DO programs

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8 years 11 months ago - 8 years 11 months ago #25385 by
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St. Joseph Health Center - Warren/Youngstown Ohio

The Ohio gem program

General/Attendings: This is a community program that covers two main hospitals. They cover St. Joseph's a 220 bed hospital where they learn their everything-under-the-sun of general cases, St. Elizabeth's which is a 550 bed level 1 trauma and tertiary care center, Akron's children peds hospital in youngstown, St. Elizabeth Boardman a 300 bed brand new 7 floor hospital, and 2-3 surgical centers. Their subspecialty exposure is extremely good where they train with almost all MD fellowship trained attendings in the area that range from Joints trained at New England Baptist, peds trained at Hospital for Special Surgery to a sports trained at Steadman-Hawkins. Their MD fellowship trained surgeons have connections, and in the past 7 years they've matched I think two into Cleveland Clinic for joints. Because of the great amount of subspecialty exposure from very well-trained attendings, they are not required to do any out rotations unless they want to for electives. Unlike some programs that boast high OR exposure, all the attendings here actually let the residents fly at an early stage. I saw an intern in his second week doing carpal tunnels and triggers fingers. I saw him later that week do a sliding hip screw with the proper technique taught by the chief.

Didactics: They have didactics a couple days in the morning and friday afternoon. It's the usual lectures, journal club, OITE, and other educational activities. The fracture conferences are always educational because they cover and operate at a level 1 trauma hospital. Unlike many of the programs you will come across aside from Doctor's hospital, the fracture conferences are so diverse and variable you will walk out of this program prepared for almost any fracture. The trauma conference has the trauma attendings heavily involved including surgeon's like Dr. Sontich who's residency trained at Cleveland clinic and trauma fellowship trained at Metrohealth ohio who works with the residents. Their didactic learning style is more do it yourself, which some may consider weaker.

Operative Experience: The operating experience is one of their greatest strengths. I got to rotate at 6 top ortho programs and can say that these guys were the best skilled surgeons I saw on the audition trail. In my first week at St. Joe's I saw a 4th year do 3 knee replacements, 2 hips, 2 ACL's (btb AND hamstring allograft), several knee and shoulder scopes all on his own. The attending was either not scrubbed in or was acting as his PA. Not only did he do them, but he did a great job with lots of confidence. I saw a chief put in pelvic screws under the direction of the traumatologist at st. E's. Overall, their chiefs were leagues ahead of the other residencies in terms of surgical training and confidence. These guys operate a lot and early. Other residencies boast about having a lot of operative experience, but St. Joe's had the residents actually doing all the cases skin to skin instead of the attendings doing most of procedure.

Clinic: They previously had a resident run clinic and now are trying to get it back running with one of their new trauma guys that just came out of allegany gen for trauma. It should be up by 2014-2015. If you're looking for a really good clinic experience as a resident, I would look to other programs like Grandview and riverside

Research: Of the many places that have research opportunities, St. Joe's surprisingly had one of the best amount of research for residents (aside from Columbus). They have their own statistician at St. E's that will help keep your project running. They also have affiliations with Youngstown State University where a couple of their residents have run their own ortho labs at the university. One of the former residents ran a biomechanics sports lab there during his residency before going to Allegheny general for sports. This one was of the biggest selling points for me because the future of orthopedics; Even if you are an excellent general surgeon, you'll often have to do a fellowship to market yourself in a city setting. Having research gives you an edge as a DO for better opportunities in five years regardless of your original plans starting as an intern.

Residents. They take 2 per year so they are a very tight knit group and just a bunch of great guys. They do hang outside of work. Very laid back and everyone takes care of each other. Very knowledgable and hardworking. This was one of the auditions were the ortho guys actually wanted to get to know the students and hung out with us when their was a light day. Residents hang out multiple times during the week whether dinner or weekend festivities.

Lifestyle was very balanced. They do take call at a level 1 trauma. Trauma rotation is expectedly a little more intensive. The residents as a whole seemed a lot happier than at the other places I went to. It seemed like there was a lot less BS time for the junior and senior residents having to act as retractor boys. They were either operating, quickly managing the floor, or out of the hospital reading/ enjoying life.

Location/Housing: Cheap housing. Relatively close to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Erie, and Akron area. The surrounding areas are good to raise a family eg. Boardman/poland area.Youngstown is not the safest area. If you're a city person, this program will not suit you.

Med student rotation experience: If you don't come here for residency, you will learn more about fractures and how to describe them than at any place. They have their own med student fracture conference every week for the rotating students which makes you accountable to study from your handbook of fracture. When I was there, there were 10+ students so I didn't scrub in as much as other places. Although the residents get to do a lot, the operative experience for med students is weak. Taking call here as a med student is unreal, you will learn more about fractures and acute orthopedic injuries than any of the other community programs. It's a good atmosphere for a month with no malignant personalities. One of their base attendings asks a bunch of weirdly phrased ortho questions. You get a food stipend as well as a free pass to both Hospital's gyms. Highly suggest to everyone to rotate here if you can. I rotated with a bunch of med students throughout the audition trail, and everyone had nothing but great things to say about this program. Even if you don't match here, I guarantee this will tremendously improve your hand book of fracture knowledge by giving it context and knowledge on treatment.


1. Best surgically trained orthopedic residents, hands down
2. Amazing exposure with a ton of MD fellowship trained attendings who have connections to prestigious institutions
3. Excellent research opportunities with statistician and youngstown state university
4. All subspecialties are covered with no required out rotations
5.They have 4 months of electives their 4th year for additional training and fellowship opportunities
6. Strong trauma experience with coverage all 5 years
7. Tight-knit group of residents that were all extremely proud and happy to be in the program and had time to hang out with each other outside the hospital

The didactics here are better then other programs, but you still have to be self motivated to read on your own here. They are more OR heavy than clinic as well. This is a very hands on program with a significant amount of surgical autonomy, which may not fit your training style if you like to learn in the OR by watching.They do not favor base students here, and heavily base their selection fairly on who worked the hardest, knew their ortho, and got along with the residents.

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8 years 11 months ago - 8 years 11 months ago #25391 by
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Anyone have info on the new meadowlands program? And Plainview on LI, since peninsula is gone?

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8 years 11 months ago - 8 years 11 months ago #25392 by
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I'm an MD candidate - but I rotated at North Shore - LIJ so got to know a lot of the DO guys from Plainview (they rotate at North Shore). From what I can tell - the Plainview program is really high quality, and the people I got to know there are down to Earth, decent human beings. Lots of respect between MD and DO residents, and the trauma at North Shore is solid.

From what I understand, I believe they rotate at Plainview, Huntington (concierge type hospital, lots of ambulatory), North Shore (Level 1Trauma), and Franklin General (lots of general ortho, I'd imagine - a lower income patient base). All owned by the same health system, so wouldn't be surprised to hear that there's attending overlap.

Could be wrong on some of this (not really following the DO LIJ program), but if you match at Plainview, you're very lucky

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  • urmilabithi002
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8 years 3 months ago - 8 years 3 months ago #25629 by urmilabithi002
Replied by urmilabithi002 on topic Re: DO programs
I have either heard or had experiences at the following places that were not so positive: Far Rockaway, NY, Sandusky, OH (beginning a residency in '07 possibly, i think), Nova, KC. Keep in mind, these things can range from quality of facility to amount of OR time, to just personality of the residents, some of which you may not care about at all. Some of them can't handle sports injury.

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