Review Detail

by John Langland     August 12, 2007    
(Updated: December 10, 2011)
Overall rating 
Staff Surgeons 
Operating Experience 
Clinical Experience 
Overall Experience 


Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Really impressive group of attendings across the board, particularly in spine and arthroplasty. Good mix of big names and rising stars. Most faculty take teaching very seriously and are seriously good at it. Dr. Vail (Chair) gets rave reviews from the residents.
Didactics / Teaching
Great lectures while I was there. More time spent on didactics than other programs I visited. VIP visiting professors spend time teaching the residents as well. The rotations are specialty based and set up in a way that makes a lot of sense. Don't think any other program has a rotation block dedicated to global orthopaedics. Most of the UCSF residents go to South Africa for a month, which sounds like an unbelievable experience.
Operating Experience
Residents operate early and often, and always with appropriate supervision/teaching.<br />
Residents really know what they are doing in the OR--confirmed by new faculty who said the UCSF residents operate at a higher level than they did in their own programs (eg UCLA). Plenty of trauma experience, but not too much.
Clinic Experience
All different types of clinic settings, which is a plus. SFGH clinics can get really busy to the point where some additional supervision would be a nice.
Research Opportunities
It's UCSF, so no need to comment other than to say the opportunities are there. The rotation schedule has a dedicated research block during PGY3.
Smart, hardworking, and fun. Interesting mix of backgrounds and outside interests. Overall, probably the most impressive group of residents I met.
Too much to do, too little time in a city like SF.<br />
If you're not having fun, you're not trying.<br />
Like in most programs, PGY2s work the hardest, but they still seem to have plenty of time to enjoy the city. Any rumors of the program being uptight or malignant are completely untrue. Maybe a bit more of a "traditional" vibe, but it's still California at its core, and nothing like some of the "old school" programs back east.
Location / Housing
San Francisco is one of the great cities in the world, so definitely a "10". Also, great areas nearby for outdoors activites like mountain biking, windsurfing, skiing (Tahoe), etc. Housing is expensive, so minus 1 for that. Still, the residents all live in pretty nice places from what I could tell.
The new Orthopaedic Institute is a spectacular facility, but it means the core group of UCSF residents is split between two different facilities so they don't see each other on most work days except for Wednesdays. Not a biggie though.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Top 5 on my list going in, but definitely my #1 now. If you're interested in California programs, definitely do a Sub-I at UCSF. In my opinion, no other program in California can quite match it all things considered.


I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
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