Review Detail

 
California
by John Langland     August 12, 2007    
Overall rating 
 
8.8
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
8.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
6.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
9.0
Location 
 
9.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Program Update

I am current junior Ortho resident here at UC Davis. I love this program and I am partially biased but I should be cause this place is awesome. We are busy and get a great education here. Our program is way different than it used to be as far as personality and learning environment and that is for the better. I love working and hanging out with my co residents. To me this is super important. These are the people you will see every day for 5 years. You better feel like you can fit in and get along with the group of residents at your ranked programs or residency will be harder than it should be.

My two cents....at the same interest rate as my loans those 2cents will be worth ~ $12 by the end of residency.

Best of luck.

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Chairman - NEW Dr Lor Randal
He is from the Utah program most recently. He ran the Sarcoma institute there and is a big name in Ortho Onc. He is full of energy and brings fresh vision and leadership to our program. He has been great to interact with and is super interested in how residents view the program and how he can improve our educational experience.

PD - Dr Cassandra Lee
She has been PD for my whole residency experience. She is a great educator and is awesome to work with in the OR. She is super interested in having the residents been involved in cases and allows you tons of room to learn in the OR. She is not super controlling(handsy) in the OR. As a resident that is great because, we come to residency for many things, but learning how to actually do the surgery with our hands is certainly one of the more fun ones and she does a great job of facilitating that kind of learning.

Faculty - Top Notch
They are great educators and mentors. many of them are internationally known and have tons of connections to the orthopedic world which is important when applying to fellowships. while each surgeon is different, and each gives varying amounts of autonomy in the OR, on the whole they are awesome, very skilled and fun to work with. There is no awkward hierarchy and they are all very approachable and easy to speak with.
Didactics / Teaching
We have "triage" or fracture conference every morning. This is not a chief resident lead session. we typically have 2-3 trauma attendings, joints attending, peds attending, and spine attending along with the fellows and almost all the residents. This is a teaching conference that is awesome. When you are the nightfloat guy presenting the consults overnight it can be a little intimidating but it is amazing teaching and learning experience. It is like getting AO basic and AO advanced every morning.

We have tri weekly protected education time for an hour after triage in the mornings. this is usually an attending lead didactic session. During OITE prep season it is Resident run test prep. The lectures are usually super high quality.

We also have grand rounds weekly with presentations from big names in Ortho or from faculty in our department.
Operating Experience
Excellent

An example:
As a junior I am doing spine cases one on one with the attending. There are two spine fellows but we don't complete with cases and almost never double scrub. If a case is scheduled for me the fellows ask me if they can join if it is super interesting. When it is me and the attending only almost always they do the approach and instrumentation to their side and I do my side of the table with their close supervision and full attention. This includes the decompressions, even in the cervical spine.

second example: trauma
This rotation has tons of opportunity for operating and our faculty are amazing. while not the usual, I have several times gotten to do cases with only the attending in the room for things like Perc pelvic fixation, pilon fx, blown up distal femurs.

I am pretty bad at logging cases but have >650 early in my third year. On pace to log way more than the national average.
Clinic Experience
Pretty good - only thing I would like is more mid levels to help with clinics. But even without them our experience is pretty good. No one goes into Ortho to be a great clinic doctor. However, it is a great space to learn about diagnosis and clinical decision making which is a huge part of being a surgeon. In clinic our Attendings do a great job of teaching formally and informally.
Research Opportunities
There are research opportunities but this is certainly not the focus of our current residency. Dr Randal wants to increase our research footprint and impact. there are guys who publish 15+ papers in residency and guys who publish the one required project. There is room for both kinds of residents here. There is not yet a huge research machine that cranks out projects that you can just throw your name on and it does take a certain amount of individual effort to start and complete a project there are signs of positive changes in the department especially with Dr Randal and his new vision.
Residents
great group of people to work with and live life with. way better than it was 4-5 years ago. great camaraderie, bunch of super smart, hardworking, fun loving people. biggest strength of this program(of which I am a part) in my unbiased and humble opinion.
Lifestyle
it is what you want it to be. great for city dwellers, nature enthusiasts alike. we are busy and spend alot of our time working(like every Ortho residency) but the hospital is nice and the ORs are new and the people here are awesome. It is great to get to vacation destinations easily to make the most of our time off.
Location / Housing
Sac is an up and coming place. it has a surprisingly good food scene. the new golden one center where the Kings play(you can watch them get killed by your favorite team when they are in town). IF you like beer or wine this place is awesome. we have >55 breweries in Sac and more are opening all the time. We are also within an hour of Amador County which is awesome wine country that is not as well known as Napa Valley(1.5hrs) but way less touristy with great wines.

There are a bunch of rivers, reservoirs, the delta, lakes in the area with some great fishing close by.

There is Tahoe(South Tahoe/ North Tahoe ~2hrs) which is great for hiking, skiing/snowboarding, boating, fishing, SUP, mountain biking, etc.

Yosemite National Park is a must visit if you haven't been before (~3hrs)

SF/bay area is ~1.5hrs

The city is big enough that is has all the things you would want in a big city but has a small town feel as the surrounding central valley is mostly farming and ranches. It is close enough to tons of things to do close by which is nice because when you do get time off you can get away to SF of the mountains easily and be on a mini vacation for a weekend.

Sacramento is super livable. For California it is cheap(expensive for the rest of the country). Most residents live within 10 miles of the hospital(50% within 2 miles). Probably half of us buy houses and the rest rent.
Limitations
We are busy. This is a good and a bad thing. Good because we get tons of operative experience and trauma experience. Bad because well..we are busy. We need residents who are hardworking and are not afraid of going the extra mile or extra consult because ultimately the work has to be done by someone. So we want residents who don't dump work on their fellow residents but will look for opportunities to help each other out. Our program is not big enough for residents who don't work hard to hide.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
I got to see this program change from a busy and not too great place to work to a busy and great place to work during medical school. since I have been a resident I feel our program just continues to improve.

Our program is a blue collar, bring your lunch pain to work(figuratively, cause we get food money on our badge), work hard, play hard kinda place.

We have a pretty strong historical preference for rotating students. We do not automatically interview every rotator because if someone is terrible it is not fair to have them fly back out and spend the money to interview if we know that they will not be ranked here. This also takes an interview spot from someone else who might match with us which is also not fair. I think our current percentage of residents who rotated here is about 75-80% and residents who were non rotators ~20-25%.

I am very happy with my choice to stay at UC Davis for Ortho residency and I would make the same choice if I had to make my rank list again today.

We historically do great in fellowship match and I expect that to continue.

I am super excited for where our department is going. If i didn't have to be an intern again I would love to be an incoming resident as I feel the future of this program is amazing and will only continue to get better.

Qualification

I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
6/2016
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