What are some personal strengths or weaknesses of the program?
Strengths: Well-rounded, camaraderie, prepared at graduation medically and surgically, a variety of cases, strong clinical skills.
Weaknesses: Some residents would like more pediatrics and trauma.
Strengths: Management of patient from admission to discharge, autonomy when proven you can manage, good variety of forefoot and rearfoot cases.
Strengths: Well roundedness, exposure to the full embodiment of podiatry, clinic time with multiple physicians, home call, other residents always willing to help out, diversity of pathology.
Is there an orthopedic residency that you may compete with for cases?
3rd Year: No, the only other residency is family medicine.
2nd Year: No orthopedic residency, but there is an orthopedic practice that we work closely with.
1st Year: The only residency programs within our hospital system are podiatry and family medicine.
What is call like? Does it change as you progress from 1st to 3rd year or stay the same?
3rd Year: General call is mostly 1st-year responsibility, expect to be busy, it’s a learning experience.
2nd Year: 1st-year residents take most of the call throughout the year. Overall, it’s not too bad, home call.
1st Year: Call for the first-year residents is pretty heavy, but manageable.
Do any of the residents have families? If so how well are they able to balance residency and family life?
3rd Year: Several residents and attending are married with small children. It is hard but doable. A big part of this is making sure expectations are clear between you and your family. In general this is a family-friendly program, but at the same time you are expected to fulfill your responsibilities.
2nd Year: Balancing family and residency is tough but possible. Learning to be efficient with your work helps free up time for family. Overall, we strive to help our co-residents out to have some time for family.
1st Year: It can be difficult to balance at times, but we all appreciate the importance of family and do our best to cover for each other.
How does your program do with numbers? Rear foot cases and total ankle procedures?
3rd Year: There are no issues with numbers. TAR is starting to become a more common discussion, and we are doing more now than in the past. We do rear foot and yes, total ankles.
2nd Year: Numbers are achieved by early 3rd year. Rear foot and forefoot numbers have always been solid. Trauma has never been a problem, but it seems to come in waves.
1st Year: There are plenty of surgical opportunities during the three years of residency. A lot of rear foot and ankle cases are performed at our program.
How early does your program “hand over the knife” to 1st-year residents? Is there a lot of autonomy with the residents?
3rd Year: All attendings are different and all residents are different. On day 1, you are respected as a surgical doctor; it’s a give respect to get respect type of place. Yes, lots of autonomy. There is no protocol as far as what cases you are allowed to do, but usually the attendings will let you do what you feel comfortable doing and what they are comfortable letting you do. The main point is you will feel comfortable doing surgery on your own by the end of the third year.
2nd Year: From day 1. What helps is preparing well for cases: learning all about the patient, procedure, supporting literature for the procedure, and practice – which obviously comes with time. Also very helpful to practice suturing and hand-ties.
1st Year: You will definitely become comfortable, proficient, and confident in the operating room at this program. We begin to operate immediately as a first-year. There is a natural progression regarding case selection, but we are expected to be prepared at any time. It is fairly autonomous, but support is always available if needed.