1. The SDN iPhone App is back and free through November! Get it today and please post a review on the App Store!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

Washington Hospital Center: AVOID!

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by JacksonX, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. JacksonX

    JacksonX Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    Avoid this program like the PLAGUE.

    It is the single most horrible environment I have ever heard of.

    They take many "categorical" interns, and weed the heck out of them.
    Most residents who make it through have had to repeat MULTIPLE years because the department decided that they had low absite scores (an illegal practice.)

    The program director LIES about their policies, and if anyone would ever actually expose them to the media for what they are, they would be out of jobs and their would be multiple successful multimillion dollar lawsuits.

    If you fail to get a certain absite score, you are forced to do a SICU year which doesn't count for anything. If you do "poorly" again, you're fired.
    The residents there all keep their mouths shut because they are scared out of their minds to do anything about it.
    Not one resident likes this program.

    Unless you are a COMPLETELY desperate foreign medical graduate who does very well on standardized exams and has no problem dealing with really miserable people, please do not waste your time at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington DC.
    The program is setup like general surgery was in the 1950's. What they do is completely illegal, and will someday be discovered.
    Until then, do yourself a favor and go somewhere else.

    I have nothing to gain or lose from this, just trying to inform the masses.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. toxic-megacolon

    toxic-megacolon Toxic Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sources? Just curious...
     
  4. JacksonX

    JacksonX Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    ...A bunch of residents who are there/have been there in various fields including surgery.
     
  5. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Messages:
    9,050
    Likes Received:
    140
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Hi there,
    Washington Hospital Center takes a high number of FMG graduates that they keep in place in case one of the categoricals drops out. Many of these folks would not be good candidates at other programs and end up burning out at WHC. It is a busy program but many of the attending surgeons are quality folks. There is a burn unit in place and plenty of general surgery work. There is a Trauma/Critical care fellowship at WHC. There is plenty of trauma there with more penetrating than most hospitals are seeing. Surgical Oncology is well-represented too. There are PAs and NPs that cover patients in the critical care units.

    Georgetown University Hospital was fairly recently acquired by Medstar Health, the same corporation that owns Washington Hospital Center. WHC has become a clinical rotation spot for the Georgetown folks as well as GW, USHUS and Howard. It wasn't my "cup of tea" but I would not characterize this place as "horrible" but typical of a large inner city community hospital.

    If everything the OP said was true, the program would be on probation by the RRC and they are not. Like I said above, WHC is not for everyone but the folks who finish there are competent surgeons who are able to pass boards and practice.

    njbmd :)
     
  6. MCP '06

    MCP '06 Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I hope this information is not biased by anger. If these facts are true, everyone needs to know before they subject themselves to five years (plus) of hell.

    If true, this is how we as a nation are producing surgeons ---> anger at life, anger at patients, and incompatible with other people.
     
  7. JacksonX

    JacksonX Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1

    Most places are not like this.
    I have nothing to gain or lose, as I don't attend this program.

    I just have friends there, who I visit often, and I feel bad that they were conned into this aweful horrible place, and now they are stuck, hoping they don't get fired.

    They are too afraid to tell anyone, so I figured I'd do my best to get the word out there.
     
  8. wadxr

    wadxr New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    too bad……
     
  9. valedictorian

    valedictorian Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0

    Interesting. Do you know what their attrition rate is? Or what proportion of "prelims" get promoted? Those are the basic indexes of how pyramidal a program is. That would be more interesting to know.

    I have to say I doubt the truth of your "I heard this from a friend" statement. The tone of your post makes you sound more like a disgruntled insider. If so, then spill the beans. We're all annonymous here. :cool:
     
  10. JacksonX

    JacksonX Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sorry you doubt me; I honestly don't care. Just trying to help the community out; take that for what it's worth.
    I'm a UROLOGY resident at a completely different program, and have heard this information from my categorical friends, former prelim (now anes, rads) friends, and urology friends at the Washington Hospital Center. The mentality at places like that is what drove me away from gen surg (and towards urology) as a medical student.

    I cannot tell you exact numbers or names, other than the "majority" takes longer than 5 years to finish the program, and that "many" leave after the first 1-3 years, and that "no one" is promoted with low ABSITE scores.
    I'd recommend that if you REALLY like pyramidal programs, that you ask the residents the specifics when you interview there.
     
  11. Amy

    Amy
    Physician 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Yeah, I interviewed there last year, and got a bad vibe from them. Many of the faculty (including the PD) seemed very "old school." I felt like they were trying to hide something. Needless to say, this program wasn't high on my ROL.

    Since njbmd also posted on here, I'd like to mention that I've heard some bad things about UVA's program as well. I know an intern there who's working RIDICULOUS hours (like 120/wk), and is really unhappy. It's a shame... he was really excited about the program, and had no idea that they weren't complying w/ the RRC rules.
     
  12. mmmmdonuts

    mmmmdonuts Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    wonder why everyone is attacking this guy.if you dont believe him then apply there because its such a great place. saying that it aint under probation so those claims arent true is false because investigations are based on self-reporting. RRC just asks residents if they are compliant and guess what they always are because categoiricals dont want to get the boot and non-desig prelims dont want to get blacklisted. That's a total joke. I'm not saying that all residencies are non-compliant but everyone always acts like they all are. b.s. you really can't tell whether they are or are not unless or until youre working there because they're not going to let that out.

    everyone always asks for the 'inside scoops' on programs but then when people give them it, they always say 'no you lie you effing liar stop lying you lying liar." what's the point of getting the scoop then? if youre gonna believe the administration blindly then shut up and go on the interview and read the pretty packets.
     
  13. FACS

    FACS jolly good fellow
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0

    Hmmmm, it seemed to me that most people aggreed with him. Some asked for clarification. Do you go to a program that's like this one? If so, could you give us the 'inside scoop'? I promise I won't tell you to "stop lying you lying liar".
     
  14. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Messages:
    9,050
    Likes Received:
    140
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Hi there,
    Your "intern pal" at UVa need only mention that he is working 120 hours to Irv Kron or Bruce Schirmer and they will quickly remedy the situation. Since I know of no one who is posting these kinds of hours, your friend must be logging his hours incorrectly or "under-logging" both of which we are encouraged not to do. Hours are monitored like gold at UVa and we signed pledges that we would not work more than 80 hours per week averaged over four weeks. UVa was compliant with the 80-hour work week a year before it was mandated by the RRC.
    njbmd :)
     
  15. FACS

    FACS jolly good fellow
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, njbmd's rebuttal is sort of reassuring.....but c'mon, njbmd isn't exactly in a position to be honest about the program. As she is isn't anonymous, anything she says would get right back to her. Interesting, though, that she doesn't deny that UVA's program is shaped a little toward the pyramidal sort of form.
     
  16. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Messages:
    9,050
    Likes Received:
    140
    Status:
    Attending Physician

    Hi there,
    UVa is NOT a pyramid program. UVa takes four categorical surgical residents each year and one Plastics resident. There are two years of research but some residents can elect not to do any reseach and are still accomodated (lots of shifting in the research years). UVa does take non-designated preliminary residents but does not generally take them into categorical slots as there are generally none available (very little attrition).

    UVa has a strong record of placing residents in fellowships and is generally considered a fairly strong academic residency. Most people love living in Charlottesville (nice city and good location). Hospital is wonderful with great support departments. Schirmer is a good and fair program director and is nationally known for his laparoscopic work. UVa has had three faculty members who have been past presidents of the American College of Surgeons.

    All in all, UVa has been fairly competitive. Most categorical residents are AOA and have strong USMLE Step I scores. ABSITE scores equally strong among the categorical residents. Attendings are very supportive and love to teach.

    Odd thing, UVa knows their strengths and weaknesses (tends to be a bit inbred). Again, not the perfect place for everyone but a neat place to be. Judging by the numbers of applicants, others have tended to share this opinion.

    njbmd :)
     
  17. Scalpel_Junky36

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    3
    Anyone know anything about the reputation of the current program?
     
    eject likes this.
  18. eject

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    55
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
  19. Scalpel_Junky36

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    3
  20. mikeGR

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Disclaimer: I am a resident at the WHC. Before interviewing at the WHC I came across this topic as well. This topic is old and outdated, and it contradicted the experience of people I knew so I came for the interview, and eventually I ranked it very highly.

    Everything depends on what you're looking for in a program. Here you will take care of very sick patients, you will learn a lot, you will operate, and you can have a great time while doing that. It is the largest hospital in the region (~900 beds, 5 SICUs with ~70 beds) and we have residents/med students from Georgetown, Walter Reed, and occasionally GW, Howard and others. Several years back, one of the first attempts in EMR came from our hospital (Azyxxi, eventually bought by Microsoft) - we now use Medconnect.

    We graduate 5 chiefs every year, and our grads get pretty good fellowships - last year we got Surg Onc at Cedars Sinai, Transplant in U of Nebraska, Trauma/CC in Delaware, Colorectal (not sure where) and one chief became an attending here (already had fellowship in Burns) and is also running the Burn Research Lab. From the current class we have matches to UTSW for PRS, UCLA for CT surg, and pending results for the rest.

    We have very high volume of patients and cases, and only have few fellowships: Colorectal, Breast, Trauma/CC (mainly CC), Vascular (+ integrated residency). We have the highest board pass rate in the area (orals + written). We have a great sim lab (Sitel). The MedStar Heart Institute has a very strong reputation in cardiac surg and advanced cardiology (EP, LVADs, transplants etc) and recently allied with the Cleveland Clinic. We have the largest trauma/burn center and cancer center in the area. There are strong ties with the NIH in certain fields.

    The culture within the program is very friendly. There are clear expectations and support when someone needs it to meet the program's goals (ie ABSITE etc). The residency program's leadership acts upon our feedback, and there are new hires. Most attendings like to teach and are hands-off, they almost never micromanage. The residents have high autonomy but there is attending-level support whenever necessary. From talking to senior residents, it appears that there were some radical changes in the program >5 yrs ago, with a new chairman (the well-respected Dr Ricotta), new hires, and some people stepping down. It is hard to compare residency programs, especially since we are all clearly biased, but I have only heard good things about our residents' competency by the rotating fellows/residents and by the fellows/residents in places where we rotate. There are currently some developments in the structure of the program - the dpt of Surgery has merged with Georgetown and the interim chair is our CRS chair. To my understanding, the residency programs will merge too (unknown when), forming one of the largest programs in the country (10 graduating chiefs/year)

    Almost all our rotations are inside our hospital - we only spend time outside WHC to go to Childrens National Medical Center for ped surg (PGY2, 2 months), Georgetown for HPB/transplant (PGY4, 2 months), and Montgomery General Hospital for gen surg (PGY4, 2 months). Our patient population in WHC is primarily poor, uninsured etc people, but we get our occasional VIPs for cardiovascular surg and the international guest stars for cytoreduction/HIPEC (with the legend Dr Sugarbaker). I am not going to expand on the area - DC is an awesome city, full of young professionals, and you will never get bored here (at least not within 5 yrs).

    On the other hand, we are not a very academic program. We have ~4hr of didactics each week (+ weekly conference depending on the service). We have limited but growing research resources (active research on Trauma/Burn/Vascular Surg). We have a very busy schedule (very rarely you will see someone sitting or even studying when on duty) but resident camaraderie makes it better. At this point our chiefs are/will be weak in Ped Surg (only rotate in CNMC during PGY2) but after the residencies merge there will be more space to rotate (anywhere) electively during PGY5.

    For any questions feel free to shoot me a msg. I will be happy to meet any of you guys interviewing but I will be rotating at CNMC for most of the interview season.
     
    lazymed and SurgRes27 like this.
  21. oneandonlylo

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Current resident here... Please do disregard the above (and very old) information. Obviously can't speak to what used to take place, but it seems that things have changed considerably since the first posts of this thread. Much of what is mentioned in the above post by MikeGR holds true. Our residents are generally very supportive of one another and graduates have been very successful in pursuing whatever type of practice or fellowship they desire. Happy to answer any / all questions, here or by DM.
     
  22. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic
    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,583
    Likes Received:
    3,467
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    The program may be all kittens and ice cream nowadays. However, bumping this thread while denying the OP is either the most deviously brilliant way to slam your own program while retaining plausible deniability or a total lack of understanding about the way the internet works. If its the former, I'm sure I'll be working for you as a hospital CEO someday.
     
    DokterMom likes this.
  23. eject

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    55
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Ha, I don't know. When I was looking at programs, google searches and SDN searches brought up old threads like this, and they have an impact. Which is to say, I can see an argument for a program's proponents defending the program even if it means bumping an old thread.
     

Share This Page