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TOPIC: Cedars Sinai

7 years 1 week ago #31208

  • cedarsortho
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The residents at Cedars Sinai would like to share their experience and answer points seen on the forum. We recruited our first class this year with four PGY-1 residents and did not accept applications for upper level spots. Here are a few key highlights, with details below:


• Competitive match: For our 4 spots this year, we went down to only #7 on our rank list, one of the strongest match results in the country.
• Excellent cases/resident: Level 1 trauma, 2nd largest in LA (and not far off from the 1st), 1.7M person catchment area with 86K ED visits / year. Largest joint recon in Cali. With only one class above you and few fellows, you can see that you will operate on a lot of great cases early on. We have far more cases than the residents will be able to cover, in Spine, Joint, Trauma, Onc, Hand, Sports and Foot/Ankle; and we rotate at Children's Hospital LA for 6 months for Peds.
• Strong faculty, all specialties: Well-known academic faculty in every specialty, and growing. Drs. Thordason (former USC PD), Menendez and Allison are moving here from USC in the next month. Our program director (Guy Paiement) and the entire faculty are committed to making this a great experience, and meet with residents frequently to get our input.
• Academics: We already have the breadth of lectures, journal clubs etc in place (see below). There is a strong institutional commitment to academics, with a $650M new research facility opening Spring 2013 and a culture of receptivity to new ideas. If you're someone who likes to start new projects (be it research, teaching, or clinical improvement), you will find support and ample resources here.
• Excellent environment: Everyone worries about scut work, and the strong (and nice) support staff at Cedars completely covers the non-MD work. Nursing, social work, home health: all great and often have late night and call coverage. Cedars is best-of-class here, you will never be drawing your own labs!


Our faculty is one of our strongest "selling points". Not only are they stand-outs in their respective specialties, but they are all choosing to be faculty because they love teaching. Our program director, Guy Paiement, is very focused on creating an outstanding experience for us. We meet weekly just to share feedback and ensure everything is going great. In fact:

• Trauma: Our other trauma attendings, Dr. Wiss (considered one of the godfathers of ortho trauma, ask your attendings, many of them read his book in residency) and Dr. Moon also love to teach and are great to work with.
• Joint: For joint recon we rotate with Drs. Spitzer and Klapper, both well known in academics with a large practice.
• Foot & Ankle: Dr. Thordason is the former USC PD, as well as THE editor-in-chief of Foot & Ankle International, and Dr. Pfeffer is past-president of AOFAS.
• Oncology: Dr. Brien was the Cancer Liaison for ACOS, and Dr. Menendez is likely the highest-volume ortho onc surgeon on the West Coast.
• Hand: Dr. Cohen is very well known in Hand and leads our rotation.
• Sports: Our Sports faculty, Dr. Ahluwalia, is not only well-published with multiple fellowships, but embodies the open & friendly attitude that makes Cedars great.
• Spine: Dr. Hunt runs our Spine experience, and we have more Spine cases at Cedars than any other hospital in California.
• Pediatrics: Dr. Hohl leads our pediatrics experience, and we rotate at Children's Hospital LA for a total of six months.

Overall we have a brilliant, approachable faculty group that enjoys teaching and is just as excited as we are to be part of the program.


Cedars-Sinai is a cutting-edge 958-bed hospital located at the intersection of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and West Hollywood (zip code 90048, http://goo.gl/maps/4mSr4). It attracts patients from every socioeconomic status]Academics[/u]

The faculty is currently working on developing our curriculum that is designed as a rotating 2-year lecture series, starting next year. We already have many conferences, most weekly, with some required for residents and some optional, including: Joint Replacement Conf, Trauma Journal Club, Trauma Case Reviews, MSK Onc Conf, M&M, Spine Morning Lectures, Hand Surgery Teaching Conf, Grand Rounds, MSK Imaging, and Foot & Ankle Journal Club. Our department will have space in a new building, and we are using part of it to create an arthroscopy simulation center. We also have access to the surgical skills simulation center where you can practice a wide range of basic surgical techniques. During the first 5 months of intern year, everyone attends a weekly skills course that focuses on basics - suturing, tissue handling etc. The PGY-1 class is attending AO Basic this year and we plan on continuing to send residents to annual conferences.

We have a large research focus, with the department in the top #20 in the nation for research grant dollars, and residents are encouraged to get involved.

• Basic Science Research: Drs. Dan and Zulma Gazit investigate adult stem cell based tissue regeneration, Dr. Tawackoli focuses on Spine, and Dr. Metzger heads our large biomechanics lab.
• Clinical Research: Drs. Wiss, Paiement and Moon focus on Trauma, Dr. Spitzer is involved in hip and knee joint replacement, Dr. Hunt looks at Spine implants and pain treatments, Dr. Pfeffer on foot and ankle, Dr. Bernstein on CMT/hereditary neuropathies and other Pediatrics projects, and Dr. Learch is nationally known in biomedical imaging informatics.

Dr. Thordason is heading the Resident Research Committee that reviews every available research opportunity in the department and ensures that residents are paired with mentors that provide a good experience. The process ensures that residents are working on the most educational projects, and that the research is high-quality and publishable.


Life in the Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Hollywood areas offers a huge diversity of experiences. Living around Cedars is not just Sunset Boulevard and celebrities. This is a perfect city for the person who loves the outdoors. We are centrally located in Los Angeles, thus you have ability to go to the beach, parks, and museums, cruise famous Sunset Boulevard, or take a quick trip to the beach cities or up to Malibu. Runyon Canyon Park and Griffith Park are nearby, with many miles of hiking trails and plenty of vertical elevation. For those who want to get out of the immediate area, the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu offer more trails for hiking, running and mountain biking. The well-known beaches to the North and South are amazing. The Griffith Park trail system and Observatory are right in the middle of LA and offer panoramic views of the entire LA basin. The beach cities of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo are also great day-trips. Bear Mountain and Mt. High can be done as a day trip, Mammoth is possible if you have a golden weekend.

For music lovers, Sunset Blvd goes without saying as one of the epicenters for live music. International artists regularly perform at the Hollywood Bowl, just up the street. Art lovers can check out the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) ten minutes from Cedars and grab a bite at the caravan of food trucks. If you enjoy food and/or nightlife, the size of Los Angeles gives it a diversity that covers almost all tastes.

Rent is always an important question. Currently we all live in different areas all within 4 miles of the hospital. We pay a range of $1100-1350 a month. We all have spacious apartments, quite different than what is available in Manhattan. Cost of living is on par with Boston, Philadelphia & Chicago. The area and the program are family friendly, with high-quality schools in the area.

This is an amazing place to be for residency. There is always something to do, from studying at the beach to mountain biking, surfing, even skiing on your day off. And you never have to worry about the weather; this is a city where it is very easy to find activities outside the hospital.


Last year, over 400 applicants applied to be in the inaugural residency class at Cedars-Sinai. 60 applicants were interviewed for 4 positions. We took residents from every part of the country, and we have a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences. We've meshed very well, are a social group and enjoy hanging out outside the hospital together whenever we can.

Below is a little more information about our first class:

Neil Bhamb, M.D.
Undergrad: Northwestern
Medical School: Washington University in St. Louis

Josh Campbell, M.D.
Undergrad: UC Davis
Medical School: University of Arkansas

Sanjum Samagh, M.D.
Undergrad: Stanford
Medical School: UC Irvine

Matt Zapf, M.D.
Undergrad: UC Berkeley
Medical School: New York Medical College

Any of us would be glad to answer questions about the program. Please feel free to reach out with a PM/email if you want to know more or want to chat about our experiences. Cheers!

Neil, Josh, Sanjum & Matt
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Re: Cedars Sinai 6 years 11 months ago #23247

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I just want to say thank you for taking the time to write this. It was absolutely helpful for me.
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Re: Cedars Sinai 3 years 9 months ago #33538

  • pbehrens
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Thanks for the review! Very helpful. I look forward to interviewing!
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cedars 1 year 10 months ago #35739

For anyone interested in this program, I am about to leave a detailed review under the "residency reviews" part of this website. I'm a current resident. Feel free to PM me with any questions
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cedars 3 months 4 weeks ago #36611

Hi, I will be rotating this fall at cedars. I would like to ask current/previous resident a few questions; anyone available to help?
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cedars 3 months 3 weeks ago #36612

awesome write up. I am a LA native, and current research fellow at NYU langone Adult reconstruction div. I would love to get a more info about the program. Who are the attendings there? and how would i go about getting their contact information? please PM me. thank you
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