Staff / Faculty / Chairman
As with the culture of San Diego, our faculty/staff are incredibly friendly and approachable. They routinely host events from various journal clubs to resident vs attending sporting events and socials. This is an environment that, for my personality and learning style, is conducive to learning and asking questions. They are across the board driven to teach and make the residents well rounded and successful orthopaedic surgeons. Dr Schwartz (our program director) alone would be reason enough to come to this program. I could write an entire review just on how much she does for the program, but suffice it to say that her dedication to the residents and responsiveness to our needs is unbelievable...literally, I don't understand how she is so amazing. I did not realize how important it is to have a program director that is always in your corner when I originally applied to residency.
We also recently became the team doctors for the San Diego Chargers. Go Bolts!
Didactics / Teaching
Wed 7:30-noon protected didactics time.
Monthly journal clubs hosted by a faculty in that specialty.
Quarterly ortho basics lecture series and sawbones labs for the first 2 years.
Trauma, hand, spine, childrens, and VA with independent weekly didactics.
Our organized didactics are very helpful, led by faculty that want to teach. Again, the culture of our residency program allows for a fantastic learning environment. Part of our wednesday didactics is 2 hours of faculty led lectures, which is combined with the Balboa Navy program, allowing us to leverage the expertise and diverse experiences of orthopaedic programs at two very different medical systems.
Beyond organized didactics, there is plenty of additional teaching by faculty and residents. Our research year class weekly "knowledge bomb" sessions where we are reading a textbook cover to cover and meet to discuss the content for the week and answer questions.
On the scale between the high volume county programs with almost exclusively resident taught operating experience to the very academic hands off faculty led operating experience, UCSD falls somewhere in the happy medium between the two. An important thing I considered when applying to residency programs was to go somewhere with a strong hands-on operating experience, but also still have faculty involvement so I could learn from the expert faculty to I came to train with. Our volume is consistently high across all specialties and residents have no problems with filling their case logs.
Our hospital systems are very diverse: Hillcrest as our county experience, the UCSD VA hospital, Rady's children's hospital, and Thornton with it's high percentage of private patients. This leads to a diverse patient population, allowing us as residents to see great variety of patients and presentations.
Our dedicated research year really makes this a strong point of our program. Our musculoskeletal research department consistently publishes a high volume of primary research articles into high impact journals. Residents routinely come out of this year with multiple first author papers and most residents continue clinical research throughout their residency. In addition to being a very productive research year, we have the time to study and learn orthopaedics, as well as take a breath and get paid to enjoy the greatest city on earth (2004, Burgundy).
Laid back, fun, always willing to help out. Let's be honest, this is part of the reason we went into orthopaedics. The residents and the culture are another big strong point of our program. We regularly hang out with our fellow residents outside of the hospital so when it is time to go to work, you get to come to work with your friends. I'm obviously biased so like Orrin said 3 years ago, come hang out with us and decide for yourselves.
To re-iterate what I've been saying above, the culture of our program is very relaxed, making it fun to come to work and easy to learn. We are a hardworking group of individuals still have time to enjoy ourselves.
Location / Housing
"San Diego - drink it in, it always goes down smooth. It's a fact, it's the greatest city in the history of mankind." - Ron Burgundy, 2004, Anchorman
Sunny, beautiful, and warm. Just cause it's January doesn't mean you can't have a beach day.
San Diego has a lot of little communities that are very unique. For example, downtown and the gaslamp have a lot of nice restaurants, bars, classy lounges, and nightclubs. Pacific beach and ocean beach has some awesome dive bars while hillcrest and North Park have a lot of gastropubs and unique restaurants. I think there is something for everyone here, from our gorgeous beaches to the mountains in East San Diego and from the surf culture of PB to the sophistication of La Jolla.
A short list of what I can think of: World class Torrey Pines golf course ($40 San Diego resident greens fees), amazing beaches, surfing, ski/snow resorts < 2hrs away, hiking, camping, mountain biking, San Diego opera and playhouse, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Sea World, Balboa park museums
None! This is a factor of our incredibly responsive faculty and staff that immediately addresses any problem we bring to them. If you are from the east coast you may say lack of seasons...I don't think thats a real thing though. Summer and mild summer.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
I love every day I'm at work. That sounds impossible, but it's true. I get to do what I love and do it while hanging out with my friends. When I'm not at work, this city makes having fun REALLY easy. Come visit and see for yourself.