment with one attending, and I was ribbed about it from another. I thought that was a little childish, actually.

5) Your comment about the PD borders on slander, and I wouldn't doubt that people on this board know him.

6) the hospital is a dump, no question about it, and it goes beyond the physical plant. The process is completely dysfunctional, and the new hospital they're building will not improve your experience in this regard.

7) The coordinator you mentioned, I think I know who you mean, and I used to wonder as well until I worked with him on OB. One of the dept's best teachers, in my opinion. I always thought it was a shame he didn't work with residents more.

The rest is a little harder to comment on, since it seems to rely on perceptions, and I don't doubt that a resident could walk away from our program with those impressions. Yes, some attendings are a little weird, yes you'll call most of your attendings Dr. so-and-so (is that uncommon?), and yes, surgeons will treat you as inferior (is THAT uncommon?). I guess I don't know if this is all that different from other programs. I'm at UCSF now and the surgeons are dicks here too. There are some weird attendings. And even on the west coast, many of the attendings are referred to as "doctor."

I would add that my class, by and large, was filled with bitter malcontents who, I think, ended up working harder than they expected and weren't treated as "well" (whatever that means) as expected.

My perceptions were very different. I showed up every day, asked questions, read a lot, and I felt like I was treated very well. I had as much support and mentoring as I could have possibly wanted, and I got my 1st choice of fellowships, so my experience there was very positive.

i'm not trying to defend the program or discount the OP's experiences, but s/he and I are coming away from the same program with very different experiences.
 
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bullard

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The funny part is, 95% of what the original poster wrote about the U of C applies to Northwestern! (Obviously, the facilities here are nicer, although an OR is an OR. I don't know what to make of that comment about the PD).

Anyway, I think the grass is always greener on the other side. I think dickhole surgeons, preopping for CRNAs, and gossiping anesthesia attendings are probably part of every residency experience. If there's a program out there where the residents call all attendings by first name and go golfing with the surgeons every Sunday, I'd like to hear about it. :laugh:
 

IN2B8R

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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.

Damn, that sucks. Hang in there, youngster! You are almost home free.... Keep your mouth shut and bide your time. Don't mind the BS that you face everyday, just focus on your studying and doing what you are told. Please their fuggin', weak egos. The light is at the end of the tunnel, you are almost there! I did not go to a program like yours, I loved my experience and became a huge asset to the surgeons I work for and to my group. Keep your head up!:thumbup:
 

starsop93

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The funny part is, 95% of what the original poster wrote about the U of C applies to Northwestern!
I would argue 95% of this applies to EVERY large academic program in a big city. I trained at two of 'em (one on the west coast and one on the east coast) and there were elements of most of these at both. Sorry dude (or dudette), that's what you get if you go with the "Big Name" Program.
 

ProRealDoc

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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.

Attendings who pick CRNAs over residents do it because they are lazy. If they have a nurse in the room, they don' have to teach one iota.
 

sevo85288

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I graduated from Northwestern's program and NONE of the OPs comment related to NWU. Excellent facilities, great attendings who were very approachable, great working relationship with surgeons/residents for the most part. And tons of teaching/support from the department. I highly recommend NWU over ANY program in the country. No kidding.
 

Emvious

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As a current CA-1 at UofC and someone who read these boards a lot when applying to residency I felt obligated to reply to this thread. I think cchoukal covered pretty much everything and more succintly and eloquently than I will, but here's my two cents.

We have 2-3 attendings out of 50+ who I would consider somewhat difficult at times, and a few others who are just quirky but actually great people once you get past the oddities. That is a very acceptable trade off for the cailber of the rest who are overall friendly and extremely knowledgable. I think you'd be hard pressed to find any decent sized program where you abolutely love everyone.

Surgeons are surgeons. I don't feel like I am looked down on, aside form the usual "I operate for 20 hours barefoot in the snow and you get to take a coffee break every 20 minutes you sissy" mentality. I can't believe it is any worse here than anywhere else. Along the same lines, nurses are nurses. Most are really helpful. Some have attitudes, which I don't think is personal, or specific to UofC.

The OR dress code comes from the state health department. If wearing ear rings and t-shirts in the OR is important to you, this program may not be a good fit. I was initially bummed that I couldn't wear my wedding ring in the OR. In the grand scheme of things I see that as a small sacrifice for the level of training I am receiving. Looking back, that isn't something I wish I had asked on interviews.

The first six months of your residency you are required to see all your inpatient pre-ops. After that, someone else sees your inpatients when you are post call, post vacation, and even Friday afternoon for Monday's cases. During a normal day, you may be asked to pre-op for CRNA's for the next day.

I feel like the administration has our education as their primary focus. I have approached several of the administrators for different things and have always been met with a warm reception and had a positive interaction. I think our PD is a great fit for the position. I have seen and heard nothing but good things about him. The chiefs have also been available and helpful when I have needed something. Sure, there are issues at times, but trying to please a department of 50 or so residents with all the various schedules and requests has to be tough.

I don't feel that morale is low and that teaching is terrible. The general feeling I get is that people in the program are happy. Everyone has bad days and like it or not, this is residency. After a month of ICU I was a little stressed. When I look at the big picture, we have it pretty good here.

In all honesty, there have been a handful of days that had I posted after my work day I may have echoed a few of the issues in the OP's post. No single program is right for everyone, and no program will be shiny and happy all the time. UofC is a well respected, fairly "big-name" program. Along with that comes some egos and idiosnycracies. I agree that most of this stuff goes on pretty much everywhere to some degree. No program is perfect. Figure out what is important to you and what you are willing to sacrifice. I interviewed at more laid back programs where most attendings were addressed by their first name, but in the end I decided that wasn't as important as other things.

I am defending the program, because I am extremely content and if I had the chance to do it all over I wouldn't change a thing. I feel like I have every available opportunity to get the best training possible, and more than enough support to help me realize my goals.

If I can offer any further insights or answer any questions about the program don't hesitate to message me.
 
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Mista Suprane

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yes you'll call most of your attendings Dr. so-and-so (is that uncommon?)
at JHH we call 90% of our anesthesia attendings by their first name. i find your situation sort of strange to be honest. sorry for the threadjack, anyone else want to comment?

i would say we are on a first name basis with many of the surgical attendings as well (especially the younger ones).
 

gaspasser2004

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I rotated through the U of C program as a visiting fourth year medical student and completed my residency at Johns Hopkins.

To be honest, I did find a bit of an attitude at the University of Chicago. I felt like some of the attendings looked down on me simply because I wasn't a University of Chicago medical student. One suggested that I might not even match at all in anesthesia :eek:. During my actual interview, the attendings were more interested in pumping me for information about other programs and then trashing said programs rather than actually trying to recruit me. To be sure, there were some very good attendings who treated me well, but those were few and far between.

The Hopkins program is large and has its share of oddities, but mista suprane was correct in that you call most of your attendings by their first name and some younger surgical attendings by their first name too. This may seem like a minor consideration, but I think it is a marker of a program/institution that respects their residents. Obviously, you also get excellent clinical training at Johns Hopkins.
 

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Some of them [attendings], 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.
OP: All the crap you said goes for sooo many programs. All the people who say they had a good time prob got along better with the bosses. Or just BS reps who can't handle some criticism of their alma mater. Or afraid to speak up, which gives the crook admin power. Example: I visited NW as a 4th year, I don't completely agree with some posts, but it's all in the eye of the beholder.

By the way, did u ask that chief why he or she was gone? Maybe it was legitimate. You said chiefs so assume there is at least 1 more. Did that person take over matters? If so, then what the F does it matter?

But the whole adding on training time thing seems bogus:thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown:. If dumb reasons means ganging up on certain residents, then those certain higher ups need to be reported to ACGME. If you can't trust them, that sucks. Yet, how many programs do ppl get away with voicing their concerns?

I'll believe you if word goes around another rez gets their term extended. Otherwise med studs, keep watch of progs doing this kind of BS. This should be part of the interview Qs.
 

sevo85288

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I interviewed there. Overall a good program. Weak in OB, Cardiac, and regional (this is 3-4 yrs back) No Ultrasound guided blocks then. Strong didactics and lots of board prep, which to me is a waste of time b/c I can more efficiently study on my own. The facilities are old and displeasing. The location around the hospital is scary. (ghetto) A few attendings are strange and some female residents were joking about an attending who they found creepy; of course this was there opinion. Several staff were highly involved in the ASA and great to talk to.
 

cchoukal

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My understanding is the chief was gone for maternity leave. In the past 3 or 4 years, there were 3 people who had extra time added to their residency based on tightly defined criteria that are spelled out explicitly and are almost exclusively related to performance on the ITE and AKT. No one in any of the present classes has had time added, as far as I know.

Again, not to brush the program's issues under the rug, or to discount what I'm sure the OP feels are legitimate issues, but these are the facts as I understand them.
 
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Surgeons are surgeons. I don't feel like I am looked down on, aside form the usual "I operate for 20 hours barefoot in the snow and you get to take a coffee break every 20 minutes you sissy" mentality. I can't believe it is any worse here than anywhere else. Along the same lines, nurses are nurses. Most are really helpful. Some have attitudes, which I don't think is personal, or specific to UofC.

The OR dress code comes from the state health department. If wearing ear rings and t-shirts in the OR is important to you, this program may not be a good fit. I was initially bummed that I couldn't wear my wedding ring in the OR. In the grand scheme of things I see that as a small sacrifice for the level of training I am receiving. Looking back, that isn't something I wish I had asked on interviews.

The first six months of your residency you are required to see all your inpatient pre-ops. After that, someone else sees your inpatients when you are post call, post vacation, and even Friday afternoon for Monday's cases. During a normal day, you may be asked to pre-op for CRNA's for the next day.

I feel like the administration has our education as their primary focus. I have approached several of the administrators for different things and have always been met with a warm reception and had a positive interaction. I think our PD is a great fit for the position. I have seen and heard nothing but good things about him. The chiefs have also been available and helpful when I have needed something. Sure, there are issues at times, but trying to please a department of 50 or so residents with all the various schedules and requests has to be tough.
If this CA-1 is right, then I smell some bull#(@2 from a so called CA-2. Sounds more like another first year who probably is being lazy, then getting yelled at, and now crying on an online board masquerading as a senior.

OP, you must be a chick. Jewelry!!! Earrings!!!!?? Sorry if that comes off sexist. Can't see any dude worrying about that.
 

Dawkter

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Would like to know more about this program, specifically when the new hospital opens and if much of what the OP mentioned is actually true. Anyone interview at this program this year who can contribute? Thanks!
 
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gasp

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Buddy, so much of what you said applies to many many programs. It is not necessarily your program that sucks but the dynamics/politics/monetary issues of this field in general which leads to all those things you mentioned happening. This also happens a lot at inbred institutions so I wouldn't be surprised if your place had lots of attendings who graduated from the program. Just remember that its temporary and that you are 1.5 years from finishing and moving on. I can also tell you that your CA-3 year is going to be much better since CA-2 year is usually the heaviest time for anesthesia residents. Just hang in there, keep a low profile, and get out when your done.
 
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cchoukal

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Would like to know more about this program, specifically when the new hospital opens and if much of what the OP mentioned is actually true. Anyone interview at this program this year who can contribute? Thanks!
NHP (New Hospital Pavillion) is slated to open some time in 2013.

As for the rest, what does "true" mean to you? In the context of an anonymous message board, I would argue "true" is pretty meaningless. One person had a bad enough impression that they wrote anonymously about it on here. Other people (myself included) also wrote. I'm not sure you can expect much more than that, but maybe it's worth asking yourself what you'd need to hear in order to help you make a decision. Would you rank them higher if one more person refuted the OPs claims? Two more refuting posts?
 

WholeLottaGame7

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NHP (New Hospital Pavillion) is slated to open some time in 2013.

As for the rest, what does "true" mean to you? In the context of an anonymous message board, I would argue "true" is pretty meaningless. One person had a bad enough impression that they wrote anonymously about it on here. Other people (myself included) also wrote. I'm not sure you can expect much more than that, but maybe it's worth asking yourself what you'd need to hear in order to help you make a decision. Would you rank them higher if one more person refuted the OPs claims? Two more refuting posts?
Second.

Without knowing the OP, it's hard to assign much weight. Maybe they're just unhappy with life in general. Maybe they're a totally reasonable person who's had some unfortunate run-ins.

All you can do is use it as one data point, and try to acquire as many more data points as possible before making a decision.
 

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Interviewed here and left with some questions regarding the why the 2 residents left in the past 3-4 years? Also, there was some talk about a bunch of residents being on "probation" for low test scores? Anyone have any insight into either of these things?
 

Dawkter

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NHP (New Hospital Pavillion) is slated to open some time in 2013.

As for the rest, what does "true" mean to you? In the context of an anonymous message board, I would argue "true" is pretty meaningless. One person had a bad enough impression that they wrote anonymously about it on here. Other people (myself included) also wrote. I'm not sure you can expect much more than that, but maybe it's worth asking yourself what you'd need to hear in order to help you make a decision. Would you rank them higher if one more person refuted the OPs claims? Two more refuting posts?
True, but hearing more negative things about the program from people who have interviewed this year would push it down on my rank list. Vice versa with the opposite information.
 

cchoukal

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Interviewed here and left with some questions regarding the why the 2 residents left in the past 3-4 years? Also, there was some talk about a bunch of residents being on "probation" for low test scores? Anyone have any insight into either of these things?
These are really great questions for the PD. The likelihood that anyone on here is going to have accurate, unbiased information on this is extremely low. Every program in the country has the ability to put residents on probation for poor performance. In the case of U of C, at least when I was there, they made the criteria for probation and extending residency crystal clear, and in writing.