St Mary's Hospital and Medical Center

St Mary's Hospital and Medical Center

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Contact Information

City
San Francisco
State/Province
California

Program Information

Residents per class
3
St Mary's Hospital and Medical Center Orthopedic Residency Program, San Francisco, CA

User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
8.6
Staff Surgeons 
 
8.3  (3)
Didactics/Teaching 
 
7.0  (3)
Operating Experience 
 
10.0  (3)
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0  (3)
Research 
 
7.0  (3)
Residents 
 
9.0  (3)
Lifestyle 
 
9.7  (3)
Location 
 
8.3  (3)
Overall Experience 
 
9.0  (3)
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Overall rating 
 
9.7
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
8.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
10.0
Research 
 
9.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
10.0

Fantastic

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Our program director, Dr. McGann, is very soft-spoken and receptive to resident feedback. The rest of the attendings, distributed between all the hospitals in SF and East Bay are variable in terms of personality, but all want to teach. They are all clinically fantastic, and are involved in the residency program.
Didactics / Teaching
Teaching is done on a weekly basis, with program-wide didactics on Tuesday mornings. This is protected time. Coverage at the hospitals during this time are usually done by attendings or by PAs/NPs. During the first 12 weeks of the year, we do summer anatomy sessions, usually a lecture followed by cadaver dissection and OITE questions. After anatomy course and OITE prep, we do theme based lectures by the attendings. Teaching locations vary, and are usually centered at St Mary's, but they may occur at Kaiser Oakland or at CHO.
Operating Experience
FANTASTIC. I chose St Mary's because of the operative experience. As an intern on my first month, our spine attending was letting me put in pedicle screws. I was able to put in IMNs, with guidance by senior residents. At other programs I rotated, you wouldn't be able to do this until you were at least a pgy-2. Of course, this independence varies by attending, but even as a junior, I feel ready to do simple fractures with little guidance.
Clinic Experience
Variable from each site. At St Mary's, clinic experience depends on rotation. Some rotations are more clinic heavy than others, but most importantly we have weekly resident clinics. These typically are run by residents who are not operating, so staff can be variable. At Highland, clinics are Tuesdays & Thursday. Because of the high patient volume, they are pretty hectic, but you gain clinical judgment and experience quickly and gain a lot of independence.
Research Opportunities
Opportunities are abundant due to the many different attendings we work with. We have a very well-run research lab based at St Mary's, run by our very accomplished research director, who is very helpful in planning, executing projects, and getting published. As a small program based in a small community hospital, we don't have as many resources or sources of funding as at bigger institution, but we do great with the things that we do have. Every resident is required to do a QI project and to have one publishable project prior to graduation. This is easily accomplished, as most residents have at least one project cooking by the end of intern year. The goal is to have something submitted to AAOS by second year and to have a presentation ready at AAOS by third year.
Residents
Wonderful group of people. Everyone brings something different to the table, and we all have pretty varied backgrounds. Everyone is willing to help out, and the chiefs are very understanding. They have your back should you have issues when on an off service rotation. We joke around a lot, and everyone is always down to hang out. Most of the residency program is either in a long-term relationship or married; there are a select few who are single. Approximately 1/4 of the program have kids.
Lifestyle
St Mary's is technically home call for all 5 years. This works well at rotations where call volume is low, like at St Mary's or Shriners. At other institutions like Kaiser, Highland, or CHO, if you get killed, you often don't get a post-call day. We get reimbursed for most work-related things, such as bridge toll and parking for didactics. We get provided parking at most locations, and often get some reimbursement for food.
Location / Housing
You're living in the bay area! It's a pretty even split between residents who live in the City versus in the east bay. Personally, living in the East Bay is better since most of our rotations are here, though commuting to the city for ST Mary's rotations is painful to go across the Bridge. Our East Bay rotations also require more time on call, so it just makes more sense. Cost of living is EXPENSIVE, but it is affordable. We do get a small housing stipend. The Bay Area is a great place to live, whether you're single or married and/or have a family. It's within driving distance to Tahoe, Vegas, and LA.
Limitations
Reimbursement is low compared to other programs in the area. Living costs in the bay area are high and we get a very small housing stipend compared to other programs. We get a very small education fund every year.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
St Mary's is a great all-around program. You cannot be the operative experience or the attention you get from the attendings. We need some work in the didactics and research department, but we are a strong community program. I have no doubt that I will graduate this program a clinically and technically strong surgeon. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in a well-rounded program in a fantastic place to live.

Qualification

I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
2018
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
8.7
Staff Surgeons 
 
8.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
7.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
8.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
9.0
Location 
 
8.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

St. Mary's Resident Review

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
I am writing this from the perspective of a resident in the program as a much needed update to the review written in 2007. The faculty have changed some since the last review. Overall the program faculty are very focused on resident education, and care greatly about our surgical skills, knowledge base, research and fellowship prospects. All major subspecialties of orthopedics are represented in the program with a new tumor and foot and ankle attending increasing their practice volumes. Some attendings are better than others to work with as it goes in all programs. But on average our program faculty want us to operate as independently as possible based on our preparedness and level of training. Dr. McGann has done a very good job raising the level of competitiveness of the program to match the other Bay Area ortho residencies.
Didactics / Teaching
Didactics still occur on Tuesday mornings and run on a two year rotation so we will hear lectures on the same topic twice in residency to cover all the material tested on OITE and ABOS. This is protected time from nearly all clinical responsibilities other than answering a page or two. Teaching occurs elsewhere, in the OR and clinic, in not as structured of fashion There are weekly case conferences at Kaiser, Highland, and CHO which takes place at UCSF. The Shriner's rotation has nearly daily conferences.
Operating Experience
The operating experience is great. The residents come out with solid case numbers of cases they actually were the primary surgeon in. We all feel quite comfortable after 5 years to work as generalists although we nearly all do fellowship. Trauma and total joints are well represented in our residency as well as Pediatrics. Overall our program's residents are known as having some of the best surgical skills in the Bay Area.
Clinic Experience
There is certainly sufficient clinic experience with specific resident clinics at Highland, Kaiser and St. Mary's and attending clinics at all other sites. It's a good place for teaching and relatively decent continuity for pre and post op patients.
Research Opportunities
Research at St. Mary's has gotten infinitely better over the past 6 or 7 years. The Taylor lab at St. Mary's offers a setting to run nearly any biomechanics or cadaver study one could imagine and the staff are dedicated to resident research. Residents are publishing well, and the faculty support is very good and it shows in our fellowship matches.
Residents
It's become a great group to work with. We share home call responsibilities together and we support each other with family obligations as well as clinical obligations. There is a very supportive environment and I've been impressed with how well we avoid the hierarchical down-talking that occurs in some of the bigger programs nearby.
Lifestyle
We take a lot of home call. A lot of times you are at home on call, sometimes you are not and everywhere except Kaiser you have to work the whole next day. There are exceptions to this if you are literally in the hospital all night. It works out to about 8 calls a month on average and this changes little through years 2-5. Most of us live in San Fran though as it's gotten uber expensive in the city, more of us are choosing to live in the east bay as that is where we spend about 8 months a year and helps when we get called in at night, so we have to cross the bridge less. The attendings and residents respect our lifestyle, it is not a place where rounds start at 5 am just because.
Location / Housing
The SF bay area has everything a huge city has plus it's pretty and it's not too hard to get outdoors (i.e. Marin headlands, the Beach although cold and foggy often) Tahoe isn't as close as everybody acts like but its not too hard to go for a weekend. The weather is very pleasant, 60's in January, 60's in July. You just have to be Ok with fog. Housing is about as expensive as it gets and the resident salaries aren't really different from those anywhere else in the country. Though the program does pay for conferences and some other small expenses related to commuting.
Limitations
Lacks the name of an academic center. The program is small so there is no hiding. The pay could be better. Lots of bay area commuting and traffic isn't good here.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Fantastic program that offers a great surgical experience, with high yield operative cases for being a community orthopedist. The residents are the highlight and home call although frequent allows the residents to maintain a good lifestyle and the bay area has basically every activity one can think of. I certainly would choose to come back here over any other program if I had to go back and do the match again.

Qualification

I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
2015
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: October 23, 2007)
Overall rating 
 
7.5
Staff Surgeons 
 
7.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
6.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
8.0
Research 
 
4.0
Residents 
 
7.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
7.0
Overall Experience 
 
8.0

St. Mary's Residency Program

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Faculty are very friendly and some are very enthusiastic about teaching, but others not so much. Biggest names are Hsu and Zucherman, co-inventors of the X Stop. These two guys cashed in on their invention, millions and millions, and operate now for pure enjoyment and not out of necessity for the cash. Dr. McGann is fairly new as Chair and is sincerely devoted to the residency program. He has a strong desire to make big improvements. Very approachable and friendly, just what you would want in a Chair of the Department. Surgeons at Highland Hospital and Kaiser, both in Oakland, seem friendly enough but I had little contact with them during my rotation. I gave this program a seven for Staff Surgeons only because they are not the big names you will find at Univeristy Hospitals.
Didactics / Teaching
Didactic sessions are resident run and still need a lot of work. They are working on getting 50% attending taught sessions, but its not happening yet. The presentations could use some more polishing and discussion needs to be kept to a minimum. Most sessions turned into a "look how much I know" experience that dragged on for hours longer than necessary.
Operating Experience
Operating experience is top notch. Residents get to do a large percentage of the procedures at St. Mary's. Only one fellow at St. Mary's, who is on the Spine service, so no need to worry about losing out on your OR experience to an overabundance of fellows. At Highland Hospital, second year residents get their own ORs and operate a ton. Some complained that it is a little scary and overwhelming at first with all the responsibility they are given so early on, but the learning curve is fast and you become a confident surgeon quickly. I didn't get any OR experience at Kaiser, but it is supposed to be good there as well. You will not get a better OR experience at any other residency program.
Clinic Experience
At St. Mary's, clinic is limited to Sports, Joints and Spine, but the experience was solid. At Highland and Kaiser, you will see a much greater variety of patients. At Highland, the residents run the show several days a week and a few attendings are around just to supervise. As a medical student, I did more in this clinic than in any other rotation of any type. A great experience for me! Apparently, Oakland Kaiser takes on a lot of unique cases so you will get to see a lot of zebras mixed in among the regular horses.
Research Opportunities
The program is not known for its research. Faculty do write some papers, but it is pretty much limited to clinical stuff. Don't expect to do much basic science research here. Dr. McGann is trying to increase the research experience and things may be improving over the next few years. Most residents do their research during second year, usually just a few months, but you can probably do as much as you want if you would just ask.
Residents
The residents are extremely happy there. They are very friendly and committed to their program. For the most part, they really enjoy teaching. In the OR, they are all very sharp and this is expected with the great surgical experience they get. Most are married, but a few are still single and out partying it up. Overall, a great group to work with.
Lifestyle
Lifestyle is the best I have seen. The hours at St. Mary's are fairly light, and nobody gets to the hospital before 6:30AM (except the rotating medical students). Days frequently end at a decent hour, although the didactic sessions occur late afternoon twice a week and can drag on somewhat late. Hours are definitely longer at Highland Hospital and I am unsure about Kaiser.
Location / Housing
What you have to decide is where you are going to live. St. Mary's is in SF, but you only rotate there four months a year on average. The other eight months are spent in Oakland, on the other side of the SF Bay, at Highland Hospital and Kaiser. Living in SF can be a drag with housing costs, traffic, parking and the cold and foggy weather, but many people love it there. If you choose to live in SF, you will be commuting over the Bay Bridge many months out of the year, using more gas, and paying daily bridge tolls. Oakland is a much rougher area, but the rents are also cheaper. Not nearly as nice as living in SF, but it does cut down on the commute time and gas expenses for a big part of the year. There are other places to live in East Bay besides Oakland too, but you will be driving farther to get to St. Mary's when you are rotating there. Just depends on what you want.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Overall, it was a very solid experience. There are big trade-offs if you select this program, with the positives being a fabulous operating experience and probably the best lifestyle you could hope to achieve during residency, and the negatives being lesser known faculty, lower level of research opportunities and just average didactic sessions. These negatives may be improving in the years to come though. Because this is a small program, only three spots per year, most interviews go to medical students who rotate there, but non-rotators do get invited too and sometimes even match there.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
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