University of California (San Francisco)

University of California (San Francisco)

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9.3 (4)
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Contact Information

City
San Francisco
State/Province
California

Program Information

Residents per class
4
University of California (San Francisco) Orthopedic Residency Program, San Francisco, CA

User reviews

4 reviews

Overall rating 
 
9.3
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.5  (4)
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.8  (4)
Operating Experience 
 
9.5  (4)
Clinical Experience 
 
9.3  (4)
Research 
 
9.8  (4)
Residents 
 
9.0  (4)
Lifestyle 
 
8.8  (4)
Location 
 
8.3  (4)
Overall Experience 
 
9.5  (4)
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(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
9.9
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
10.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
9.0
Overall Experience 
 
10.0

Great program that continues to get better.

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Dr. Vail is an outstanding chair. He has transformed the program and is commited to continuing to grow and evolve the program. He is very accessible and extremely well regarded in the field.
Didactics / Teaching
Daily service specific conference with grand rounds, case conference and 2 hours of formal lecture every Wednesday morning. All residents come together on Wednesdays. This is unique and very nice.
Operating Experience
Robust. Many clinical sites and attendings with only 7 residents per year. Double scrubbing is uncommon. Chiefs are extremely competent.
Clinic Experience
Many high volume clinics. Teaching and service are well balanced.
Research Opportunities
Dedicated research block as PGY-3. Projects and resources are virtually without limit.
Residents
Highlight of the program. The residents are what make this program great above all else. Extremely close group of work hard / play hard individuals. There is great mentorship for junior residents and interns.
Lifestyle
Hardworking residency, however, vacation and academic time is protected and respected. Residents are very active outside of work. Lots to do in SF and surrounding area.
Location / Housing
San Francisco speaks for itself. Lots to do and see. Great access to outdoors and top notch food, music and art. Housing is expensive, $8,000 per annum housing stipend makes it easier to live and work in SF.
Limitations
Residents rotate at multiple clinical sites, however it is doable and parking is available.
Houseing is expensive.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Top program that will only get better. World class faculty, facilities and research plus a great group of residents all in San Francisco is tough to beat.

A brand new San Francisco General Hospital and Benioff Women and Children's Hospital are currently under construction. UCSF has expanded its pediatrics program to include faculty at Oakland Children's Hospital. These additions will futher enhance a great program.

Qualification

I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
2011-2013
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(Updated: December 10, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
9.8
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
9.0
Overall Experience 
 
10.0

UCSF

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.
Residents
Smart, hardworking, and fun. Interesting mix of backgrounds and outside interests. Overall, probably the most impressive group of residents I met.
Lifestyle
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.
Limitations
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.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
2009
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(Updated: December 10, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
8.6
Staff Surgeons 
 
8.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.0
Operating Experience 
 
9.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
9.0
Residents 
 
8.0
Lifestyle 
 
8.0
Location 
 
8.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

UCSF

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Dr. Vail is amazing. He makes time for the residents on a weekly basis and is at many of the morning conferences at the Parnassus campus. He is really taking the program to another level and the other adult reconstruction faculty are really cool. Some of the other faculty members are great teachers and make time to help the residents on a day-to-day basis. Dr. Ma is one of those faculty members. He takes the time at the end of every clinic or OR day to review the patients and cases. Unfortunately, some of the other faculty are not as warm and not as into teaching.
Didactics / Teaching
Didactics are great. Conferences are every morning. One problem, however, is that the residency program covers different facilities/hospitals spread throughout the San Francisco area. Adult reconstruction, spine, and pediatrics are at UC/Parnassus. Sports, foot & ankle, and hand are out at the new Orthopaedic Institute at Mission Bay (an awesome outpatient facility). Most of the trauma is at SF General that has 2/5 residents in every class at all times. Tumor and some other stuff is at another hospital that I never made it to. They also cover the SF VA and I never even saw any of those residents. The bottom line is that clinical responsibilities limit the residents in being able to attend many conferences that are usually held in the morning at UC. This is because getting around the city can be very troublesome, there is a good shuttle system, but it can take a while. The residents at SF General have their own morning conferences. The bottom line is that access to didactic teaching sessions can be very limited when residents are on certain services. Its a problem that I hope can be addressed, because the program is great. After grand rounds, the entire resident group has teaching sessions until mid-morning that are really good.
Operating Experience
I was very impressed by the operative experience that the residents get. Chiefs are very comfortable handling nearly everything. Most of the early OR experience happens at SF General. The exposure that the residents get to trauma at SF general is absolutely the ticket here. The one thing that many residents will admit to being a little weak in is foot & ankle, and I think that the sports exposure may be a little soft too. Trauma exposure is phenomenal. Joints exposure is phenomenal. Strong spine exposure. Tumor is there, but like all programs, its limited. Strong hand/upper extremity exposure as well.
Clinic Experience
The clinic facilities are great. Some attendings make the clinic experience stronger than others. Its different on different services. Sometimes residents are being actively taught throughout the day in clinic, other times it felt as though they were just bodies getting work done. I can't speak highly enough about the new Orthopaedic Institute at Mission Bay. I only made it out there once, but it was amazing. Its brand new and geared towards ortho in terms of the clinic staff, setup, and the outpatient ORs.
Research Opportunities
There is the opportunity to take a research year. Research is one of the program's definite strong points. They have some research power players (like Dr. Bozic) that are really impressive and many of the residents have ongoing research projects with attendings on different services. There is a definite academic feel to the program that I felt was a serious high point.
Residents
The residents are all really great. Most are very bright, and you can tell that they all wanted to be at UCSF, which is different from residents at other programs I've visited. Given the lifestyle of the city, and the way the program is spread over facilities throughout the SF area, the residents as a whole do not seem as close-knit as other programs I've visited. One thing I also thought was a little unusual was interaction that R4s and R5s have with the junior residents. They pimp them on a regular basis. Sometimes interrupting the middle of a presentation or talk to call out a younger resident and ask them questions about classification systems and stuff. I think that the Socratic method is a good one, and I think that senior to junior resident teaching is very, very crucial to a program, but at times this seemed to be a little too much.
Lifestyle
San Francisco is a great city. Great food, great night life. The Marina has a good bar scene. Golden Gate park is only a few blocks from Parnassus and has a bunch of space for biking, running, etc where you actually don't even feel like you are in the city. Wine country is very close, although I didn't make it up there I heard its a quick hour drive North of the Bay.
Location / Housing
Housing is a serious problem. The residents get an extra housing stipend to cover the increased cost of living in San Francisco, and even though its an extra few thousand a year, I do not think it makes up the difference. Its a definite tradeoff that a resident must make. Go to Iowa, you can buy a 3 bd house and still save money, but you might be bored out of your mind. Go to SF, you'll have an absolute blast, but you'll be living in a overpriced, under-renovated, box. Pick your poison.
Limitations
The facilities are a double-edged sword. <br />
They are top-notch, but the program is spread throughout the city at 1 of 5 locations at any given time, which limits the contact amongst the residency class to a certain point. Some of the faculty are a little abrasive, but this is a minority.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Overall UCSF is awesome. Some key faculty members in high places are resident oriented. The operative experience is well-balanced. Research is incredible. This program is on the rise and continues to expand.

Qualification

I am a medical student at this school.
Date of Rotation
08/09
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: October 23, 2007)
Overall rating 
 
8.8
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
9.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
8.0
Lifestyle 
 
7.0
Location 
 
7.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

UCSF Residency Review

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Faculty are terrific. Many solid names including Reis, Hu, Bozic, and Cannon, and most are enthusiastic about teaching. Safran recently stepped down as Chief of Sports (went to Stanford), which was a rather hefty blow to the department. Dr. Vail is the new Chair and has been there since January of this year, coming from Duke. He is very dedicated to improving the program. He attends resident rounds every Monday morning and actively participates with the residency program. He told me about plans to build a new Ortho only surgery center that should break ground very soon. He spent quite a bit of time talking with me outside of the OR regarding residency and personal talk as well. I was very impressed with him and his vision for the program.
Didactics / Teaching
Didactics are the best I have seen. Residents and some attendings meet every morning for patient presentations as well as one or two teaching presentations by residents. There are several other attending taught teaching sessions throughout the week as well. A big emphasis is placed on teaching and all residents participate. Senior residents lead the discussions, ask important questions and offer more detailed information if necessary. Top quality!!! Warning: if you don't like to teach and give oral presentations, this may not be the program for you. Residents are expected to give high quality talks often.
Operating Experience
Operating experience is one of the best things at this program. Residents get to do so much, especially when rotating at SF General hospital. There, the residents basically run the show and it is typically a second year operating, a chief scrubbed in to assist, and an attending in the room to supervise. At Parnassus and Mount Zion, attendings are scrubbed in and leading the procedures, but residents do quite a bit of the operating.
Clinic Experience
Clinical experience is pretty darn good. You will see a wide variety of patients and get plenty of hands on experience. A lot of teaching takes place in clinic too.
Research Opportunities
What can I say? It is UCSF and the research is world class. All the opportunities are there for basic science and/or clinical research and it is strongly encouraged. Faculty have a strong desire to publish and will love you if you feel the same.
Residents
Residents are top quality. First years don't see too much Ortho, but work hard in other surgical departments. Second and third years are pretty wiped out and these two years are definitely the toughest of the five. Junior and senior residents are very bright and actively participate in teaching the other residents. I really enjoyed my interactions with almost all of the residents.
Lifestyle
Lifestyle is not so great for several reasons. First, you work extremely hard when you are at this program. You will get a ton of great experience, but you will definitely pay the price. Second, you are rotating a lot between several different facilities that are spread throughout the city and transportation can be tough. Driving your own car is a pain because of city traffic and parking (parking is aweful and can be very expensive). Public transportation is good (Muni lines are great and pretty cheap if you buy monthly passes), but most Muni lines don't run early in the morning and I often found myself walking at 4:45AM for about 20 minutes in the cold and fog to get to the hospital to round on my patients. There are free shuttles that run between Parnassus and Mount Zion and these help a lot if you don't need to be there too early. SF living can be pretty tough as a surgical resident.
Location / Housing
Location depends on whether or not you like congested city living. It was fun for me at first, but it quickly grew a little tiresome. Housing is pretty pricy and you will find yourself paying a lot of money for a tiny little space close to the hospitals, or paying less money and having to drive quite a bit further and then deal with parking. Along with expensive housing, you will also pay a lot for gas, groceries, restaurants, etc... SF is a wonderful city with a lot to do when you do find yourself with time off and there are many great places to visit that are not too far away (Napa, Santa Cruz, Tahoe, Yosemite, etc...) Guess it really depends on what you are looking for personally.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Overall, the experience was extremely good. The surgeons, residents, teaching and operating experience offered about as much as one could possible expect to get out of a high quality program. The flip side is the amount of work that will be expected of you, the high cost of living, and possibly the nuisance of living in a big, crowded city if that is not your thing.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
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